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Please note that the order of the tour may change due to tidal activities and/or weather conditions.
The walks on this tour are self-guided. They are well sign-posted and your guide is happy to supply you with a small map.
Brief description of Tour M201
Hahei / Hot Water Beach
From Whitianga we drive mainly through farmland (incl. alpaca, dairy and kiwifruit) to Hahei Village, a small beach town on the east coast of the Coromandel. Upon arrival in Hahei (after about 45 minutes' drive) there will be time for a coffee (or ice-cream) at the small town centre, before we make our way to the beautiful sandy beach.
Your tour allows for about two and half hours free time, which you will spend as you like.
You may wish to simply enjoy the beach, go for a swim in the clear water, or go for a beach walk to either end of the beach. Commonly observed birds are the New Zealand Dotterel, Variable Oystercatchers, Pied Shags, and a variety of other seabirds. If you are lucky, you may even spot dolphins or, in season, orcas. At the eastern end of Hahei Beach, a steep path leads up to an ancient Maori Pa site which offers splendid views.
Another popular thing to do from here is take a boat to Cathedral Cove. This 10-minute boat trip takes you along an amazing coastline to the world-famous rock arch known as Cathedral Cove (prominently featured in the film "Narnia - Prince Caspian"). The cost for this boat trip is $15 per person one-way and is not included in the tour price. After spending some time at Cathedral Cove, you may either walk back to Hahei Beach (about 1 hour - reasonable fitness required) or even return by boat.
Please note that the boat only operates when conditions are calm, as there is no boat ramp (and you will get wet feet getting on and off). In that case, you may still decide to do the walk to Cathedral Cove and back, as time allows do complete the walk return.
A short drive away, the natural hot springs at Hot Water Beach are waiting for you. Here, geothermally heated water bubbles up through the sand. Ask your guide for a spade, so you can dig your own, private spa pool in the sand. The trick is to mix the water with the cooler sea water, in order to reach a comfortable temperature (the spring water is very hot!), and at the same time protect your spa wall from the odd large wave which may well damage or destroy your pool. It's a constant battle against nature, but a lot of fun!
From here we return to Whitianga, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation (or elsewhere in town, if you wish).