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Roadside Camp Outside Whitianga

Whitianga, New Zealand

OUTSIDE WHITIANGA (73km, 1341km total) - For a day where we weren't supposed to go very far, we sure spent a lot of time on our bikes.

I took my time waking up this morning. It was one of the few mornings where Shad woke me up. The beach got a little busy in the morning with joggers and people walking their dogs and all that. We had our oatmeal breakfast on the beach looking out upon a beautiful view. Then begrudgingly I got on my bike.

Pumpkin Hill was indeed horrible, one of the steepest we've had to climb all trip. My bike wasn't really shifting quite right still, which only made it that much harder. As soon as I saw the top I gave up and just walked the last 50m.

After the morning's mountain climb, the rest of the ride to Haihei seemed relatively easy. We made it there quick and had lunch in town. I'm starting to run short of money, so I limited myself to just a chicken pie and a coffee. After lunch we set out to find Cathedral Cove. The trail started at the top of a huge hill which we had to bike up. There were heaps of people all over the place. It was about a 25 minute walk then down to the cove.

Cathedral Cove is a natural land formation where two pristine beaches are separated by a huge opening in the cliff face. There were some impressive rock formations both on shore and in the water.
We finally got in our first ocean swim of the entire trip. The water was quite cool at first, but was incredibly refreshing. Shad and I swam out to one of the little islands and climbed around on it. To finish, we jumped off the top into the sea.

After Cathedral Cove we pedaled 8km over to Hot Water Beach. This is a beach where at low tide a section of sand is exposed where you can dig a hole and water from a hot spring will bubble up and fill your little pool. It sounds cool. The reality was a mess of people digging holes in the sand.

It was fun to dig, felt like childhood, but I found only a little bit of hot water and a lot of cold water. This made for a lukewarm, sometimes kind of hot experience. My hole kept filling back in with sand too, so I could never get it more than maybe 8" deep. It was neat though... and kinda fun.

After cleaning off the sand, we headed out to the ferry at Cook's Beach. On the other side at Whitianga we filled up on water and Shad bought some beer to go with dinner, then we biked north out of town. We had been hoping to find a campsite before the sun set, but that didn't quite happen. We had to go off into the hills before we found anything suitable. We've ended up on a short cattle road maybe 50ft from the road behind some tall grass and trees. We have to turn our headlamps off everytime we hear a car coming so we don't get discovered. Dinner was mac & cheese with tuna and veggies - it turned out quite deliciously.

permalink written by  aeonhunterinnz on January 7, 2010 from Whitianga, New Zealand
from the travel blog: AeonHunter in New Zealand
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