Once we were all on the bus in Auckland we hit the road and started making our way to our destination for the evening; Hot Water Beach on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsular.
It was roughly a four hour drive so we stopped off in the town of Thames midway for a supermarket stop where we got all our food for the evening (and beers for the beach!). The town of Thames is an old gold mining town and was named by Captain Cook on account of the town’s huge river which reminded him of London.
Having bought all our ingredients and basking out in the sun for a little while we got back on board the bus and headed to our hostel accommodation.
We were staying in the Hot Water Beach Holiday Park which really isn’t a hostel – it was so lovely! We had our own little cabins which made such a nice change from the hostel in Auckland the night before.
We all dumped our stuff before grabbing our bikinis and shovels and making our way down to the beach.
Hot Water Beach is located right on a spot where there are cracks in the earth’s surface. As a result hot water bubbles up through the cracks below and collects underneath the sand. You have to dig holes in the sand to release the volcanic hot water which creates your own little hot tubs right on the beach! It’s amazing. I can’t even explain how hot the water was – it was literally scolding! You had to mix the hot water with some cold water from the sea to get your hole to a comfortable temperature. We spent a couple of hours here just lying in our holes before having a wander up the beach and making our way back up to the hostel. It’s worth noting that it is only possible to dig these holes 2 hours either side of low and high tide so make sure you check your timings before heading to beach to avoid disappointment!
Having dried off, we headed back to the holiday park. It was the most beautiful evening so we sat out on the terrace with a few beers and got chatting to a few other travellers. After making dinner (a pretty impressive vegetable/pesto/pasta creation) the night escalated quickly into bottles of wine and drinking games. I literally felt like I was back at uni…ha!
I won’t lie – I slept pretty well that night.