Seven kids. Two cars. One large comfort cabin over the sand dunes.
First of all, we had no idea the house we rented would be this close to the beach. First of all, even before that, we didn't realize how large Coromandel is. It's like an entire top half of a mitten. We stayed on the east side, right on the Pacific. We got to reception just in time to check in, open a brew, and make the dumb yet great decision to run into the ocean. ... 'Cause why not? This was our first trip we were able to relax. By relax I mean not wake up at the ass crack of dawn to go on a really cool tour. The only reason we woke up at dawn that weekend was to actually see the sunrise and enjoy it.
On our first full day, we drove into the town (probably the only town) next to us and stumbled upon the best fish and chips. The Frying Scotsman. We drove to a ferry dock and got picked up and took a 2 minute ferry ride over to this small peninsula that would have taken us a half hour to drive to. Whitianga was our only place to get groceries to grill for the night and blindly found "The best shake in New Zealand". Nom. After grilling we headed to Hot Water Beach - the main attraction of the visit to Coromandel. Guess what. We waited and dug for an hour and a half. No hot water.
Some foreigners finally came up to us after half of the people on the beach had left, grabbed us and told us they found the hot water! We spent the next half hour burning our ankles off after the sunset, complaining about how hot the hot springs were but still enjoying our success.
Hahei is a small beach next to Cathedral Cove, a very frequently visited spot by those who make it over to Coromandel. I say that because we drove through mountains that were not meant to have a road built on it. Cathedral Cove is the filming location of the opening scene of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which is pretty cool. The cove is what it's said to be - a cove. A huge awning. We all sat down on the beach for a bit to take it all in and to make the hike down to the cove completely worth it. We figured we should treat every trip as if we'll never be back and to take as many pictures and make as many memories as we can in each spot we visit.
But, I think we've all come to agree that we're revisiting Hahei before we head back to the states.