Mercury Bay: Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove

Hahei Travel Blog

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Hot Water Beach minus the spa pools :-(

When you read about Mercury Bay on every guidebook, a big must is always a visit to the very famous Hot Water Beach.  Every day, lots of visitors will turn up at the beach, armed with a big shovel, and dig up their own very personal spa pool, which fills up with hot water from underground geothermal springs.  If you don’t have a shovel like me, you could always jump in someone else’s pool and be sociable, don’t worry about them… they will soon leave and go dig another pool somewhere else.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to put my cunning plan into action because I didn’t check the tide-timetable and reached the beach when the location of the hot springs was submerged under high tide.  However, I did go for a quick swim, my first in New Zealand, and did step on a few hot sandy patches, but please don’t follow my ‘foot steps’ so to speak, because it is slightly dangerous, as I was made aware later that the hot springs can reach 64 C!

 

It was around 7ish when I got out of the water, a bit too late to start the 45 minutes walk to Cathedral Cave, another ‘must do’ in Mercury Bay.

Hahei Beach
  So I drove to Hahei and stopped in the main car park overlooking the beach.  A young group of travellers had my same intentions of sleeping there for the night; they set fireworks on the beach, wrestled each other to the ground and juggled fire poi, God knows what they were drinking or smoking!  I wasn’t eager to find out and sat back to watch the show, with a beer, cooking my first meal on my newly acquired gas stove placed on the foldable table.  Now I love cooking, but this time I was running low on ingredients and managed to put together a plate of rice with yet more sardines in mustard sauce, with a side of Chinese lettuce stir fried in garlic, chopped tomato and 10-days-old hoi sin sauce… not store in a fridge… It was an unusual dish, not one to be proud of but certainly not inedible like some other crap I came up with when I’ve been short of ingredient.  I could have left the hoi sin sauce out though, which made for an uncomfortable sleep, I’ll say no more…

 

Next morning the weather wasn’t as nice as I had hoped for, still it was good enough to go for a long walk to one of the nicest beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula, Cathedral Cove.

Sting Ray Bay
  Popped my swimmies on, filled the water bottle in the public toilets and off I went.  On the way, I checked out two other equally nice bays, Stingray Bay and Gemstone Bay.  Cathedral Cove is indeed very nice and features a massive limestone arch/cave which has the shape of a cathedral, with some imagination.  The Bay is sheltered and the water is crystal clear, I enjoyed a lovely snooze on the soft white sand, soaking up the sun… just what the doctor ordered!                      

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Hot Water Beach minus the spa pool…
Hot Water Beach minus the spa poo…
Hahei Beach
Hahei Beach
Sting Ray Bay
Sting Ray Bay
Sting RAy Bay
Sting RAy Bay
Cathedral Cove Beach
Cathedral Cove Beach
Open shower at Cathedral Cove
Open shower at Cathedral Cove
Shower base, bit stinky for me
Shower base, bit stinky for me
Theres the cave!
There's the cave!
Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove Headland
Cathedral Cove Headland
Walk from Hahei to Cathedral Cove
Walk from Hahei to Cathedral Cove
Hahei
photo by: Connie