Live Like That – Kerosene Creek & Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

by Funhog Family on April 5, 2017

As we were leaving the Rotorua Canopy Tours, Gary (a native of Rotorua) gave us some local ideas on things we may enjoy. He gave us a local glow worm spot and the location of a thermal heated creek that we could soak in. We tried the glow worm spot first and it turned out that we were too early to see any glow worms. I had thought that it would be in a cave, but instead it was in an area where the banks of a trail are undercut. So, when it is completely dark you get a free light show from the glow worms. We were there around 5p, so no light show for us, only lots of rain. It was a good thing we did not hang out with the glow worms too long, because when we got back to the parking there were a couple guys getting ready to lighten our car. We walked past the car and played on the playground nearby for a bit, while they watched us. When they finally understood that it was our car they were so interested in, they drove off for easier prey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made our way to a camp spot on a lake near Kerosene Creek. Our thought was we would sleep close by and then go soak in the morning. It turned out to be a great idea and we were walking beside the flowing, smoking water by 8:30a the next morning. Gary had told us we have to be careful because sometimes the creek is too hot to enter. It was good to take your time entering the water as it felt like it was almost boiling. You got use to it fairly quickly and we had a good time sitting at the base of one of the waterfalls. When we started getting too hot it was time to explore further downstream. Sydney floated down the creek as I walked beside it. We came to a ten foot waterfall with a large pool below it. I was amazed when swimming in the pool below the falls. While standing in the water, if you dug your toes into the small rocks under the water it was just like you were sticking them into a blazing oven. I was only able to handle a couple seconds of the heat before I would have to lift my feet up. I did it several times because it was so interesting. It was like that creek was flowing on top of a lava field, which is why it was a thermal spring. We stayed for an hour and decided as more people started showing up that it was time for us to go. We were literally in the middle of the woods, so it was crazy when a huge tour bus pulls into the parking lot and offloads a full bus load of people. All of them had on their swimsuits. We were so glad we were leaving because the creek was no where near big enough to handle that many people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drove a couple hours north to the beach for our next stop, Cathedral Cove. It is a beautiful spot where in the Prince Caspian movie, the children are pulled back into Narnia. To park, we had to drive around a very small parking lot until someone left(~20mins). Then we walked for forty-five minutes to the famous cove. There were lots of people there and it felt crowded after two weeks of being alone. We had a snorkel gear with us, but the water was cold enough to take your breath away. Sydney splashed around in the water for about twenty minutes and then we decided we had enough. On the way back to the car we stopped off at another beach, Gemstone Bay. This one has no people and was very rocky. We loved it. We spent another hour just playing in all the rocks going in and out of the surf picking up snails and crabs. It was tons of fun.

After our day in the sun we decided to drive closer to Auckland for our flight out the next day. That night we got several hours of heavy rain. There was so much rainwater that the tent was literally sitting in it. The next day it was sunny and we were able to dry everything out before packing it all up for our long flight home.

Sydney’s Take:  I loved the warm water at Kerosene Creek.  We were blessed to get out before the hoards of people showed up.  Cathedral Cove was too crowded.  The snails were so fun at Gemstone Bay.

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Tuten April 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Perfect song for such incredible places! New Zealand is on my bucket list. Faye gushed and gushed about what a good father you were to make such trips with your individual children—and what a great wife you have who supports and encourages the idea! Thanks for sharing! Love you all! Mom/Grandma

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