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On the 13th of December our group traveled to the Coromandel Peninsula, a real treasure of a spot and a favourite for locals and tourists alike to visit and enjoy the weather, beaches and nature. When we arrived on the coast, we went directly to Hahei beach and met up with the local kayak guides to take us on our first activity. After a few minutes of explaining some kayaking techniques we were all ready to get out into the water for an afternoon of paddling. Our guides were really cool and filled us in on all the history of the surrounding areas. It turned out that where we were paddling was a marine reserve, and that there was no fishing allowed in the area- making it the perfect place to see wildlife. We saw lots of fish, native birds, stingrays and even some penguins – no whales of dolphins this time unfortunately although I’m not sure I would like to have seen a whale show up next our kayaks!
The kayak took us around the coast to one the beautiful sandy beaches and a truly iconic landmark in New Zealand, Cathedral Cove. It is so named as on the beach is a rock-formed arch which looks like a Cathedral. We stayed there for the couple of hours, enjoying it when the sun showed itself and took a bunch of pictures.
After our paddle we headed to the famous beach located between Tairua and Whitianga – “Hot Water” Beach! Its name comes from underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. Armed with spades, our group had a chance to dig holes and make their own private Jacuzzi’s!
After a long day outdoors we arrived at our accommodation, which overlooks – and is right by, the beach. In the evening we enjoyed a delicious barbecue, had some drinks and played some games before heading out to the nearby town for a night of partying and live music at their local popular pub. The next day before heading back to Auckland we stopped at the local famous ice-cream house – special mention to Sanne for devouring an 8 scoop “gut-buster” ice-cream by herself!
Visit http://www.studenttrips.co.nz for your chance to get to Cathedral Cove.