The next part of our trip involved travelling a bit further south to the Coromandel peninsular. We were staying in a place called Whitianga in this amazing holiday apartment set right up in the hills. The views from up there were absolutely incredible, so I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps from the balcony.
There were a few different places we wanted to visit during our time in Coromandel, the main place being Cathedral Cove. We had researched the area a bit before whilst we were planning the trip, and this place kept on popping up so we knew it was worth checking out.
We started the day by heading down to hot water beach. As the name suggests, it’s a beach which has hot water springs underneath it, so the idea is, when the tide is in the right place, you dig down into the sand to reveal the hot water, and there you are, you have your own spa in the making.
Well we went down at supposedly the ideal time and dug along with everyone else but only managed to find cold water, much to our disappointment. When we walked a little bit out to sea and buried our feet in the sand however we could feel the hot water. The tide just wasn’t quite in the right place. Still, it was quite a beautiful beach, so we just stayed a while and enjoyed the sun.
It wasn’t really the best place to try and get some photos done. The beach was quite busy when we first arrived, and as time went by it just got busier and busier. So my camera stayed away from the sand safely in the car. I would have plenty of opportunities to get some photos at Cathedral Cove so I didn’t mind not getting any here.
After a while, then made our way towards Heihi to go and visit Cathedral Cove. The sun was well and truly out and as it was now early afternoon, it was pretty hot. Cathedral cove itself was not accessible by car, you could only get there by boat or by walking. I think we both felt that getting a boat there would be cheating a bit so we decided to take the walking option. That way we could enjoy the views all along the coastline from the start of the track to the cove.
It was about a 40 minute walk each way in total, and right from the start the views were incredible. The shuttle bus drops you right at the start of the trail on top of a cliff with nothing but panoramic views of the ocean and the islands dotted all around. It really was the perfect day for it, bright blue sky, sun shining down onto the deep blue ocean, just picturesque.
As soon as we were off the bus I couldn’t wait to get straight out to start getting some pictures. One thing I noticed here particularly, but in New Zealand in general was the vibrancy of the colours. I had never seen such bright colours in a landscape before. The grass was a gorgeous green, the sky was such a bright blue, and the water was rich and vibrant. It was almost like it had all been painted, like it was fake.
When we made it down into the beach, it was immediately obvious why this was such a popular spot to visit. It was like a little bit of paradise tucked away in amongst the coastline. A golden sandy beach met with the beautifully clear waters of the South Pacific Ocean. To the left as we got down into the beach itself was the main attraction and the reason we, and all the other people, were here. Cathedral Cove.
Walking through the arch took you to another beautiful little beach at the far end of which stood a massive column of rock. We decided to set up camp here for a bit and have a swim. The sea was so beautiful but pretty cold so the swim didn’t last too long!
I then went around taking a few photos of the amazing views. It took a lot of time and even more patience to get the shots I was after as it was so busy. Being one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area on a day as beautiful as it was, it was no surprise that it was so busy. I had all these scenes in my mind of a deserted beach, nothing there to obstruct my photos but the reality was quite different. I would have had to be down there at sunrise to get the shots I wanted.
Nonetheless, I still tried to get a few decent photos whilst I was there. It was a lot of waiting around for people to get out of the frame mixed with debating whether or not I would be able to airbrush them out. I was pretty pleased with some of the results I got. I definitely didn’t do the place any justice, but you really have to be there to appreciate what an amazing place it is.
By the time I was done taking photos it was getting a bit late in the day and we still had a long hike back to where we had parked the car. The sun was also starting to move behind the cliffs at the back of the beach which meant the lighting completely changed for the worst which meant the photos were not what I was after. It also meant that it started to get pretty cold pretty quickly so at that point we decided to call it a day and start heading back. The Sauvignon Blanc was calling us anyway.