For anyone who enjoys the sensation of going from the hot tub to the pool, Hot Water Beach, located on the North Island of New Zealand, is for you. Just remember to bring a shovel.
Visitors can only descend on these sandy shores en masse for two hours before and two hours after low tide. That’s when hot water from inside the earth bubbles up to the surface and flows out to the Pacific Ocean. With a shovel and some ingenuity, you can create a spa pool to capture the water and soak in its warmth.
The beach is vitally important to the Ngati Hei indigenous tribe, who’ve lived in the area for 1,000 years, so it’s important to respect the space.
After this rejuvenating experience, a spiritual awakening of sorts is just a short trip away at Cathedral Cove. Accessible via boat, kayak or foot, this area gets its name from the giant cave made from ignimbrite in the middle of the cove. The white rock formed some 8 million years ago from pumice and ash. It’s soft and erodes easily, creating the steep headlands towering over the beach.