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Coromandel Peninsula

sunny 25 °C
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Kayaking off Hahei Beach

Kayaking off Hahei Beach

Sunday we drove to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, a mountain that is fenced around and protected, eliminating all introduced mammals. New Zealand originally had no mammals other than the bat, so many birds have become extinct, as well as many plants destroyed when settlers planted trees for buildings and fields for their sheep. This mountain is an attempt to return New Zealand to its original state, and the guide on our walk was a wealth of knowledge of all the plants, trees, and birds we came across on our hike. In the early evening we arrived at Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. Hot water springs up if you dig below the sand, so hundreds of people gather around low tide to dig a personal hot tub and allow the hot water to fill in. The reality is, the pools never got deeper than 4 inches no matter how much you dug, and the pool that we took over had luke warm water with scorching hot spots, so it wasn't as relaxing as it sounds! We still had plenty of daylight since the sun doesn't set til 8:30 p.m., so we drove to the parking lot at the top of Cathedral Cove, where we would freedom camp, and hiked to Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay to enjoy the sunset.
Dimanche, nous quittons Waitomo, et nous arretons au Sanctuaire de la montagne Maungatautari. La montagne est entierement ceintree d'une barriere anti-nuisible, afin de permettre a la foret de se reconstituer, et aux oiseaux endemique de proliferer dans leur etat naturel. Petit explication: Aucun mamifere terrestre n'existait sur les iles avants l'arrivee des Maori en 900-1200, puis des colons en 1800. Les rats, furets ( et les hommes) ont decimes les populations d'oiseaux qui se sont adaptes a une vie terrestre sur les iles. Les biches, chevres et autres betes ont detruits les plantes locales, decimant encore plus les habitats et les forets. La nouvelle zelande essaye aujourd'hui de reconstruire ses espaces naturels afin de permettre aux nombreuses especes d'oiseaux de repeupler les forets des iles. Ce sanctuaire est un exemple des solutions possibles. Bref, nous passons une visite guidee tres enrichissante a ce sanctuaire. Nous repartons ensuite pour le Nord, direction la peninsule de Coromandel. Nous arrivons a "hot water beach", une petite ville balneaie centree autour de sa plage et de ses sources d'eau chaude. Le but du jeu est de creuser un trou a la maree descendante et de profiter du spa gratuit sur la plage. La realite, c'est que le sable n'est pas un super bon materiel pour retenir l'eau, donc les mares ne sont font pas plus que 10 centimetres de profondeur, avec un cote froid et un cote brulant. Pas super reposant :) Mais bon, Loic s'amuse a creuser un trou :) Comme le soleil se souche a 20:30, nous avons le temps et montons jusqu'a Cathedral Cove, qui sera notre visite du lendemain. Nous dormons sur le camping sauvage/parg du point de vue. Super belle vue.

An amazing rainbow as we left Waitomo

An amazing rainbow as we left Waitomo

New Zealand naturally

New Zealand naturally


New Zealand after farming

New Zealand after farming

Loic trying to dig a deeper pool on Hot Water Beach

Loic trying to dig a deeper pool on Hot Water Beach

The trail to Gemstone and Stingray bays

The trail to Gemstone and Stingray bays

Monday we drove back down to Hahei Beach for our kayaking tour. In the morning we paddled the southern remote coast, passing caves, getting stuck up on rocks (well, only we did, because we tried to squeeze through a small space between two rocks and didn't time it with the waves very well), and into a giant blow hole. We were given a break for lunch, so we enjoyed some downtime in the campervan, and then reconvened for the afternoon tour of Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay, and Cathedral Cove. We also paddled around an island, and along the way the guide gave us history of the area and the Polynesian tribes that first landed here. We had perfect weather and our guide even made us moccachinos on the beach in the afternoon. We weren't completely tired by the end, so we did a little snorkeling at Hahei Beach before heading further up the coast, to freedom camp again in a gorgeous bay in Matarangi. We are really getting used to not having electricity or internet, in exchange for gorgeous sunsets on beautiful coasts!
Lundi 6 Mars, nous descendons du parking jusqu'a la plage de Hahei, pour faire une journee Kayak. Le matin nous allons au Sud, passons des caves, restons bloques sur des rochers apres un passage un peu trop chaud-chaud-serre entre deux cailloux et une visite d'un trou de mer (blow hole?). Nous revenons a la plage pour midi et nous faisons notre nouveau plat favori (harot-bacon) et repartons l'apres midi pour le nord et la visite de Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay et Cathedral Cove. Le guide nous abreuve des histoires locales des peuples Maori et nous sert un petit moccachino sur la plage. Super beau temps, super activitee. Contents. Nous prolongeons la journee avec un peu de masque-tuba vite-fait. Nous repartons pour le nord de la peninsule, et nous arretons rapidement des trouvons un autre camping sauvage bien sympa. Deux jours sans electricite ! woohooo ! Des vrais hippys.

The cliffs of Gemstone Bay

The cliffs of Gemstone Bay


Gemstone Bay

Gemstone Bay


Gemstone Bay near Cathedral Cove

Gemstone Bay near Cathedral Cove


Exiting a sea cave

Exiting a sea cave


Champagne Rock

Champagne Rock


Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock


Cathedral Cove trail

Cathedral Cove trail

The sunset while freedom camping at Cathedral Cove parking lot

The sunset while freedom camping at Cathedral Cove parking lot

Walking through the arch to Cathedral Rock

Walking through the arch to Cathedral Rock

View inside the blow hole

View inside the blow hole

Plankton that cleans the water

Plankton that cleans the water

Kayaking off Hahei Beach

Kayaking off Hahei Beach


A narrow space we paddled through

A narrow space we paddled through

Jellyfish while snorkeling at Hahei Beach

Jellyfish while snorkeling at Hahei Beach

Our sunset view while freedom camping at Matarangi Bay

Our sunset view while freedom camping at Matarangi Bay

Posted by jillandloic 01:29 Archived in New Zealand

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Comments

I think it's a good trade-off: sunsets for internet.
Although I am so glad you do write this blog!

by pebergman

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