Coromandel: Tairua

With the Coromandel on the doorstep of Auckland we have been exploring on this gorgeous peninsula a couple of times already. It seems that each time we go we find somewhere new and exciting.

For this particular weekend trip we headed to Tairua, a small town on a hill-like peninsula, Mount Paku, along the coast from Pauanui. Heading across on Friday night we arrived to our bach, overlooking the marina, in a down pour of rain. Luckily, when we awoke all that was left was an atmospheric mist draped across the beaches below.

After a winding drive along the coast we arrived at the famed hot water beach. Although New Zealand has a number of hot water beaches this is the best known owing to its location. The best time to visit is low tide and we arrived just after as the tide started to come back in. It was a pretty wild day with the waves crashing onto the sand, certainly not one for paddling, the cool water washing up the beach disturbing the already established holes dug in the sand.

To find a good hot spot you merely walk over the sand and feel a warm patch with your feet. Once you find a spot you just dig down into the sand and the hot water filters up to fill the void. The water is so geothermal you need an inlet for the cooler sea water, it is almost too hot straight from the ground. Once you’ve created your pool just sit back and relax in a slightly sandy natural hot tub. There were plenty of people here enjoying the natural hot springs, a honeycomb of pools all sat over the spring waters. We bypassed the digging for a foot spa instead as our hard work would have swiftly been washed away by the incoming tide.

After some time on the sands at Hot Water Beach we moved on up the coast to Hahei Beach. This is a long cove created by a mix of sand and broken up pieces of shell, giving pink coloured swashes across the beach. Walking along the water line we spotted some spots of bright blue on the sand, under closer inspection these were Portuguese Man O’War jellyfish. Not uncommon to New Zealand waters these vivid blue jellyfish float on the surface trapping prey in their long trailing tentacles, and pack a punch if they catch a human too. We steered well clear with our bare feet but it was interesting to see them up close.

Retreating back to the safety of land we walked into the centre of Hahei to the Pour House, home of the Coromandel Brewing Company. With the beer brewed on site we had some delicious and refreshing drinks accompanied by great pizza before continuing to Whitianga.

To enjoy an afternoon of pure relaxation and indulgence we visited The Lost Spring, a less sandy and more organised hot water beach! These natural thermal pools are laid out among beautiful vegetation and flowers, with winding pools and caves. Wading around the different temperature pools we were able to order a beer to accompany our bathing. A blissful way to spend a drizzly afternoon, an excellent end to another wonderful visit to the Coromandel.

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