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Tairua: the highs, the Lowes (originally posted 12/20/05)

11From the very north end of NZwe are slowly now making our way down. We  stopped in a little hidden town called Tairua and stayed with Andrea and Shot Lowe. They are from Kearney and have been spending the cold, gloomy Nebraska winters in Tairua for the past 15 years. They really treated us like family and had an awesome view of the bay the volcano.  We were fighting off the rain to be able to enjoy the beach but the rain here is torrential (to keep the rain forests green) but we still managed to visit the Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach (which is much better in the rain) Cathedral Cove was spectacular with a great golden beach and Hot Water Beach is almost too hot to handle. Thermal activity beneath the surface warms the sand to where you can dig a hole, fill it up with sea water and chill in a giant hot tub! At points it was almost too hot and we gladly invited the waves to wash in.  The Lowes and Tairua were a great break from hostels and camp sites and we are very thankful for their hospitality.