Sunday, September 17, 2017

Coromandel Peninsula: Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is an actual place and we went there today. Vicky our airbnb host said: take my spade. (You can also rent one.)

So here's the deal: An underground river of hot water flows from the interior of the earth to surface in the Pacific Ocean at Hot Water Beach – a long beautiful white beach located between Tairua and Whitianga...Two hours either side of low tide visitors flock to the usually deserted Hot Water Beach to find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. Families, kids  and couples can been seen digging their own spa pool in the sand to lie back in and relax while the steam from their hot pool envelops them.

 We're kind of glad there are other people so we can figure out what to do...and where.

It already looks like a little party here.

A bit of history: Ngati Hei are the tangata whenua (people of the land) along the Mercury Bay coastline. Hot Water Beach is historically and culturally significant to Ngati Hei. Archaeologists believe the Whitianga locale has been populated by the Ngati Hei iwi (tribe) for a thousand years, thus making it one of New Zealand’s longest inhabited areas. To this day Ngati Hei endeavour to protect this taonga (treasure), that is near an Urupa (burial ground) and Pa site (fortified settlement), and hope that you too will respect this special location.

How happy are they?

My digger gets to it.

It's nice and warm in here--in some places the water too hot to touch. The whole experience is a delight, a good example of the luxury nature has on offer if we only pause to seek it out.

 A surprisingly fun field trip! Now we need a coffee at the cafe up the road.

Angel sculpture at the cafe (and me humming Willie Nelson's "Angel flying too close to the ground...").

We checked for more on the scallop festival, but sadly it's sold out. No worries. After a nice breakfast back at our place we walked a jillion steps to Cathedral Cove, where we had a bit of conversational jujitsu with a friendly couple from France who claimed that Marine Le Pen is worse than DT ("You had eight good years," he said consolingly). More on that tomorrow.

Speaking of elections, via The Guardian here's a worthy piece on Jacinda Ardern (thanks, Carolina)...

'I've got what it takes': will Jacinda Ardern be New Zealand's next prime minister? 
It is a week before the New Zealand election and the Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern, is raising her voice above the cacophony at the Tahunanui community centre in the coastal town of Nelson where a crowd has come to meet the 37-year-old woman hailed as the latest saviour of the left (more here).
 ‘Jacindamania’ has seen Labour surge 19 points in the polls since Ardern took over. 
Photograph: Kerry Marshall/Getty Images

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