Auckland to Hot Water Beach, Coromandel

Day 1: 24 May 2014

Status: Drifting. Amazed. Awkward.

Mind playing: The Cup Song


I’ve travelled alone before – volunteering in Cambodia – and both trip felt different. I guess Cambodia was easier as I had the same roommate for 2 weeks, and we had a schedule/itinerary to adhere to.

Kiwi Experience bus is different – you hop on and off whenever you see fit, as according to their bus timetable and availability. I do not have the opportunity to stray off from the recommended itinerary: firstly, I am pressing for time; secondly, they do not have as many operating buses as they would usually have in summer (according to Bridget, our bus driver and guide).

So yea, being the only token Asian (again I have to stress that it isn’t a racist slur because I AM Asian) travelling alone in a sea of unfamiliar faces and English/European accent, my social awkwardness is playing it’s best 😦


I have never seen this many cows – black and white cows – and flocks of sheep in my life until now (!) Those cows reminded me of Fernleaf milk mom had always got me to drink.

I miss ma milk.

I am surprise that I could be surprised with the greenery, opened landscape, trees and bush lands – I thought I’ve seen it all in Australia. Inside my weird head, weird comparison was made: Queensland is like a wild child with disobedient tresses; and New Zealand is the country child, as trimmed as she could be. The trees looked manicured from afar. With colours.Sheep everywhere!!

My favourite was the shade between red and orange.  A pleasant picnic and an afternoon nap underneath the trees would be perfect on a bright sunny day. Or… a kiss goodbye to be forever embedded in memories.

I bought a pass, and handed with picturesque view. It sure would have been prettier with you.

It is indeed like living and driving through postcards (Harry Potter style postcard, that is).  I’m a bad writer, a terrible photographer and a hopeless artist, hence I am never doing justice to the things and places I came across. Indescribable – that’s all I have.

The drive to Hot Water Beach, Coromandel is pretty but long. Had several mini bathroom stops and then came into Tim’s, an old mining village with beautiful old but neat houses . Here was where I learned about Pak’n’Save (or as Bridget said, Pak’n’Slave) – apparently this is where you’d get groceries at a more ‘backpacker friendly’ price tag. Yours truly think that it is still overpriced compared to good ol’ Brissy.

Along the winding road, you played the compulsory ice-breaking game. Others made friends too, some had become good travel mates. Me? I just quietly sat there and enjoyed my very first non-stressful day in months.


If I have a thing to complain, it would definitely be the shitty weather. It was hot then it was windy, it was sunny then it rains… funny bus guide loves saying “the weather here changes quicker than some of you may change your undies” 

Since I’m on a holiday, the “I’m Asian; I melt in rain” doesn’t exactly work. I’d miss seeing everything and anything at all.

Braving the crazy wind and chill, we took a hike down to the Cathedral Cove (approximately 1.5 hours or maybe less), where a scene in Narnia was shot. Now I can cheerily say “I’ve been to Narnia and back” and make my sisters jealous 😉 It’s a shame though, the weather was muggy thus I couldn’t get the clear, aqua-coloured ocean. Unlike the movies and photos.
Cathedral Cove

Our hostel for the night is right opposite the beach. It’s a cute little compound of it’s own, tucked away neatly beside the narrow main road. The lodges and cabins were oh-so-cuuuuute, reminded me of three little pigs where the lazy brother just built it with logs.

And this is where I met Caitlin and Yazmin, the other two Aussie girls 🙂

Cathedral Cove


It was absolutely pitch dark outside, with minimal light from several of our phones and mini torch. It reminds me of my very first camping trip on Fraser Island – stars twinkling bright, with a seemingly fainted milky way. Bright dots up above, and my roommie pointed out the Southern Cross!!

The walk to the beach was an adventure itself – all darkness and silence in the middle of nowhere, with insect eerily chirping on and off. Boy and the cold!! Once you get out to the open beach, the boys started digging *5 spades for a pool for 40 people, beat that! 😀 *

Hot Water Beach doesn’t get its name in vain – the water streaming down to the ocean is HOT. Scorching hot.

The trick: dig a hole for the steaming hot water and the icy cold water to mix.

In reality: easier said than done.

Because it was too hot, some of the girls opted to stay out of the ‘pool’. Caitlin dug a hole closer to the sea – so that when the waves come ashore we get that perfectly warm temperature – and we had a mini foot spa.


While searching our way back to the hostel, I saw glow worms for the first time. Glow worms are fancy maggots with poo that glows.

Line of the day: the one that glows the brightest is the one with constipation 


Oh, and I miss having proper hot food with carbs already.