We were squatters at Hot Water Beach, a puncture and repair job in nearby Whitianga stole most of our soaking, and all of our digging time. We arrived spadeless and hoping for an abandoned hot pool. The sea had already started its push toward the high tide mark and fortunately for us some people had dug their free spa and moved on.
We sat in a big hot puddle and watched fierce waves in the distance. The waves would eventually wash away all evidence that we were here, in a hot pool of water surrounded by foreign accents and backpackers with spades and stories to tell.
This day would become a story to tell too, about the beach with the reservoir of hot water and heated rocks beneath. Like the Goldilocks fairy tale, the water may be too hot, but if you have a bucket of sea water handy, the water temperature can be made just right.
You don’t even have to dig a hole they’ll say, just bury your toes, you may strike water so hot you’ll start calling it boiling beach. That infamous spot on the Coromandel Peninsula where the surf is fierce and beverages get stacked in the sand. Cutting through the nostalgia they may grumble that parking the van nearby cost $2 an hour. That’s the price you pay to soak in Nature’s hot springs in the middle of nowhere.
A man made hot pool is an option one-two hours either side of low or high tide.
Spades can be hired or borrowed from most accommodation options, or check at the businesses opposite the beach.
Note the water safety warning via Tourism Coromandel.
The car park at the beach costs $2 an hour but there are free parks a short walk away.
Where we stayed – Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, 790 Hot Water Beach Road
Hot Water Beach Top 10 was our pick of camping spots in the area, it’s a sparkling new and modern holiday park with plenty of facilities, and it’s a short distance from Hot Water Beach. I fell for the resident cat and design of the dinky Deluxe Cabins. We had the caravan in tow so spent two nights on a powered site for $46 per night, the Kombi van makes a better photo though.