After a week of bad weather, it was a delight to see a sunny day for our trip to Coromandel on Sunday 16 October. The trip was originally planned for the previous day but was postponed because of the weather.
I collected 7 passengers from Auckland Institute of Studies at 8.30am and this group consisted of 4 people from Japan, 3 from South Korea and myself. There was very little traffic, so the drive to Tairua, Coromandel only took 1 hour 50 minutes.
After a short break at Tairua, a further 30 minutes saw us arrive at Cathedral Cove carpark. There was a cool wind but luckily it was blowing from the south-west so we were sheltered from it for most of the day.
The walk from the carpark to Cathedral Cove takes between 35 and 45 minutes depending on the walking speed of the group and this group were quick walkers. The Cove is always a stunning sight, with white sand, blue sea, rocks shaped by the sea and the archway which was made famous in the first 2 Narnia movies.
We explored the area and took many photos in the archway, on a natural seat which has been carved out by sea erosion, and by rocks which have also been shaped by the sea.
We took our time on the walk back to the carpark, enjoying the forest around us and the views over the sea and islands.
Hot Water Beach is only a 15-minute drive from Cathedral Cove, so we waited until we got there to have lunch. After lunch we made our way to the middle of the beach and excavated our hot water pool.
The window for hot water is usually about 2 hours each side of low tide. After some of us had a swim in the sea, we warmed up again in our hot pool and finally we got changed into warm clothes and drove to Tairua.
We finished our outdoor activities at Paku Hill, Tairua which has spectacular views from the top.
Some of the group took photos, while others talked to friends and family back home, showing them the scenery via Skype or similar apps. We left the top of the hill and went in search of food. We had a thoroughly enjoyable dinner at Manaia Kitchen & Bar in Tairua.
We stopped briefly for stargazing on the journey back to Auckland. We saw so many stars, including the Milky Way galaxy and the Southern Cross as well as Mars, Neptune and Saturn. We returned to Auckland and the passengers were dropped off between 9pm and 9.30pm, depending on where their accommodation was.