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Guest Post by my buddy and baby daddy Tom Wilson

New Zealand's Secret Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience - Hot Water Beach

Hot water beach is extraordinary

Imagine yourself relaxing in a hot tub, sharing a cool beverage with friends and gazing out to a beautiful view.

I know what you're thinking. "Okayyyy... that's kinda cool but I wouldn't call it extraordinary".

Well then, picture the same scene, but on a beach. The hot tub is made of sand and the beautiful view is the pounding surf.

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Hot water beach is a real place. And it's the only place in the world you can have this unique experience. That's why I recommend it as a must visit location for your New Zealand travel holiday.


Experience a unique natural phenomenon

New Zealand has got plenty of hot springs. It's an active geothermal area.

But hot water beach is the only place where this geothermal activity meets the sand and the sea.

Deep below the earth, vast quantities of water are superheated by volcanic activity. It makes its way to the surface and exits via 2 fissures at the top of the beach.

By the time the water reaches the surface, it's a hot 64°C (147°F). Perfect for creating your very own hot pool!


Digging your own hot pools on the beach

When you visit hot water beach, it's a good idea to take a spade with you. A spade saves your hands from getting burnt as you dig your hot pool.

There are a few places close by where you can hire a spade. That way you don't have to cart one around in your backpack!

You can only access the hot water 2 hours either side of low tide. So you need to be aware of the tide times.

Don't do what I did and get up at 3 in the morning, head down to the beach and realise you've got the tide wrong. Check it out beforehand.

The local shop usually has the tides written on a black board. So you can check them out there if you're unsure.


Adjust the water temperature to suit you

The hot water can get freaky hot if you're in the wrong place.

You'll often see people burning their feet because they don't know the sand is hot. I know it's probably a bit evil, but it makes me laugh every time.

There is a bit of an art to getting the right temperature. A good strategy is to have a bucket of seawater nearby. This way you can continuously make adjustments and make it perfectly comfortable.


Chill out with friends in your personal hot pool

Digging hot pools is a nice activity to do with your mates. Take a few drinks down to the beach, build your pool and chill out for the next few hours until the tide comes in.

Depending on the time of year and the time of day, there will be different amounts of people making hot pools on the beach.

School holiday periods can get quite busy. But most of the time there is plenty of hot water to go around.

Shaye and I like to go down when the tides are either early in the morning or late at night. This way you can get the beach all to yourselves. - Bliss


Make the most of the beach by staying close by

Hot water beach also has a little township. Shaye and I have stayed in a holiday house with my family here. It was nice and close to the beach and was super accessible.

We've also stayed at another house at the other end of hot water beach. This is quite far from the pools. But the luxury accommodation was worth the walk.

Wherever you decide to stay, make sure you come to experience the hot pools at least once.

They're extraordinary!