Hot Water Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula. Its name comes from underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. The beach is a popular destination both for locals and tourists visiting New Zealand. Annual visitor numbers have been estimated at 700,000, making it one of the most popular geothermal attractions in the Waikato region.
Having read and heard a lot about Hot Water Beach, and having been recommended as a must do in the region, we headed off-spade in hand. I say spade in hand as we were recommended to take our own spade to avoid hiring one from one of the vendors at the beach.
When we arrived I found an underwhelming beach, overrun by people from all over the world competing over the area that the beach was famous for. I could think of nothing worse than sitting in a tepid pool, that I had to did myself, with literally hundreds of people around me doing the same. This did not match the relaxing descriptions that had been told to me.
Along the beach there are a few cafés and art shops selling overpriced artefacts.
Overall, I would recommend staying at Hahei!