"You really must go to Moko." Our host at Tairua said so on many more than one occasion. So, on our last full day we made the effort. Jenny (from Colonial Homestay) hit the nail on the head. It was worthwhile.
This wonderful eclectic mix of art almost seems out of place in this dead end setting but it has become almost as large an attraction as Hot Water Beach itself, which only seems appropriate for those who have read my previous tip!
There's just such a fine range with vibrant colours, individualistic designs and many manifestations of different media.
So, to coin a phrase, if you go to Hot Water Beach, "You really must go to Moko".
I loved the sign in pic 5 too by the way, very rustic.
"You'll probably want to go to Hot Water Beach" I was told, I don't know how many times.
Now, I don't know about you and, call me a grumpy old man if you like, but hiring a spade from one of the many shops that do that, walking half a kilometre at low tide only to a spot in the sand where you can dig and, if you get lucky, get hot water coming out, is, to put it bluntly, not something I aspire to. Especially since we'd just been to Cathedral Cove which rated high on my "wow factor".
Thus is was that we repaired to the nearest cafe and indulged in a cuppa, went to the toilet, turned on a tap and, hey presto, hot water! Of course, ours didn't have gritty sand and sweat mixed with it. No, this was clean, filtered, hot water that we got for merely having a cuppa. Sounds like a much better deal to me.
The beach itself is nice, without being spectacular and there's a pleasant ambience about the place but, if I went there again, it would be to see the gallery mentioned in the next tip and not for the beach.
... so hot is the water on some spots. Coming out of the earth to the surface on the beach through two fissures.. Signs tell the water has a temperature up to 64 degrees Celsius !!
Take your own shovel or just borrow one from another visitor. Maybe you are invited to share a private 'hot pool' and sit and talk together in one of the natural wonders of New Zealand.
Before your visit you have to check the tides (see website), because you only can feel the hot water between about 11/2 hours before and after low tide.
Hot Water Beach is as good as its name. Hot pools can be dug out of the sand at low tide near the rocks and where steam can be seen rising from the open sea at high tide. Volcanic activity is not prevalent on the Coromandel Peninsula and activity has died away leaving the hot mineral pools as a legacy.