When to go to Hot Water Beach

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Crashing waves so huge the beach is often closed, contrasted with a hot pool you dug yourself.  The almost other worldly juxtaposition on this Coromandel beach is all part of the appeal of Hot Water Beach but like everything, timing is everything.

Hot Water Beach

It’s not just the contrast of the cold, crushing waves with the calm, hot water.  It’s also the contrast of a still, serene estuary that quickly gives way to swirling rips and towering waves.

We made an impromptu stop at Hot Water Beach this long Easter weekend after picking up some French hitch hikers who were heading over that way.  The weather was perfect – hot and not much wind.  We were there right on time (2 hours either side of low tide) but while we explored the beach we didn’t dig our own pool this time.

Why?  Well two reasons…

1.  Temperature matters

Here’s the thing about Hot Water Beach – it’s hot water.   And sitting in hot water on a hot day is well, hot.  Maybe a little too hot.  The perfect time of the year to go to Hot Water Beach is when its a little cold.  Cold enough to see the steam rising out of the water as you look out at the waves crashing on the beach.  Not so cold that you are turning blue as you make your way out to dig your pool.

2.  Crowds are not great

This Easter was a little less busy with all the disruption to the roads.  None the less, Hot Water Beach resembled more of a shopping mall on Christmas Eve than it did a beach with people standing shoulder to shoulder on the beach as the jostled for their spot on the beach.  A bit too cosy for me.

Last time we went we went in July and it was perfect!  It wasn’t a long weekend so not too many people and it was cold enough to be absolutely perfect to sit in the hot water and watch the waves crash over the beach.  It must have been so perfect that I didn’t take a single photo of that July day so you will have to take my word for it when I say it is brilliant and make do with my Easter shots…  😉

So if you are passing on a public holiday by all means stop in.  But if you are planning a trip try to go outside of public holidays (or better yet on a weekday not in school holidays!) in the colder months.  It’s well worth it.  And remember – 2 hours either side of low tide.



Cat is one half of Getting Lost. She met James (the other half of Getting Lost) when she was 12 when she was camping over summer holidays. They were best friends for 25 years before finally getting together and now they live together with her 2 daughters and his daughter. Getting Lost is their story of the amazing spots they discover around this beautiful country of ours - both together and with the kids, as well as how they are making their way through blended family life. They would love it if you would join them for the ride.

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