The Coromandel | New Zealand

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is located in the coromandel Peninsula on the West Coast, on the North Island in New Zealand.

This extraordinary beach is visited by thousands of locals and tourists every year to experience the natural hot water beneath the sand, accessible 2 hours either side of low tide. The thermal area is located in front of the rocky area in the sea in the middle of the beach, the hot water is just beneath the surface of the sand. Rent a spade from your hostel, hotel or the local beach store for around $5nzd.


Where to stay in the Hot Water Beach

The allocated and guarenteed accomodation for the Kiwi Experience is the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, cost $32nzd pppn. Our driver for this leg of the journey ‘Guy’ provided some spades for our use as well, Thanks Guy. This Holiday park offers a range of accommodation including campervan parking, tents, hobbit houses, mini lodges and dorms.

There are washing and drying on site, as well as mini kitchens in each lodge, a fully equipped kitchen with a television, 6 bed dorm rooms, 2 showers and 2 toilets per lodge. Spade hire, DVD rental, a mini store with essentials for sale, including eggs, milk, sugar, tea bags, chocolate, alcohol, water, ice creams and avocados. As well as a freezer full of frozen food.

There is no free wifi provided at this accommodation, in fact nothing provided is indeed free. However, it is a really nice holiday park, it’s very clean, and has everything that you need! It is just a 5 minute walk to the hot water beach! There is an on site fish and chip restaurant, they sell a variety of burgers, salads, hot dogs and fish and chips.

How long to stay in the Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove

We stayed a massive four nights in the Hot Water Beach, this is not really necessary – especially if you are with Kiwi and without your own wheels. However if you have your own transport you could do some extra exploring and staying the extra time would be worth while. We had a good time, and the reason we hung around so long was in attempt to do the highly recommended kayaking at cathedral cove with family run cathedral cove kayaking. Cost 95nzd. Sadly there was just too much wind and we weren’t able too. Instead we watched all three Lord of the rings in preparation for our visit to Hobbiton, visited beautiful cathedral cove and the hot water beach multiple times.


Visiting the Hot Water Beach

Do not swim at the Hot Water Beach! On arrival to the beach you will see the warning signs of the very strong currents, rip tides and general warnings. This is one of the most dangerous beaches in New Zealand, and I would encourage you to be very cautious when entering the water.

Digging your own Hot Tub!

First you need a spare of some sort, we saw people using their hands, spades, shovels and even boat oars! Use whatever you and find and dig your hole! If you visit during low tide when it is dark, take a torch if you have one, and as at night it is usually cold, you can feel the heat through the sand on your feet which will help you to locate the hot water, and help you decide where to dig. In the day time we found it a little more tricky, with many of the people we asked, admitting they were sitting in cold water! Why they continued to dig with only cold water meeting them I am not too sure! After about 10 minutes walking around and testing different area, we found it! We had a pool of Hot Water in no time! It’s crazy!


Be Prepares, the Beach gets very busy during the low tide with everone wanting to create their own hot pool.

There is parking behind the beach, however there are 24 hour parking fees.

Top Tip – If you visit the beach in the evenings low tide, when walking down the leafy track to the beach, turn off your light periodicall and keep your eyes peeled as we manages to spot some glow worms on the rocks! 

Cathedral Cove

The Kiwi Experience bus will take you to the car park for your trip to Cathedral Cove, it will depend on the weather and also the tide schedule at Hot Water Beach as to which order you make your visits.


Cathedral Cove is only accessible by foot, boat and kayak. From the car park there is a 45 minute scenic walk to the Cathedral Cove. The cove and the infamous rock formations in the sea are stunning. The water here is much safer and really beautiful, I’d advise getting your bus group in for a swim and some wave jumping, We did and it was super fun!


If you have extra time on your hands you could arrange a snorkelling trip, there are also various boar trips available or you could spend some time at the beach taking it all in.

Enjoy, Love B x

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