- Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach is a
beachon the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, approximately 12 kilometres south east of Whitianga. Its name comes from underground hot springswhich filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. The beach is a popular destination both for locals and tourists visiting New Zealand. Annual visitor numbers have been estimated at 130,000, making it one of the most popular geothermal attractions in the Waikato region. [Environment Waikato [http://www.ew.govt.nz/enviroinfo/geothermal/fieldsmap/hotwaterbeach.htm] ]
Hot Water Springs
Within two hours either side of low tide, it is possible to dig into the sand allowing hot water to escape to the surface forming a hot water pool. The water temperature which can be as hot as 64ºC (147ºF), filters up from two underground fissures located close to each other. [Mercury Bay Online [http://www.mercurybay.co.nz/activities/hotwaterbeach.php] ] These natural springs can be found on the beach opposite the off-shore rocks. Visiters often dig large holes and relax and soak in the thermal water.
Care needs to be exercised as the location of the hot springs are not far from the sea even at low tide, and visitors may be caught unaware by the large breaking waves. Hot Water Beach is known for its dangerous
rip currents, holes and large waves. Signs at the beach advise swimmers not to swim within 50m either side of the off-shore rocks (opposite the springs), and to only swim between the flags if the the volunteer lifeguards are on patrol. Hot Water Beach's rip currentshave claimed several unwary visitors and only strong swimmers are advised to enter the water.
Notes and references
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.