Sunday, 1 January 2017

Hot Water Beach

Happy New Year! 2017 is going to be epic.

We're in the Coromandel for new year. It's my first visit to this part of the country and one that's long overdue. It's a great place to relax with friends. We're enjoying the beautiful weather and a range of activities within an hour of our accommodation, but more about that later.

Yesterday, we drove out to Hot Water Beach, famous for its ... well, hot water pools on the beach. Considered one of New Zealand's premium destinations, visitors flock to this tiny town armed with spades to dig their own little spa pools in the sand. And the water certainly is hot.
It's hot in there!
The water is heated by a reservoir of hot water and heated rocks two kilometres beneath the surface. It is a remnant of volcanic activity that occurred in the Coromandel region 5 to 9 million years ago. There are two springs that are accessible for two hours either side of low tide.

This is the tranquil view you'll meet when you first arrive at Hot Water Beach. It really is beautiful.
Hot Water Beach
This is the view of the side where the hot water pools are. Zoom in and you'll see hundreds of people clambering over each other in a relatively small patch of sand. Some are digging and damming sand dunes while others are enjoying the fruits of their labour. A few pools that have cooled down are left abandoned as the tide rushes in and their patrons have jumped into another in search of hot water.
Hot water pools
We stayed for an hour, jumping between holes and soaking our feet in various hot pools. It's a beach like no other. Imagine my surprise to read this article about Hot Water Beach etiquette on the very day we were visiting. Sure, it's crazy and hectic but it's also a wonderfully unique experience in a beautiful part of the world. I don't think beach goers would expect to find a deserted attraction, especially during the busy summer holidays.

Don't let the busyness put you off. Hot Water Beach is definitely one to tick off your travel bucket list.

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