Hot Water Beach Facts
- An outing to the extraordinary Hot Water Beach would likely be the one time you actually want to find yourself in hot water while on a trip to the beach.
- The aptly named beach is an extremely unusual geological interface between the ocean and naturally occurring hot springs. This amazing location forms part of Mercury Bay, in New Zealand.
- During part of the day, the localized hot springs remain submerged beneath the waves.
- However, for roughly two hours before low tide, and two hours afterward each day, the unique feature of this site appears. Therefore, you must catch it at just the right time.
Hot Water Beach Geothermal Nature
Hot Water Beach owes its nature to the presence of underground hot springs situated almost directly beneath the small beach.
The hot water rarely does more than slightly bubble above the surface on its own.
However, digging even slightly into the sand of the beach will cause the cavity to be filled with hot water.
The heated water filters up from two small fissures situated quite close to each other. The water from the hot spring sometimes reaches temperatures of as much as 147 F (64 C).
Hot Water Beach Tourism and Dangers
Unsurprisingly, the uniqueness of this beach has made it a popular vacation spot for both local inhabitants and tourists. Approximately 700,000 people visit the site annually.
The spot does have its perils, however. Even during low tide, the beach sits in close proximity to the waves, which can be large and powerful.
As if this wasn’t enough, powerful rip currents also quite commonly occur in the area.
Groupings of large rocks also sit just offshore. Though lifeguards do watch the area, officials wisely recommend that only highly experienced swimmers or surfers venture beyond the beach itself.