Hot Water Beach is found on the east coast of the north island and is a couple of hours away from Auckland. With stunning scenery, the road to the Coromandel Peninsula flew by until we arrived at nearby town Tairua to stock up on BBQ supplies for the evening! Tairua was once the site of a Maori Pa, or fortified village to you and me. With Mount Paku available for use as a viewpoint, you can see why they would chose this position.
The Coromandel Peninsula is home to some of the best secluded beaches in New Zealand and untouched natural forests so a must visit for any nature lover! You can hit the coastal path all the way to Cathedral Cove for a dip on a sunny day, and if you decide on the way you’ve had enough there are a number of other secluded beaches to stop at that are just as beautiful! It’s only 45 minutes to the Cove and isn’t too strenuous with wonderful sightseeing platforms along the way for some beautiful snaps to pop in your scrap books. Surrounded by white sands and clear waters at the end of your walk, I can promise you it is 100% worth the walk and you get to see the natural archway in the rock too which can only be a bonus.
If you’ve got time a highly recommended trip for avid hikers is to head to the Pinnacles Hut for a two day trek, I haven’t experienced this personally but the feedback I got from some who did made it sound incredible. Probably one to do in the summer though as it can’t be much fun in the rain… You’ve also go Hahei beach to visit which marks the start of the Hahei Marine reserve. As the area is protected, you’re almost guaranteed to see some beautiful wildlife from marine birds, dolphins and even orcas if you’re lucky! There are a number of kayak tours to get you close to the action here so if you’re a fan perhaps sign up if you’re a fan as well as lots of other cool adventures such as offshore islands and sea caves.
Hot Water Beach itself is actually voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 beaches IN THE WORLD - now that’s a pretty accomplished beach don’t you think? All you need a is a shoval (you can borrow one from most of the nearby campsites), dig yourself a nice hole in the ground and get ready to soak in the hot water that rises up through the sand from the geothermal spring below. With almost 700,000 visitors a year, I did think it would be crowded but I was pleasantly surprised. Make sure you time your visit right though, your ability to build you sandy hot tub depends on the tides as the springs will be covered by the sea if the tide is too high.
I can highly recommend the nearby Hot Water Beach Holiday Park as a place to stay, with everything from dorm beds in purpose build huts to camping sites and spots to park your camper. You’ll also find some awesome BBQs here to cook your dinner on, and a fish and chip shack to suit all tastes while you sit back and watch the sunset after your dream day in the surf. Below I’ve outlined a list of some of the things you can do in the area while staying here to help you decide how to spend your time best.
Nature Walks - $ FREE
Pinnacles Hut Trek - $15
Explore Picturesque Tairua - $ FREE
Maori History & Culture - $ FREE (just ask the locals)
Be a Beach Bum - $ FREE (minus that $2 ice cream…)
Cathedral Cove Coastal Walk - $ FREE
Swim with the Fishes - $ FREE
Hot Water Beach Sand Tub Soak - $ FREE
Surfing - $30/Day Board Hire
Paddle Boarding - $40 for 2 hours
Surf Lessons - $75 for 2 hours
Cathedral Cove Kayaking - $95
Hahei Explorer - $70
Glass Bottom Boat Tour - $90
Once again, you’re going to want to remember to whack on a lot of sun cream like in Paihia to prevent lobstering but most of all you’re going to have a lot of fun! Have your comfortable shoes ready for a little walking but use your time here to relax at this must hit destination!