Hot Water Beach ~ New Zealand Beach Files

Coromandel Peninsula road trip
A soak in the spas of Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is one of the most famous attractions on the Coromandel Peninsula. Can you imagine a beach where you dig a hole and hot water seeps out of it? No? Well I can assure you it exists!

The lowdown:

Where: 33km from Whitianga (pronounced fi-te-ang-ah)
Best for: Chilling on the beach, splashing around in the sea, oh and creating your own spa
Famous for: Hot, hot water rising out of the sand!

Does this look like a normal beach to you?

Hot Water Beach

Thought it might. However just behind me in this photo are scenes of a completely different nature:

busy Hot Water Beach

Not such a normal beach after all!

Yes, that’s right, this is Hot Water Beach where you can dig your own spa pool and sit and enjoy the warm water that seeps into the hole you dig. As you can see, there’s not just anywhere you can dig. Apparently there’s a small portion between two rocks where the hot springs appear, but then again this is only feasible at low tide, so you should definitely check the tide times before making your trip.

We were naive. “I’m not sure it will be hot enough” was one though in our heads, however, we were soon to be proved wrong. Hiring our spade, we set out to the area where no-one had dug a hole (see above).

BIG mistake. The water was practically scalding us and we quickly got the hell out of that area, with everyone secretly laughing at us because they’d probably made the same mistake earlier.

Our next tactic was to find a spot where someone had vacated, but the bottom of the hole was dry. Bingo, we found one and it was set upon with the spade.

Digging at Hot Water Beach

Doing the “man’s job” – his words, not mine!

Success, we’d found water! Digging in the sand is always fighting a losing battle for the most part, however a hole big enough was dug and we got in. But it was uncomfortably hot. We couldn’t regulate the temperature in any way.

dug a hole Hot Water Beach

Proud of his accomplishment, but to no avail!

New tactic. Find an secure a spot with water that someone else has vacated.

We did this a couple of times in the end. The first hole we stole had a “hot” and “cold” tap, so we could actually regulate the temperature, but still it wasn’t quite right, until the family next to us vacated their huge hole and we quickly jumped in.

Success at last and finally we could enjoy a slightly more temperate hot spring experience at Hot Water Beach.

Hot Water Beach

Successful steal of someone else’s hard work!

It’s funny lying in the hot spring. This one was particularly deep and looking around, all you could see were other people’s head popping out of the sand. Quite a sight to behold!

View from spa at Hot Water Beach
The weirdest thing about laying in the pool was the fact that every time you dug your fingers or heels into the sand, more hot water rose to the surface. It’s completely unnatural and natural at the same time!

New Zealand is very famous for it’s thermal activity and Hot Water Beach is just one of the places where you can experience such strange activity.

The worst thing about Hot Water Beach however, is the fact that because you are lying in the pool you get sand EVERYWHERE and then you have to jump into the cooler sea to wash yourself off; you then want to jump back into the hot pool to warm yourself up again and the vicious circle continues… or is it just me?!

Anyway, Hot Water Beach is a definite must on your trip around the Coromandel. Weird but fun!

Do you think Hot Water Beach is weird?

Hot Water Beach crowds

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Author: Bennett

2 years as an expat in China and now doing the same in New Zealand, Bennett sure likes to experience "slow travel!"

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  1. I find that both fascinating and amusing at the same time. It does seem very popular by the number of people on the beach. I can see the Catch 22 between the hot and cold sea water though.

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    • Catch 22 is never a fun situation, haha! It’s definitely a beach typical of New Zealand awesome though 🙂

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  2. How incredible!! Only in New Zealand… again, need to add this one to the bucket list! I wonder why more people haven’t heard about this place…

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    • This was a really fun place to spend a couple of hours!

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  3. Definitely one of the many cool beaches New Zealand has to offer, and one of the more unique! I’ve been, but it was years ago now – think another trip might definitely be in order soon!

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    • I don’t think there’s anything that prepares you for the weirdness of boiling hot water which rises out of the sand, especially as a Brit who is used to water at the beach being cold! I hope you get back again soon, Kate 🙂

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