Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, NZ
Hot Water Beach is located in the southern part of Mercury Bay on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula south of Hahei & Cathedral Cove. One of the region's most fascinating places, Hot Water Beach is well known to most New Zealanders, and indeed these days a world famous tourist hot spot. It is estimated that nearly 130,000 international and local visitors come to Hot Water Beach every year.
From around 2 hours either side of low tide, you can dig in the sand and natural thermal hot spring water will bubble up from deep within the earth allowing you to create your own natural spa pool. It's good fun all year around.
The location where you can dig to find the hot spring water is near the rocks at the southern end of the beach. In peak season the beach can get a little crowded, so it’s a good idea to arrive at least 2 hours before low tide so you can take a look around, get prepared and find a good spot.
The natural hot springs are created by two underground fissures which naturally pump water as hot as 64C (147F) through the sand. There are numerous areas with natural thermal hot springs around New Zealand, however Hot Water Beach is unique in that it allows you to dig your own pool in the sand just meters from the stunning Pacific Ocean and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and the waves crashing in front of your very own self-made hot pool.
As well as the beautiful setting and relaxing hot water, the natural springs at Hot Water Beach also provide some great health benefits. The hot water contains large amounts of salt (note this is not salt water) as well as lithium, potassium, fluorine, calcium, magnesium, bromine and silica. All of these minerals all have health benefits, for example the magnesium in the water helps to convert blood sugar to energy and gives you a healthy skin.
Remember the hot springs are only accessible from 2 hours either side of low tide, and you will need to bring you own spade/shovel to dig you pool. Otherwise spades are available for hire at Hotties Cafe, Hot Water Beach Cafe and the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park. Our local tides and weather page will direct you to details on the current Hot Water Beach & Whitianga tide times.
Ngati Hei are the tangata whenua (people of the land) along the Mercury Bay coastline. Please remember to be a tidy kiwi (or visitor) while visiting Hot Water Beach and respect this unique and special part of Aoteroa (New Zealand).
What else is happening at The Coromandel's Hot Water Beach?
For the confident surfer, Hot Water Beach is one of the better north-eastern Coromandel beach breaks. However anyone thinking of swimming should take care as dangerous rips and strong undertows make it a dangerous beach for swimming.
There are a variety of accommodation options from camping grounds to Bed & Breakfasts and luxury lodges. Along with the fun to be had at the beach itself, there are some nice little cafes, art galleries, and there are also a couple of local breweries located nearby. While you’re in the area, Hot Water Beach is only 5-10 minutes’ drive from Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove marine reserve.
Parking at Hot Water Beach is available in three locations: The Main Beach carpark, Te Waiwai carpark and the Main Store carpark. Note, fees may apply at the Main Store carpark.
Warning! Swimming in the sea at Hot Water Beach can be dangerous - there are strong currents, rips and holes in the area. Please do not swim in the surf unless you are a strong swimmer. If you do decide to swim, please only swim between the flags while the Hot Water Beach Surf Life Savers are on patrol. If you’re not sure it’s safe, it’s advised you instead save the swimming for another beach. Note: During bad weather big waves can make hot springs difficult to access.
See the natural hot pools in action...