On Wednesday and Thursday, our days off from work, we took a holiday to Hahei. It is a small town approximately 10km from Whitianga. The plan was to get there by foot or hitchhike, stay one night, hike to Cathedral Cove for sunrise and then hike or hitchhike home. We packed our bags, crossed the ferry and started walking/hitchhiking. It took 5 seconds. The very first car that passed us stopped. They weren't even going to our destination but still took us the entire way, luxury door to door service with a good chat too. That's New Zealand. Hahei campsite was lovely, right on the beach. Our neighbours, a Canadian boy and his mother (Sam and Sophie), were very friendly and before long were joining us on the sunrise hike, along with another friend of theirs (Verity). That night Izzy and I hiked up to a nature reserve, Te Pare, to watch the sunset. It was incredible. I've never seen such a deep red sky. The pictures look insane.
4:30am wake up. Not much fun but well worth it. We reached Cathedral cove before sunrise and there was only two people there. We took hundreds of photos, explored the area and chilled on the beach. It's an amazing location and we'll worth visiting - but go early, I cannot stress that enough! We headed back along the trail (against the hoards of people) to another beach named Stingray Bay. Guess what we saw there? No, silly, it was a stingray! Just chilling by the beach, taking in the sun. We then headed to the next cove, Gemstone Bay, where there were even more Stingrays! Sadly, no gemstones.
Back in Hahei we packed up, said goodbye to our new friends and headed onto the road to hitchhike home. It took longer this time. A few cars stopped but were going the wrong way. We walked perhaps one kilometre before someone was heading the right direction. And once again they went above and beyond to take us right to the ferry, further than their destination. New Zealand is great. The nice lady who offered us this lift was a nurse from Hamilton (NZ) and gave us recommendations for places to visit in Hamilton, as we are planning to visit in a month.
These two days have been incredible; the views and the people and the experiences. We returned home less than 24 hours after leaving but it felt like a long weekend. And the final cost of our trip? $50 for a campsite pitch, or about £10 each.