Have you ever built your own beach hot tub? Well during low tide at Hot Water Beach you can do just that! Hot Water Beach is one of the most unique in New Zealand, and a must-visit if you’re traveling to Coromandel. This special place attracts travelers from all over the world to experience the natural springs under the sand. Here’s how to get there, some helpful information on the Hot Water beach tides and Top 10 Park, plus where to dig your own personal jacuzzi!
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Getting to Hot Water Beach in Coromandel
There’s a few different ways to get here depending on where you’re coming from. Many people make the long day trip from Auckland or drive from one of the other towns on the Coromandel Peninsula.
However, our best recommendation is to spend the night at the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Park or somewhere else close by. The top 10 is great because they are very nice campgrounds which we stayed in all the time while traveling around New Zealand in our Jucy Van but also have cabins for rent if you are traveling with a car.
The reason behind this is so you want to hit it at the right Hot Water Beach tides. As we’ll explain more soon, you can only dig the self-made baths at certain times of the day.
This means if you stay overnight at Hot Water Beach in Coromandel you’ll have a place to stay within walking distance. If you’re lucky like us you’ll even get to see it for sunset AND sunrise!
Hot Water Beach Top 10 & More Places to Stay
There are limited accommodations where you can actually walk to Hot Water Beach New Zealand. Yet, the town of Hahei is about a 10 minute drive away for more places to stay. This is also where the famous Cathedral Cove Beach is located.
Campers & Cabins: Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park – We rented a cabin at the Hot Water Beach which was great! Part of the collection of Top 10 parks featured all around New Zealand. The rooms are very basic and small but you can use all the holiday park facilities and walk to the beach in 5 minutes.
Whole House – Hot Water Beach Bure Wera – Private one bedroom house just a 100 meter stroll from the hot springs! You literally won’t be able to find anywhere closer to stay.
Fun Vacation – Tatahi Lodge Beach Resort – This resort is located in Hahei which is just a quick drive away! Enjoy walking around the 1.5 acres of tropical gardens and the lodge-style apartment accommodations.
Hot Water Beach Tides
Listen up because this is important! The Hot Water Beach tides are a major key to your visit, especially if you are just going on a day trip. That’s because the hot springs are only reachable at low tide!
Hot Water Beach High Tide
This is the time of day when you’re not going to want to visit Hot Water Beach in New Zealand. The water will be so far in that there’s no room to dig your hole and the springs will be covered with the crashing waves. So if you want to truly experience this special beach you’ll have to wait for low tide.
Hot Water Beach Low Tide
The best time to go to Hot Water Beach is low tide. Yet, you don’t have to go exactly at the peak time. Two hours before or after Hot Water beach low tide is actually fine! This is when the ocean will be out the furthest and you’ll have plenty of sand to settle in and enjoy the natural wonders of New Zealand.
Science Behind the Hot Water Beach Springs
The story behind Hot Water Beach in Coromandel is truly amazing! It starts with a reservoir of water and hot rocks that sit two kilometers beneath the sand. This is caused by volcanic activity that occurred in this area over 5 million years ago.
The two springs are made by the release of carbon dioxide at the surface. This in turn creates hot water just under the sand. The water can reach up to 64 Celsius (147 Fahrenheit) so be careful where you dig!
Digging Your Personal Beach Hot Tub
We hope you brought your shovel because it’s time to dig! If you arrive at Hot Water Beach in the beginning of low tide you’ll have plenty of options.
The later it gets the more packed it is, and definitely more so on the weekends. Still, this doesn’t mean you won’t find a spot. In fact, by getting there late you might even find an empty hole or two that’s already dug for you!
You’ll notice everyone congregating around the same area between the two springs which is a 5 minute walk from the parking lot. The closer you dig to the springs, the hotter the water gets. Some parts that are too close will be even too hot to sit in… Be careful!
So how do you dig the perfect hole? We found that just to the left of the right of the springs is the sweet spot. Here the hot water mixes with the cool ocean for the perfect temperature.
Press your heals into the sand and feel the heat before digging a full hole. It will be clear from when you start it it’s too hot or too cold.
Helpful Hot Water Beach New Zealand Tips
Bring a Shovel: The most important thing you’ll need to bring with you to Hot Water Beach! Depending on the time of year you can rent them from the small store or barrow one from your hotel. At Hot Water Beach Top 10 Hotel they had plenty for rent!
Check the Tides: Again, make sure to check the Hot Water Beach tides so you don’t miss out on all the fun.
Stay Local: If you can swing it definitely stay the night. This way you can get the most out of your time. Plus you won’t have to drive long distances after your soak.
Watch Where You Dig: There are two hot springs, and they can get VERY hot if you dig in the wrong spots. Don’t start shoveling too close to them or you may get burned!
Open Holes: If you’re arriving late you might get lucky and find a hole already dug. Plop right in and enjoy.
Drinking Water: Make sure to bring as much water as possible. Soaking in the hot water can dehydrate you like crazy.
Night Time Soak: Much to our surprise, after the sun went down at Hot Water Beach New Zealand people kept showing up! You can soak for as long as you want just be sure to bring a light if you’re staying late.
Soaking at Hot Water Beach
Now that you know all about how to get there, the science behind the water, and digging your hole, it’s time to enjoy it! And trust us… Once you’ve built your own personal hot tub it will be hard to get out.
We spent about 15 minutes digging and almost 3 hours soaking, so you know it’s totally worth it. Unlike a normal jacuzzi you’ll only be sitting in a few inches of water.
That doesn’t matter, soaking in this warm bath as you look out at the waves and New Zealand landscape is a wonderful feeling. Make sure to jump in the ocean to cool off at the end of your day!
We visited in the middle of winter and the Hot Water Beach was just what we needed to warm up. In the summer we’ve been told it can be the most packed with people. So be prepared for that depending on what time of year you visit!
Have any questions about Hot Water Beach in Coromandel or want to share your own tips for visiting this incredible place? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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New Zealand Travel Planning
Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.
Rental Car: If you’re not renting a van you’ll need a car to see this country. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to get around.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from tickets to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to a Hobbiton movie set tour, and even a Northland hole in the rock dolphin cruise!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for insurance the last few years and they are always there when we need them.