How to find the perfect spot at Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is one of the hottest free activities on the North Island but it can be tricky to get your free, personal spa just right. Here are some top tips from our very own Stray driver: Nat!

Located just a short drive from Hahei in the Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach is the result of underground geothermal activity 2km beneath the surface. That means at low tide you can ‘bring your own shovel’ and dig your own personal spa pool in the sand!

Stray NZ group in spa pool at Hot Water Beach, Coromandel.

So what do you do once you get to the beach? Here’s how to find the perfect spot at Hot Water Beach:

Step 1: wiggle your feet into the sand

If it’s too hot to stand there for 20 seconds, don’t dig there.  Also, if it’s cold (you’re not feeling any warmth at all), don’t dig there; move a meter to the left or right and test again. When you find a spot where you can comfortably stand in warm sand for at least 20 seconds, dig there!

Stray New Zealand travellers digging at Hot Water Beach, Coromandel.

Step 2: start a conversation with others

If all the good spots are taken, put on your strongest accent and start a conversation with some people who look to have a good hole with some spare room. Try “Is it really hot??!!” as your first question, followed by something like “Oh, where are you from?”. Then, pretend you can’t hear very well over the crashing waves and other chatter and sit down on the edge of their pool, with just your feet in the water.  Continue conversing and when the timing is right, slip on into the pool.

Sunset at Hot Water Beach

Top Tip: Do NOT go into a perfect looking empty pool!

It will be “thermonuclear” hot! What does “thermonuclear” mean to a Kiwi? Watch this important NZ police safety video to find out! You’ll also learn why you should “always blow on the pie.”)


Dreaming of digging your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach and relaxing at nearby gorgeous Hahei Beach? Check out Stray’s NZ Tours & Passes.

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Travel Mate (guest blogger)

Have you travelled on a Stray tour in New Zealand, Australia or Asia? How about creating a blog post about your experience? Or are you a frequent traveller and want to add your travel knowledge to our travel blog? Get in touch. We welcome relevant guest posts.

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