World Amazing Stuff: Hot Water Beach in New Zealand

Hot Water Beach in New Zealand

The Hot Water Beach is a popular and geothermal attraction located on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand approximately 12km south east of Whitianga, and approximately 175km from Auckland. Its name comes from underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches.

Between low and high tides, warm water from two underground hot springs rises up through the sand, and by scooping a shallow hole in the sand, you can create a small pool of warm water to lie on. The phenomenon occurs only at low to mid-tide when the water is low to expose the area of sand with hot water underneath. It’s best time to go two hours before and after low tide.

During peak season, hundreds of people and family take to the beach with spades and bucket and start digging pools large enough to lay and relax while the warm water envelops them. The deeper you dig, the hotter the water becomes with temperature reaching as hot as 64°C. Because the water is scalding hot, diggers would often dig a channel to the sea to allow cold water to mix in. With the ebb and flow of the tide each individually created hot pool is washed away clearing the way for the next influx of visitors.

The beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists visiting New Zealand. Annual visitor numbers have been estimated at 700,000 making it one of the most popular tourists destination in the Waikato Region. However, care needs to be exercised as the location of the hot springs are not far from the sea even at low tide, and visitors are known to be caught unaware by dangerous rip currents, holes and large breaking waves that have claimed the lives of many in past.

Hot Water Beach best pictures