New Zealand Trip - Cathedral Cove

When we started on the road from Coromandel, I had great plans to explore a waterfall in the area.  There was enough water falling from the sky that we didn't need to bother with the waterfall and instead set off to the East side of the peninsula.  If it had to rain, it was a good day to do so because we had quite a bit of ground to cover in the comfort of our car.

We took a break for morning tea and then set out again.  There was one place I really wanted to see on our way to Rotorua, Cathedral Cove, and as we got closer it looked like the sun was starting to break through the clouds just a bit.  We decided to take the gamble and drove out to see it.  When we got there it had just stopped raining so we rugged up and started off down the trail.
The sun peaking through the clouds across the bay
Amazing views
The trail led us along the coast and we enjoyed the stunning views along the way.  We passed through forests of beautiful New Zealand ferns and fortunately the rain held off.  I was so happy that the weather was on our side to experience this walk.
Walking through the ferns
When we got down to the beach, the view did not disappoint.  On our right was a beautiful stretch of beach, and to our left was the huge black cave.  I had read that it can get quite crowded down there, but that was the benefit of the iffy weather- less tourists.
Inside Cathedral Cove
View from the cave
I'm sure it's stunning at any light, but the moody blues and greys really made the water and sand glow.
Panoramic view
I thought this rock looked like a nose - so I'm going to call it Nose Rock
My dad and I
Making noses at Nose Rock
My husband and I modelling our sneans (sneakers and jeans)
One more shot through the cave
The view to the right
After thoroughly soaking in Cathedral Cove, we went back through to the beach on the other side.  Another added bonus of the morning rain was a little waterfall trickling off the rocks.  Standing behind the waterfall, it was an absolutely stunning view of the water. I bet most people who come here don't get to see that!
Bonus waterfall at Cathedral Cove

Unfortunately we couldn't stay here all day, but it was so worth the trek down and I was elated that we got to see it.  One of my new favourite places for sure.
One happy tourist
We carried on, through some crazy mountains and then across bright green fields.  Our destination for the next few days was Rotorua, the geothermal centre of the North Island.  

It is also a big area for learning about the Maori culture.  That night we went to Tamaki Maori Village, where we got to try doing a Haka, their traditional war dance, and enjoyed our Hangi meal cooked in a large underground pit.
Entering Tamaki Maori Village
Maori doing a Haka
My dad and husband learning the Haka
Our Hangi meal
The food was great and it was nice to show my parents a culture that they hadn't heard much about.  Towards the end of the night I noticed a girl with a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo sweatshirt on - how funny to be so far from home and see someone who went to the same college!  She made me feel old though, she had a year left of school and I couldn't help but wonder how she could afford tuition and a trip to New Zealand ;)


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