Hot Water Beach is uber-popular, Instagram famous and often crowded with visitors busy digging holes in the sand. Your efforts result in your own personal geothermal spa. The ocean, lapping at the spa’s doorstep is the cold tap option. You need to arrive on either side of the low tide with two hours to spare. The enterprising local dairy (convenience) store does a roaring trade in spades just in case you forgot yours. The beach has lifeguards in summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How hot is the water at Hot Water Beach?
It can be scalding, around 65c. Take care with kids to adjust temperature with cold ocean water.
Best time to visit Hot Water Beach?
Three volcanic vents sit beneath the high tide zone. You can only access the seeping hot water 2 hours before low tide and until 2 hours after. Otherwise the pools are submerged in the tidal zone.
What do you need to dig a natural spa?
A shovel, get one the day before as you are not guaranteed the local shop is even open if the tide is before 8.00am. Hahei and Whitianga stores specialise in shovels and expect to find they are not the cheapest.
Parking, is it free?
On the berm yes it is free however there is very limited free parking. The designated car parks are well signposted however they are not free. Carry some cash for payment
Dry clothing anyone?
Carry a waterproof bag for clothing
Is Hot Water Beach a safe swimming beach?
It is a surf beach with submerged rocks and known for its strong currents. To wash off use the outdoor showers at the top entrance. There is plenty of water to wash down sandy kids (and adults). There are lifeguards in summer who are part of the Hot Water Beach Surf Club.
Does Hot Water Beach have toilets?
Yes, the toilets are located at the top entrance to the main beach (Pye Place). Additional toilets are located at Bull Paddock car park
When is the high tide?
Check the Travel Pack Section for a tide map
NOTE: It can be difficult acquiring a carpark as it is very busy on a narrow winding road. School holidays up the ante for crowds.
What to do nearby
- Hot Water Beach is a steep hillside community with few shops. The Hotwater Cafe and gallery opposite the beach is a well regarded local meeting spot. The local convenience store sells snacks, confectionery, ice creams and pies.
- Hahei Beach is a small resort town with local shops, cafes and a well developed tourist support community. The beach is glorious, safe swimming and has lifeguards on duty during the summer.
Whitianga to Hot Water Beach
28 km from Whitianga
8 km from Hahei
Water taxi from Hahei, Cathedral Cove Water Taxi