day 3 - Hot Water Beach

Warning, there are quite a few pictures in this post! After stopping by a local donut shop to celebrate Ryan's birthday, we headed up to Cathedral Cove. Cathedral Cove is pretty "famous" in NZ, due to several movies filming there, such as the most recent (I think) Narnia movie.

Anyway, we started our hike nice and early :)

Once we arrived we saw this sign, which looks pretty serious! New Zealand loves their exclamation signs.
Well, here is the famous cove.

It was such a nice sunny day! We were so thankful after the previous day's rain.

We decided (or Ryan decided, and it was his birthday) that we would ignore the scary sign and go through the ropes to the beach on the other side. Ha, notice the kids fighting in the water in the background.

Another look back across the beach. I thought the blue water, green trees, white cliffs and rock were just stunning.
After soaking up as much Cathedral Cove as we could, we headed on to the next bay, Stingray Bay. Also beautiful.

After Stingray Bay, we jumped back in the car and drove off to the real highlight of the day. Hot Water Beach! HWB is a beach (duh) with thermal activity underneath, so at low tide hot water actually seeps up through the sand. Crazy! So, the popular tourist activity is to dig yourself a hot tub on the beach. It's funny, you kind of have to fight for a spot!

Can you see the steam?? Our first spot wasn't so great because the water was actually too hot. We couldn't even sit in it!

But then the couple next to us decided to leave and gave us their spa. Ryan, my model:

Fabulous, a hot tub on the beach...

And you can kind of see how busy it was. Lots and lots of people. There are even stands renting out shovels, but we toughed it out with a frisbee :)

Another busy day, but we ended it by going out to dinner to celebrate Ryan's birthday! Woohoo 26!

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