We drive down from Auckland and cross the rugged hills that make up the Coromandel Peninsula. Once out on the east coast we go to Hot Water Beach where, for a few hours around low tide, fresh water hot springs come up onto the beach. When the tides are right you can dig a hole which will fill with lovely hot water that you can have a soak in.
After lunch we head to Cathedral Cove where the Pacific Ocean washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. This stunning location was used for the filming of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. There is a half hour downhill walk to the beach which means the walk back is uphill. A moderate walking ability is required.