Getting Steamy at Kawhia Hot Water Beach

Bear with me as I brain dump about these last six weeks.

It’s been six weeks since Devin arrived in New Zealand.

Six weeks of happy-ever-after learning all about working together as a team all over again. I married a good guy, let me tell you. He’s quick to help clean, has jumped into working with me, is happy to lift heavy things in and out of the van, and makes food for us when I’m lost in a wedding. He tells me he loves me a LOT and is patient when I get frustrated. And… according to my friends he’s also made my insta/facebook/blog so much more interesting because there’s a human in my photos… he’s really really good at being a model.

Basically, I married up.

We’ve been on the road since day one – housesitting, working a marketing tour for Cadbury, running a couple of photobooths, shooting weddings, launching a conference website, and editing other weddings (It’s slow season for editing, thankfully). Six weeks in and we’re still trying to form some sort of routine. I’m used to living like this, but I was nervous for Devin and I’m so pleased he’s adapted pretty well. I mean, he mostly likes not having to wake up at dawn and hustle down to the office every morning. That’s a win.

Anyone who lives on the road knows that this whole lifestyle gets old. It doesn’t take long for little stresses to wear you down and we’d appreciate your prayers over the next year as we decide what to say yes/no to. Our calendar is CRAZY with housing, multiple jobs, friends, visitors, and travel. Everything is meticulously planned so we don’t double book anything or leave me without enough time to edit. We have become pros at the shared calendar, haha. If you’ve ever lived on the road and have any ideas/advice for making this easier, let me know!! I’m all ears!

On of our “things” is to make sure we are seeing wild New Zealand in spite of all the work and calendar headaches. We have a map with an ever growing number of pins of the places we want to go to. That way, when we are housesitting nearby we can schedule in time to explore. What do they say? Being well scheduled gives you the freedom to be spontaneous? Or something like that… There is freedom in planning!!

One such ‘pin’ was Hot Water Beach in Kawhia. It’s similar to the famous one in the Coromandel, but quieter because it’s not on a major thoroughfare. We got there early for a picnic lunch and were the only ones on the beach. Devin is a MAGNET for sandflies and swells up when they bite, so the first hour wasn’t so pleasant. Eventually the tide got low enough for us to start digging and other tourists started trickling down the sand dunes … they were lucky we had already found the thermal hot spot and could start digging right away! We did bring shovels – always prepared – but we let the shoveless borrow them for awhile. I promise we didn’t dig this hole with just our hands. (Although it wouldn’t have been that difficult.)

The deal is this  below the high tide line there is hiding a thermal hot spring just waiting to be uncovered. You only need to dig a few feet before you reach water too hot to sit in. So while the tide is still retreating, you can dig a ‘hot tub’ and relax and enjoy the incredible views for a few hours from your own tiny slice of paradise. It’s a surreal feeling… one of the many oddities of living on an island that is built on volcanoes and lots of active geothermal activity.

We stayed and watched the sun set most of the way, but left before it got too dark. There was a tall sand dune you had to climb to get back to the parking lot and we did not want to be doing that in the dark. At the top of the dune we watched the final glimmers of sun sink below the horizon.. it was majestic. (Thank goodness Devin carried most of our stuff out so I could have my hands free for the camera!! haha) 
**Check out the whole gallery of these images & more here**