By: Blonde Two

Of course, the problem with putting your feet into “another man’s ocean” (see yesterday’s blog post) is that you never quite know what your feet will be going into. My feet found themselves in the proverbial hot water this afternoon.

Today was clear and sunny right from the start – the little bit of jet lag that I still have has its compensations and I was awake early enough to see a feast of stars (New Zealand appears to have a lot more than the UK) and then dawn over the Pacific beach.

Dawn 1 Hahei

Despite the Kiwis telling me that it is still winter here, the day has had completely the opposite feeling – blue skies, gentle breezes and warm sunshine.  The beach was warm enough for the red bikini to make a brief appearance and the waves were cold and fierce enough to make bits of red bikini fall off this Blonde a couple of times.  It continues to be good news that the Kiwis think it is winter because the only people on our kilometre of beach were Norm and I.  I kept getting up to check, but there was definitely no-one else around.

Norm Hahei Rock Pools

After a swim, an exploration, a cuppa and a snooze, we decided to move off our empty beach and drive around to the next beach which wasn’t as pretty but was packed with people (the definition of packed here is somewhat different to ours – there were about 30 people).  These people had clearly come from all over the world to visit this particular beach, there was lots of laughter, and a babble of different languages.  This is the only beach that I have ever come to where the cafe offers “spade hire”.  Have a look at what the people in the picture below are up to and see if you can work out what is going on.

Hot Water Beach 6

Still baffled?  All of us were there for the same reason – the beach is called Hot Water Beach and around this particular set of rocks there are geothermal hot springs running down through the sand (if you look closely, you can see steam).  You have to take care here, if you wriggle your toes into the sand in the wrong place, you will burn them.  The done thing at Hot Water Beach is to dig your own hot pool (hence the spade hire). This requires a certain amount of experience and skill – if you dig too deep or too near to the hot spring, you will boil alive (well go red anyway).  The trick is to make a pool that is near to a hot spring but occasionally gets cold water added by the rising tide. It is great fun to sit and listen to people shriek as an over large cold wave backfills their warm pool.

New Zealand has many “must-do” visitor attractions and I have only done a fraction of them but this is one that has me coming back year after year.  I insist that you try it if you ever find yourself in this neck of the bush!