06 November 2009

Hot Water Beach

While we were in Whitianga last week we took a trip down to Hot Water Beach a few kilometres south. A popular surfing beach but mainly popular for the hot water that seeps up through the sand from underground springs in certain parts of the beach. The best time to go is 2 hrs either side of high tide so we went racing off after breakfast without packing up so we’d make it in time. It was another lovely warm day but the wind was cold coming off the water on the beach.

People take or hire spades and dig large pits to sit in although not many people were sitting this time because it’s not quite summer here yet. You have to be careful because the water can be quite hot in spots, I ended up with lobster red feet!



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After our paddle we went back to the shop for a coffee and while Dennis sat in the sun and talked to one of the locals I walked over the road to the Moko Artspace shop & showroom in the artist’s home.






The lady in the shop was especially proud of this cactus that flowers for just one day and today was the day!


After I tore Dennis away from his new friend we walked along a track that runs along the side of the beach.





After that we drove back to Whitianga and it was still only lunchtime so we had Subway before we went for a walk along the estuary.oct29

We found this delightful little Museum where we spent an hour or so pottering around inside.


Built in 1911 for the Mercury Bay Dairy Co. We watched a film about Captain Cook when he first stopped on 3 Nov 1769 in Mercury Bay, so named as ten days were spent here observing the transit of Mercury. Before leaving Mercury Bay, the date and the ship's name Endeavour were carved into a tree, and James Cook took formal possession of this area.

More photos coming…..

01 November 2009

Trip to Whitianga

Last Wednesday we took a trip down to Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula to deliver some xmas lights to friends. They have a B&B right on the beach at Wharekaho Beach, the next one around the coast past Buffalo Beach. We had two days of perfect weather, hospitality and relaxation, not to mention a wonderful time. 

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About 30 mins from Whitianga on the way there.


Looking out towards Mercury Bay, so called by Captain James Cook when he landed here in 1769.


http://onthebeachwhitianga.co.nz/ – where we stayed.


Looking towards the northern end of Wharekaho Beach better known as Simpson’s Beach.


Looking towards the southern end, 3.8km long. We had the whole beach to ourselves seeing it was a week day, so peaceful.


At the southern end.

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The New Zealand Dotterel (TÅ«turiwhatu pukunui) is an endangered species found only in this country. It was once widespread and common but there are only about 1500 birds left. This serious decline in numbers is due to a combination of habitat loss, predation by introduced mammals and disturbance during breeding.


These two were obviously rather distressed as we walked by, they kept running backwards & forwards chirping to each other – or us – they are showing their breeding colours – orange breasts – so we think they must have had a nest nearby.


Looking from Buffalo Beach Esplanade towards the Estuary and Ferry Landing.


Buffalo Beach, Whitianga.

Next time – Hot Water Beach……