© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_nz_opito bay_hot_water_beach_11

New Zealand – Opito Bay and Hot Water Beach – 18th November

Up early once again we packed, ate breakfast and beeped our horn goodbye to the other happy campers and set off for the east-side of the peninsula. We had to back track on the route and went through picturesque Coromandel Town once again with another stop at The Chai Tea house, they remembered us and so we felt even more at home. We enjoyed more chai and one of their super-foods style savoury muffins as well as more free wifi before making our way off again. Our destination today was to reach Hot Water beach and join the masses by enjoying a turn in the beaches natural hot springs.

Another long morning in the van but by lunch time we were at Opito Bay one of the most secluded beaches in the area. At this particular bay there are quite a few Bach houses, much nicer than the norm and apparently only 16% of which have permanent residents so it’s definitely a summer area. The beach is lovely, although the sun kept hiding behind cloud and we enjoyed a very windy lunch with a few greedy seagulls. Helen wanted just half a day on the beach but it wasn’t happening! We walked up to a lookout that took in most of the bay and beyond. We waited for the sun to come back out again to get some more shots looking back over the bay and then journeyed back to the van.

We continued around the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula and ended up at the Seabreeze Holiday Park, they’re located on the H25 heading south from Hot Water Beach. They offer camping at $16 per person with a shower coupon, kitchen and laundry..the usual stuff for a motor park. It was a really good place to stay and had a nice backpackers vibe going on too. We even used the gym the next morning and they’re better priced than the resorts down at Hahei Bay.

We loaned a spade for the evening and drove to Hot Water Beach so we could dig ourselves a hot spring. It was already busy when we got there and we couldn’t find a warm spot in the sand. After a while a group of locals offered for us to share their pool as they were right next to the hot spring. It was boiling coming out of the spring and so we dug spaces for ourselves and let the hot water flow in. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing hot spring experience but it was unique with the tide coming in to cool the pools down. There must have been over 100 people there with more on the way. Once we’d had enough of our hot water beach experience we went back to camp, cooked and enjoyed the luxury of having a sofa to sit on and a film to watch.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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