Hot Water Beach isn’t exactly your average beach. Found on the northeast tip of New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula, east of Auckland and north of Rotorua, this strip of sand sometimes serves as a natural spa of sorts. Around low tide, hot water from underground hot springs filters up through the sand. Many visitors take advantage of the situation, digging out small pools to soak in. The water can reach a temperature of around 150 degrees, hence the beach’s name.
Many visitors who are spending time on the North Island and planning visits to the New Zealand beaches look to enjoy the Hot Water Beach spa experience. It is common to bring a shovel and bucket along for the trip to the beach, though you can also look to rent such equipment at a nearby surf shop. It doesn’t cost anything to dig a hole in the sand and soak in the soothing spring water at Hot Water Beach, and this is part of the reason why it is such a popular pursuit. In fact, more than 100,000 people visit Hot Water Beach on an average annual basis, and it is easily one of the Waikato Region’s most popular geothermal attractions.
Hot Water Beach visitors who aren’t soaking in a natural hot spring pool often find themselves strolling along the sand and taking in the picturesque views. Swimming and surfing are other possible activities, though this isn’t exactly the best beach in New Zealand for such pursuits. Hot Water Beach is known for its strong rip currents, and only strong swimmers should even consider swimming or surfing. Flags designate the safest swimming spot for those who simply must get in the water, and it is best to swim or surf when the Hot Water Beach Lifeguard Service is on patrol.