Hot Water Beach is an NZ Must Do and one of its most dramatic places. From the sound of its surging waves to the fierce bite of hot sand underneath your bare feet at low tide, Hot Water Beach presents a landscape and an atmosphere like nowhere else.
Popular for a patch of thermal water bubbling just beneath the surface of the sand at low tide, Hot Water Beach has achieved cult-like status as a worldwide wonder right here on The Coromandel. Visitors flock to the usually deserted Hot Water Beach two hours either side of low tide. The lure of hot water brings people in buses, campervans, tour groups and rental vehicles. They pull into the recently expanded carparks with a mixture of excitement, fascination and anticipation on their faces.
At high tide, the beach appears much as you might expect - dramatic rolling surf, craggy rock-edged coastline, vast horizon with the shadowy glimpse of islands in the distance. At low-tide, the scene is spectacularly altered. Every day, without exception for weather, holiday, season or circumstance, you will find a community of people gathered within a 20 metre radius. They will be industriously digging a small pool or soaking in the rewarding results of theirs or someone else’s earlier efforts. The water is hot - up to 64 degrees celsius.
The main ‘Pay and Display’ car park is situated at the southernmost end of Hot Water Beach. It has newly upgraded restroom facilities, including showers. It is a 24 hour carpark with a charge of $2 per hour or $15 per day. Adventure awaits just beyond the shallow stream which must be walked across, pants rolled up and towels and shovels in arms in order to get to the ‘Hot Rock’ about 200 metres along the beach.
Two smaller carparks further back along the road offer free parking and a pleasant stroll alongside the ‘Pa Track’ beside the stream if you prefer not to wade through water.
The tide will determine when you visit Hot Water Beach. But it is up to you how long to stay.
Hot Water Beach is a place favoured by intrepid adventurers and sight-seeers alike. It offers a little work, a little play and a lot of relaxation in a setting at once social and solitary.
On a cold Coromandel day - or a rainy one - a trip to Hot Water Beach cannot be beat.
This stretch of surf is hazardous, with dangerous rips challenging even the strongest of swimmers. Caution is advised. Paddle with care, even when wading knee deep at Hot Water Beach. Volunteer lifeguards patrol the beach every weekend from Labour Weekend until Easter during summer. Regional guards patrol the beach from December until February.
SAFETY: Hot Water Beach has very strong currents, dangerous rips and holes which can make it unsafe. Please swim between the flags and make sure children, friends and family are supervised at all times.