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