A little over 2 hours drive from home on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, sits Hot Water Beach. The name, wait for it, comes from the underground hot springs which filter up through the sand enabling visitors to dig holes in the sand and make their own spa pools (for about one hour either side of low tide). Lined by a feisty surf beach (with Castle Rock in the foreground) and a long shard of cliffs, Hot Water Beach is book-ended by tufts of pohutukawa trees. In other words - it’s fucking beautiful.
This morning, at 5:30 AM (low tide), Emma and I wandered across the black, seemingly frozen sand to dig one such pool. Within about 10 minutes we’d made a pool big enough to house about 8 people and hot enough to boil an egg. From there we watched the sun rise through the volcanic steam as the waves crashed against Castle Rock.
A pretty properly perfect way to usher in my 41st year.