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Coromandel to Te Kuiti, New Zealand

Day 4: We drove the "309 Road" across the peninsula. We visted Waiou falls on the way. They were not particularly spectacular.

Day 4: Hot Water Beach is one of the "AA's - 101 things kiwis should do". I don't know how many kiwis there were but there were plenty of overseas visitors. This section of beach has hot springs under it - but they were only accessible about an hour either side of low tide. The done thing is to go and dig a hole and sit in the hot water.

Day 4: We arrived just on low tide so most of the hot spring area was already claimed. Tom was persistent...

Day 4: ... but since the tide had started coming in it was somewhat futile!

Day 4: We did get a spot but the water in this pool was way too hot to sit in.

Day 4: Eventually we did get a comfortable spot to relax in.

Day 4: That afternoon we went sea kayaking from Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove and then around one of the islands.

Day 4: Our kayak guide made us lattes on the beach at Cathedral Cove.

Day 4: Photo-bombed by a seagull

Day 4: That evening we walked up to an old Pa site and took photos.

Day 4: Tom taking photos.

Day 4: Looking out to sea. This area was where the Chronicles of Narnia: The Dawn Treader was filmed.

Day 5: We walked back up the track we has used to access Sleeping God Canyon a couple of days earlier. This time we kept going up the 'billy-goat track' - this is one of several ways to reach The Pinnacles DOC hut.

Day 6: We got up before dawn and did the 40 minute walk up to The Pinnacles for sunrise. Unfortunately the clouds didn't roll-away and we didn't see much.

Day 6: Descending from The Pinnacles. There are a few ladders and spikes near the top.

Day 6: A reconstructed Kauri dam near the hut

Day 6: Tom outside the hut - it sleeps 80 people! There were only 7 there the night we stayed - including the worst snorer I have ever encountered.

Day 6: Looking back up to The Pinnacles.

Day 6: We left the Coromandel and made our way to Rotorua. On our way we walked the Karangahaka Gorge Historic Walkway. It was a very impressive piece of engineering.

Day 7: Mud pools in Rotorua

Day 7: More geothermal features

Day 7: Tom with the Pohutu Geyser

Day 7: After spending the morning at Te Puia and the afternoon at Rainbow Springs (highlight was seeing a kiwi being given medicine by a vet just a metre or so away from us - Tom has a photo) we drove to Te Kuiti. We weren't sure why we couldn't drive up the main street... but as it turned out we'd managed to arrive at the same time as their Christmas parade.

Day 7: Te Kuiti Christmas parade

Day 7: We had dinner at the nicest restaurant in Te Kuiti (we think)

Day 7: But it was the first time we had encountered salt and pepper shakers like this!

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