Hot Water Beach and beyond

Experience a truly unique getaway that starts -- but doesn’t end -- with a natural hot spa on the beach.

Digging your own steaming spa and soaking next to a stunning ocean vista at Hot Water Beach is the kind of experience you never forget. Travelers from across the globe appear at the beach in the two hours on either side of low tide to dig in the sand and watch their personal pools fill with hot water bubbling from a geothermally-heated underground river.

But when the tide comes in and waves begin to splash at your spa, more adventure awaits: hot pools are just the beginning in this special corner of The Coromandel.

Soak on the beach

Warming your toes in the sand of this incredible beach is a great place to start. It’s the rare activity that manages to be fascinating (there’s a hot river under the beach!), exhilarating (dig until you find the perfect stream of hot water!) and relaxing (soak in a hot pool while gazing at the ocean!) all at once.

If you have a spade for digging and a bucket for adding cool sea water, bring them along; if not, you can rent them from nearby cafes. Learn more at and be sure to check the local tide charts to plan the perfect time for your beach spa moment.

Explore the coast

After relaxing in your spa, you can dry off and get ready for adventure. The beautiful Cathedral Cove is just around the bend from Hot Water Beach. You can only access the beach by foot or by boat, but that just adds to the beauty: the meandering walking trail leads you through lovely forests and fields with glimpses of the sea, while boats carry you through blue-green water past breathtaking sea cliffs.

Cathedral Cove Scenic Cruises takes you to into the heart of this majestic seascape. You’ll not only see Cathedral Cove from a unique perspective but will also get up close to spectacular small sea caves, peaceful coves and dramatic rock formations. The boat takes you through the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve, where you can hop in the water to snorkel with the fish or stay dry and watch them from the deck, thanks to an underwater camera. Cathedral Cove Scenic Cruises operates year-round, offering quick tours as well as more leisurely ones. 

Dig in to local delicacies

Something about adventure by the sea can really work up your appetite. Satiate any cravings for local treats with a visit to Cathedral Cove Macadamia Orchard, where trees growing in a unique micro-climate produce especially sweet and tasty macadamias. You can tour the orchard, learn about the organic and sustainable farming methods used there, and sample a surprising and wonderful array of macadamia treats, from macadamia-crumbed scallops to ice cream and brownies.

When you’re ready for dinner, follow the road a few minutes further to the ferry landing, where you can catch the delightful ferry for a quick ride to Whitianga. The trip only takes a few minutes but offers beautiful views, especially around dusk. More local flavors await on a sunny deck overlooking the marina at Salt Restaurant and Bar where the focus is on excellent local seafood and ingredients prepared in simple, delicious ways.

Sleep soundly and wake up by the water

It’s worth giving yourself plenty of time to soak in all that this lovely corner of The Coromandel offers. Plus, spending the night means you can be the first at the beach, spade in hand, when it’s time to dig the next day’s hot spa.

The Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park offers a high-quality retreat just steps from the beach. In some places, it feels like a grown-up luxury haven; in others, it’s a kids’ paradise. Best of all, staying among the palms in this park means you’ll wake up just a short walk from the beach and a short drive from the wide range of experiences available in The Coromandel. When you stay here, you can put your toes in the warm sand on a world-famous beach just moments after you wake up. It’s a true escape from routine and a remarkable way to start the day.

Learn more and plan your one-of-a-kind escape at

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