Coromandel Peninsula

We arrived at the Coromandel Peninsula on our fourth day, after a scenic drive through the open planes and dairy farms east of Auckland and then the striking rolling hills of the west side of the peninsula, taking a winding gravel road through the mountains towards the east. We got a spot at a free DOC camper site perched on the top of a cliff looking out across the Whanganui marine reserve. The next morning we headed out at 5am to hike down to Cathedral Cove to watch the sunrise. The track took us through beautiful tropical forest, alive with bird song and we were rewarded with a deserted beach and the famous cathedral hole in the rock. We then spent a chilled afternoon at the lost spring, relaxing in the natural hot water pools, before heading to the next campsite. On the sixth day we headed out early to Hot Water Beach where we dug a hole in the sand to experience a natural hot water spring bubbling up to the surface being refreshed by an occasional sea wave.