Travelling around the northern tip of New Zealand was a good surprise full of amazing views and we sure enjoyed it fully spending twice as much time in that area as we had planned. It was time to head down south and experience some of the Maori culture.
We headed past Auckland again and continued on to Coromandel, a region of nice bays and hills. One of the main attractions here is a beach with thermal activity, a place where steaming hot water emerges directly at the beach.
The best time to visit the place depends on the tide, and in our case it was early in the morning. It wasn't difficult to find the right place on the beach to enjoy the natural hot pools with an ocean view, the Kiwis (people from New Zealand) are crazy about it, and come in all different sizes and shapes rigged with shovels ready to dig their own pool in the sand.
We had no shovel, and we didn't need one, very soon we were offered a place to sit inside some of the already dug sand pools.
The temperature of the water inside the pool is regulated by mixing the steaming hot spring water with the cool ocean water. But the sand underneath has an important word to say on the degree of cooking one wants some parts of the body to be.
The coastline is impressively beautiful with small enclosed bays hidden by very light colored cliffs.
We continued our way south to other beautiful beaches along the way, beaches without hot water sources, without shovels and with very few people, beaches so empty that we felt we owned some piece of them.
We followed in direction to Taupo a place of more volcanic activity, geysers and ancient Maori culture at the village Te Puhia.
We got really impressed by the Maori after this showcase, travellers of the pacific islands, in their long carved canoes or in the back of wales and with peace with their several gods.