Hot Water Beach – Hot Water Beach, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach, New Zealand

Handcrafted thermal spa washes away each night with the tide. 


The average hot tub costs a couple thousand dollars, but Hot Water Beach allows people to carve their own thermal hot tub right on the beach in New Zealand.

With just a few thrusts of a shovel, beach-goers can watch a slow gurgle of warm, geothermal water rise from below the sand to gently fill a personal spa-like pool. In peak season, hundreds take to the beach with their bucket and trowel, digging pools just big enough to lay out in the water, which can reach temperatures of 147 degrees Fahrenheit. Those who forget a spade still can’t be dismayed, as the local surf shop rents out digging tools for hot-tub creation.

Despite the comfort of the beach side spa, visitors must be careful not to venture too close to the water past low tide, as the breaking waves and rip currents near the beach have a notorious and dangerous track record. Unfortunately for beach-goers, their hard work creating the perfect shoreline hot tub is all for naught as high tide comes in and washes down the walls of their personal tubs.

Community Contributors
Added by

January 25, 2012

Make an Edit Add Photos
From Around the Web