We had the luxury of a small sleep in, then with coffee in hand, we headed off to Whitianga for our cruise into Cathedral Cove. It was a leisurely one hour drive through some pretty, but hilly countryside (Oh who am I kidding, not too many parts of NZ are NOT Flat! – but these were more so than other spots).
We then had a long brunch by the water before finally heading off to meet our skipper, Ken, a keen photographer too. He showed us all the best spots, we had amazing views, but little in the way of wildlife. Although we did see a Hammerhead shark which came quite close.
So Many Awesome Spots and there was only two of us in the bow of the boat and six other passengers in the back – PERFECT.
We visited Shakespeare Cliff (So named by Captain Cook as he thought it looked like William Shakespeare’s profile), Cooks Blow Hole, Marine Reserve, Cathedral Cove, Champagne Bay (named for the upside down champagne glass look-a-like rock formation) and Orua Cave, which we went inside with the boat! It was so hot and the UV extreme, even with lots of sunscreen, we both got a little sunburnt, but totally worth it…what an amazing afternoon.
A quick coffee stop and then headed to our next destination an hour away, Thames. This town was a means to an end, but such a little gem. We stopped here as the three-hour drive to Rotorua was too far after a long day, and it was on the way. We stopped at Burke Street Wharf, or the remains of it and then after dinner, came back and shot sunset here too.