The Hot Water Beach on the North Island of New Zealand is an amazing treasure for tourist. We know one of the main reasons why people visiting New Zealand is to explore natural treasures never seen before. Examples are the geothermal active areas in Rotorua, the luminous caves of Waitomo or the natural hot tubs that you can create on the beach. Of this last one goes our first entrance in discovering the trip, of the Hot Water Beach.
And what is that about Hot Water Beach?
Let’s say it’s a geothermal beach. This means that, under the sand, there are underground thermal springs that sprout to the surface when the tide falls. This translates into shallow areas along the beach where hot water can reach up to 60 degrees Celsius.
Where can I find them?
The most popular Hot Water Beach is the one found on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato region (on the north island). It is a very popular attraction among locals and tourists in both winter and summer, which means that there are enough people most of the time.
However, this phenomenon does not only occur in this peninsula. There are other lesser known areas with the same potential. We went to the Kawhia region (pronounced Kafía), near Waitomo. The way there is worth mentioning: winding roads surrounded by flora and fauna of all kinds ending with the sea on your left.
How to get to the Ocean Beach in Kawhia?
The truth is that the procedure does not have much science, but it is always good to ask locals to give you some guidelines to explore Hot Water Beach. The owner of the Oparau Roadhouse gas station helped us a lot. It was so nice that he even left us to shovels to dig.
The essential thing is to look at what time the low tide of that day will be and go an hour before or after. Ours was at 11:00 AM and at 10:00 AM we were already on the beach digging. It is also important not to rush. As soon as you arrive, you see other people’s holes and the instinct asks you to start digging next door… ERROR! We with the emotion began to dig in areas that after we learned, were very far from the plates.
The trick is to wait until the tide is quite low and walk slowly along the beach feeling the temperature of the sand. Better yet, if you sink your feet a bit in the areas that you feel the hottest sand, it will help you differentiate if the heat comes from the sun or from the subterranean thermal. You will know that you have found your hole when the water that you feel under your feet is ENOUGH HOT when we found it we could not keep our feet inside nor 3 seconds.
Once you find it, dig! And you already do it as big as you want.
It is a fun, low-cost and pleasant experience that allows you to meet people and enjoy natural pearls worthy of this wonderful country. 100% recommended!