Wouldn’t we all love a luxurious, hot soak in our very own custom-made jacuzzi? A jacuzzi overlooking a turquoise ocean surrounded by stunning mountain scenery? Seems like a budget-busting dream but, the thing is, absolutely anyone can afford this little taste of sumptuous living.
It may sound bizarre but it’s true. You dig a hole in the sand, wait for it to fill with hot water and then sit in the hole as if it was a jacuzzi. And you do all this just yards from the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean. Quite amazing really. But then again, Hot Water Beach is a pretty amazing place.
Located in the stunning Coromandel region of New Zealand’s upper North Island, Hot Water Beach might not be the most creatively named beach in the country but it’s certainly the most unusual. When the time and tide is right – usually an hour or two before and after low tide – you can create your own little jacuzzi thanks to the massive reservoir of boiling hot water that lies way beneath the beach, a throwback to volcanic activity thousands of years ago. The water slowly makes its way to the surface and is considerably cooler by the time it gets there – but still warm enough for a long, lazy soak. And don’t be too fussed by this talk of geothermal activity. It’s highly unlikely that you and your rubber duckie will be blown sky-high by some unforseen volcanic event.
Many visitors to Hot Water Beach dig with their hands but the best way to do it is to hire a spade from the local surf shop. After all where’s the luxury in a warm bath if you have to work too hard for the pleasure? The nice people at the surf shop will also tell you the best time to start digging. If you want to be really well organised, low tide data for the month is also available online, allowing you to time your visit perfectly.
If you get hot and flustered in your natural jacuzzi, you’re just a step away from the cooling waters of the Pacific Ocean, but unless you’re a very strong swimmer, a quick paddle is advised. The sea off Hot Water Beach can be dangerous and discretion is recommended.
Hot Water Beach is one of many ‘must-visit’ places in this incredibly beautiful part of New Zealand. Coromandel is about 100 miles from the city of Auckland but a world away from the concrete jungle. Natural wonders like Cathedral Cove and lovely waterside towns such as Whitianga pop up at regular intervals on a typical Coromandel road trip. And it’s a pretty windy road in places, taking you through lush, almost unbelievably green bush to secluded, golden beaches. And while Hot Water Beach might not be too secluded – it does attract many visitors – it really is a place where you must stop and, literally, soak up the atmosphere. After all, it is the world’s hottest beach.
Dani Bellamy is a professional writer, who loves experiencing fascinating places. She is currently exploring the world of collectable Japanese erasers and Kids Pencil cases at this uber Cool Pencil Case site.
Image by Steve & Jemma Copley