Skip to Content

Hot Water Beach: How To Dig Yourself A Spa Pool In New Zealand

Hot Water Beach: How To Dig Yourself A Spa Pool In New Zealand

Hot Water Beach in New Zealand is one of the country’s unique natural attractions. On this beautiful Coromandel beach, you can grab a shovel and dig your own hot water spa pool!

Once you have claimed your spot, you can start to dig. Within a few minutes, the first trickle of warm water will fill the hole. This eureka moment will spur you on to dig deeper, and before you know it, friends and family will have joined in, eager to create a spa pool on the beach.

Finally, once your hole is the desired size and the hot water has filled the void, you can step into your own spa bath on Hot Water Beach and wallow in it to your heart’s content.

Beware of the water’s temperature- hot means just that, so test the water with a toe first before scalding your delicate areas!

This article may contain affiliate links – For more information, please read my disclaimer and privacy policy.

Hot Water Beach Tips

Getting to Hot Water Beach NZ

Depending on traffic, driving via SH 1 and State Hwy 25 from Auckland to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel will take around two and a half hours. It is one of the best day trips to take from Auckland.

If you don’t want to drive yourself, you can book a Coromandel Tour from Auckland to include Hot Water Beach.

Facilities at Hot Water Beach

There is a pay-and-display car park with restroom facilities, including showers, at the beach, which is a two minute walk away. For food, try Hotties Eatery on the beach.

When to Dig Your Spa Bath

You can only dig for up to two hours on either side of low tide when the tide is low enough to expose the area of sand with hot water underneath it. At high tide, the beach is covered with the sea, so there is no chance of digging a spa bath. Please refer to this guide for Hot Water Beach Tide Times.

Where to Dig at Hot Water Beach?

Look for where everyone else is, and get digging!

How Hard is it to Dig a Spa Bath?

It takes a lot of elbow grease to dig deep, so you may not end up with a hole large enough to wallow in; more likely, paddle your toes (speaking from experience). Nevertheless, it is a unique experience and one of the fun things to do in New Zealand. And if you have friends with you at the beach, you can have a good laugh at your meagre attempts.

If you arrive towards the end of low tide, you may find empty pools that other people have abandoned. If so, you can use theirs. Remember, once the spa bath is up and running, you will only have a few inches of water. Even so, it is a must-do NZ activity.

What To Bring to Hot Water Beach

You will need a strong shovel and a handheld spade for finishing touches. If you aren’t a resident of NZ, it’s doubtful you have one packed in your suitcase, so the local shop by the beach sells or hires all the necessary paraphernalia to complete your mission.

What Temperature is the Water?

You might find this unbelievable, but the thermal water can rise to the surface at a whopping 64 degrees Celsius (now you understand about testing the waters before jumping straight in!) A sign that the water is too hot is when bubbles rise to the surface of the sand. If you see any bubbles, avoid digging in the area.

Why is there Hot Water beneath the Beach?

New Zealand is an active geothermal island, and if you visit Rotorua, you will see this first-hand. The country has over 100 natural hot water springs scattered between the North and South Islands. Some of the most delightful hot water spas can be found in Taupo (where you won’t need to dig your own pool!)

Beneath the sand on this beach is a reservoir of boiling rocks and water created millions of years ago by volcanic activity. Hot springs beneath the sand release carbon dioxide at the surface, producing hot water just below. Fascinating!

Is it a Safe Swimming Beach?

It’s one of the best Coromandel beaches on North Island, but it has rip currents and large waves. For surfers, it’s the perfect spot. Lifeguards patrol the beach, and when we visited, there was a dedicated area where you could enter the water.

Remember to bring sunblock and plenty of water to the beach – digging a spa can be thirsty work.

Hot Water Beach Accommodation

There are many attractions on the Coromandel Peninsula, so you could use this town as a base and then drive out each day to other areas, such as Hahei and Cathedral Cove.

Luxury – Hot Water Beach Cottage is located on the beach; this beautiful cottage is the perfect spot to enjoy a stay in the Coromandel.

Comfort – Hot Water Beach Bure – This one-bedroom cottage has a garden and is a 2-minute walk from the beach.

Budget – Hot Water Beach Holiday Park – Close to the beach, this holiday park offers private rooms and dorms with shared kitchen and bathroom areas.

Please PIN for future New Zealand Travel Planning.

Pinterest Graphic.
Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my resources page to help you plan your trip.


Saturday 30th of July 2022

Great article! Had no idea that digging your own spa bath was something you could do in New Zealand! I would love to also see Hahei and Cathedral Cove one day.


Saturday 30th of July 2022

They are two lovely places to visit and are not far from Hot Water Beach

Fiona Mai

Friday 29th of July 2022

I didn't know you could dig a spa bath on the beach! Hot Water beach definitely sounds like an interesting place to visit.


Thursday 28th of July 2022

This sounds fantastic! I've never visited New Zealand, but this sounds like an amazing New Zealand bucket list experience. That's so helpful that there is a shop near by that has digging equipment. Thank you for answering that question! Awesome adventure!


Thursday 28th of July 2022

New Zealand has always been on my bucket list. I'm not a beachy person due to hot sun, but this sounds so different and fun. Another reason to visit New Zealand.