Byrne Abroad - Hot Water Beach and beyond

Cody Byrne is a US based Omega customer who arrived in NZ with a backpack, camera, and a working visa good for one year. In Cody's words "I had absolutely no real plan other than which hostel I could stay at for the first four nights. The journey is the destination, right? So with the plan of winging it for ten weeks, the adventure began." Just a few hours after landing in Auckland, Cody made friends, rented a car and her adventure began.  With her very kind permission we are reproducing parts of her travel blog and some of her great photos here in the hope that it will inspire you too, to explore New Zealand...

First up - an introduction to the kiwi lingo:

Sweet as, bro

I’ve learned a few new words & phrases from my time in Kiwiland & I wanted to share. Most of them are specific to NZ, but a few are more “UK-influenced” or just new to me!

  • "Way in" = Instead of a enter sign saying "Entrance"
  • "Way out" = Instead of "Exit"
  • "Car park" = Parking lot 
  • "Peckish" = Hungry (Ex: Feeling peckish?)
  • "Post shop" = Post office
  • "Rubbish bin" = Trash can
  • "Have a think" = Think about it 
  • "Hang-ups" = A grudge
  • "Knock off" = Clock off 
  • "Sealed" = Cement/compacted
  • "Give way" = Yield
  • "Ta" = Thank you 
  • "Heaps" = Lots of
  • "Sweet as" = Sweet, awesome 
  • "Easy as" = Piece of cake
  • "Cold as" = Super cold 
  • "Bits" = Pieces (ex: I love you to bits)
  • "Fizzy" = Soda
  • "Alt-y" = Hipster
  • "I can’t be bothered" = "I’m too lazy to care or too lazy to do something"
  • "Sorted" = Figured out 
  • "Have here or take away" = For here or to go

On the Road:

Our first stop was the Hot Water Beach, which was AWESOME! You walk out to the beach, dig a hole in the sand, and then it fills up with boiling hot water from the ground (#geothermalactivity). People dug huge ones and then just sat for hours, pretty much like a natural hot tub. Some areas were really really really hot, and others just felt like a warm bath. 

Leaving Hahei, the town where Hot Water Beach is, we headed farther north on the Coromandel Peninsula towards Cathedral Cove. It’s about a 45-minute hike to get to the actual Cove, but we stopped at more places along the way (such as Gemstone Bay and other little spots). Right before we left, one of my flip flops broke so I trekked the whole way back with only one shoe! Perhaps it was for the best, because from then on I felt very “one” with the land. 

It doesn’t take too long to get around the north island, but the scenery is so gorgeous wherever you drive so it feels even shorter! Our next destination was Hamilton (the largest inland city on the north island) and where we ate dinner & stayed for the night. 

We left Hamilton to head towards Waitomo to see the glowworm caves!  This was one of the most amazing experiences. Looking up from our boat felt like we were looking up at a night sky full of constellations!  On our way to Waitomo we passed through Otorohonga - home of the giant kiwi and as we headed back upto Matamata found the the home of the giant sheep!  Next stop Hobbiton - but that's in the next blog post!

beautiful Coromandel Peninusula
Cathedral Cove
glow worm caves
on the road to Wellington