It does get crowded, especially if a coach arrives and the pools build up next to another like honeycombs. We soaked and wallowed for a while then dragged our sand encrusted selves back to the cafe for bacon apricot chicken pie and bacon and egg quiche with at least five veggies lurking in it. There's a nice 'art' place with shell and stone art, strings of beads and shells, green Indonesian river rock set ito concrete pots and so on - lots of inspiration.
Then we drove past Hahei and walked to Cathedral Cove. It's the full half hour and a little more, up slopes, down slopes, through kissing gates and finally down several sets of steps but it's well worth it (and I was more tired than usual after the digging). There are a series of headlands in white stone, with emerald grass on top: the beach is nearly pink with tiny shell fragments. And the sea is blue and green, cutting the cave out into a cathdral nave and scouring round a stack, with the cliffs worn into honeycomb at the top.
On the way back we saw tui mobbed by starlings and mobbing back. The tui has two voices. Tweet tweet it starts out, tweet. But tweet tweet is followed by a rasping honk squark honk skwark.
We drove on round to ferry landing. It's a passenger ferry and it's a stones throuw across to Whitianga - you could almost wade it. But with the car we had to drive all the way back round!
Dinner at Salt. Apparantly this used to be the local pub but there's little trace of it except maybe the air freshener in the loo which is Moroccan Sunset. We had rack of veal with risotto, snapper with carrot puree (an icon of new zealand the waitress said, delicious but sometimes overpriced), a creme de cacao baba with banana sauce and macadamias, nectarine compote with sour cream and manuka honey ice cream, a rather delicious Gravity sauv blanc, an ozzie viognier and a good night's sleep.