Natural playgrounds

The next stop on our New Zealand road trip was Hahei, to visit Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.
We opted to hike down to Cathedral Cove, luckily, because the views were beautiful. 

  

Once we arrived at the beach itself, it was loaded with people, being a holiday weekend for Kiwis. It was filled with people playing in the giant waves, taking a rest in the cool shade of the natural arches of the cliffs, mesmerizing at the grandeur of the rock formations, or taking a rinse in a trickling waterfall.

   
   
After playing in the waves ourselves, we headed to Hot Water Beach. During low tide, the water subsides revealing hotspots under the sand. So, two hours before low tide, at 11pm, we headed onto the beach, meeting a few like-minded souls. Digging into the sand with our hands (then with a kindly borrowed shovel), we sought our own natural hot tub, as the water fills the hole and the heat from below raises the temperature. After recruiting two German helpers, we admitted defeat in our only lukewarm pool. Luckily, a local family took pity on us and offered their hot hot pool, too hot even for our feet. But, we cooled it down, snuggled in, 6 of us at this point, shared drinks and stories, 4 different nationalities between us, chatting under the stars and beside the waves with our toes in the sand and our bums in the natural hot water. 

As the tide began to come back in, we reluctantly left. Out rented car was to be our home for the night. And the next day, I woke up to a deserted beach with the sun beginning to peak through – a perfect setting for some morning yoga. 

  

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