Hot Water Beach and Coromandel.

How we first found out about Coromandel:

When we first decided we were moving to New Zealand, I didn’t know what to make of it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to resemble the Caribbean, or Hawaii, or Australia. So what did I do? I went to google! I typed “N E W  Z E A L A N D” into my google search bar and clicked on google images. This was the image that caught my attention:

Photo credit: Google (obviously)

My initial reaction was “WOW!” We’re moving there? I can’t wait to go there!

Our first visit to Coromandel:

The first time we went to Cathedral Cove was when Chad’s parents came to visit. I was so excited to take them there and show them how magical New Zealand really is. When we arrived to the location, we all quickly realized that it was a 45 minute hike to actually get to Cathedral cove. At the time, Chad’s dad was recovering from a knee injury, so we didn’t want to aggravate his injury by forcing him to make the trek.


Our second trip to Coromandel:

This past weekend we head back to this beautiful place, ready to make the hike. The hike was a bit of a trek. We hiked down the hill, then back up a hill, then back down a hill, then down a ton of steps! Once we got to the beach we were ready to go for a swim.

Cathedral cove was just as majestic as I had imagined. This was a surreal moment for me. I stood at the base of the cove, sweaty and hot, and thought to myself “Wow, we really made it. We made it to New Zealand.” WE MADE IT TO NARNIA! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this!) Accept, there were a lot more people there than in that clip. Cathedral Cove is a tourist attraction, so obviously there is going to be more people there than we see in the photos. What we’ve learned is that even the touristy things in New Zealand, aren’t as crowded as touristy places in the U.S. (accept Hot Water Beach… but more on that later.)


  • Bring a pair of sneakers & a water bottle for the short hike. Flip flops will do as well.
  • There is an area here for snorkeling, so bring your gear!
  • We found out that you can do a boat tour to see Cathedral Cove if you can’t make the hike.

Hot Water Beach:

We heard great things about Hot Water Beach. A beach where you can dig a hole in the sand, which then self fills with hot water, and you can relax in this self made spa. Sounds great, right? Well, it wasn’t exactly like that.

The hot water is produced by cracks in the earth that remain after volcanic activity that occurred there. Even though volcanic activity is no longer prevalent, the cracks below the surface still exist. To access the area where these cracks are, you have to come two hours either side of low tide. If you can find one of these two cracks (don’t worry, there will be a ton of tourist marking the spot), then you have to find an area to dig. The only area we found that actually produced hot water was so close to the ocean that the waves kept breaking onto it. Another con was that there were SO MANY people digging holes, that it was hard to find a spot. Most of the holes didn’t produce hot water either.

Therefore, Hot Water Beach was somewhat of a letdown. It was way to crowded for our liking. It was pretty neat to feel the warm water, but that was enough for us. We found a little nook under the mangroves further down on the beach where we planted ourselves and had a nice picnic.

Although the hot springs portion of the beach was slightly lame, the beach itself is absolutely breath taking. Also, the current at this beach is very strong and dangerous to swim/surf in. Just an FYI if your planning on visiting


  • It’s not the most compelling thing to see in NZ. If you don’t get to see it, oh well.
  • Bring a shovel!
  • One of the cracks on the beach is located directly in front of the big rock in the water. (You will know it when you see it)
  • GO DURING LOW TIDE! When is low tide? Click here to find out!

More on our New Zealand adventures to come…..

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