We always seem to settle in to a bit of a rythym when we travel, the first few mornings of getting up and sorting the bus always seem a bit hurried, like they don’t quite flow properly. But after that everyone seems to remember there roles in the process and it all clicks in to place. We were well and truly in that good rythym when we left Broken hills. The bus wheels were turning by just after 8am. It was another gloriously sunny day and we decided to pull in to Tairua for a look around. To be honest this is a place I’ve driven through plenty of times and often thought it looked lovely but have never actually stopped. I’m very glad we’ve rectified that situation now after our short stop here and have mentally listed it as a place to visit again in the future.
It was one of those wonderfully warm spring mornings and to be honest it was tempting to find a spot to park the bus for the night so we could spend the day swimming in the crystal clear waters that were feeling very much a swimmable temperature. But the night before while Oliver was sleeping soundly in his bed Wayne and I had dreamed up a plan for the day. So we spent a few hours playing and dipping our feet in the ocean here. Then we headed on to Hot water beach with a plan to dig ourselves a hot pool at low tide so we could spend the afternoon lounging in it. This is something Wayne and I can both remember attempting with our families as children, with varying levels of success! We have also visited Hot water beach a couple of times together but never been organised enough and arrived at the wrong tide. So this time we decided to stay at the Top ten campground that is right by the beach so there was no chance of getting it wrong this time.
At 3 ocklock we headed for the beach, spades in hand to dig ourselves a hot pool. There were already a few people digging steaming pools by the time we arrived and once we picked our spot it took us a while to master the art of digging the pool while your feet are sinking into the sometimes burning hot water that is bubbling it’s way up through the sand. But eventually we had ourselves a passable hot pool to sit in. We even got fancy and dug a channel from a pool that someone had kindly dug in a cold spot and promptly abandoned once they discovered there error. The whole experience was a huge hit with Oliver. There’s something about hot water bubbling up from the sand on a perfectly normal looking surf beach that is magical even to fully grown adults. Pair it with a spade, the opportunity to dig a big hole in the sand and have a swim afterwards. That just ticks all of my little guys boxes.
The next day we woke to more glorious sun but the forecast for the next day was looking decidedly less friendly. Again we were up early and heading on to make the most of the weather while it was in our favour. We stopped off in Whitianga to stretch our legs, have some lunch and pick up a few supplies. To our absolute delight when we were leaving we saw some dolphins cruising around the harbour and stopped to watch them until they headed out of sight. Then we headed to Coromandel. It was a slow climb in places for our big old bus and a good test for all the repairs it had recently had. But we made it without any drama and coincidentally found my parents staying at the same place we were. Completely unplanned as we hadn’t spoken since the day we left Tauranga. But it was nice to share one last meal together that night and one final goodbye. With the weather turning as predicted this was the end of our time in this part of the country for now. I’ve been lucky enough to have plenty of holidays in the Coromandel over the years, it’s a special place for me, full of lot’s of beautiful places and lots of beautiful memories. This short visit added a few more of those to tuck away somewhere that they won’t be forgotten. The best souvenirs from all our trips.