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One of the Waikato’s, and indeed New Zealand’s, best kept secrets is Kawhia Hot Water Beach. Head down to Ocean Beach in Kāwhia at low tide, clamber over the sand dunes and stroll down onto the beach. Find your spot and start digging for an instant natural hot water spa, with stunning views to match.

Kāwhia is a peaceful beachside town steeped in Maori history, and is the final resting place for the voyaging Tainui Waka (canoe). This heritage is illustrated not only in the community of Kāwhia but in the world famous Kawhia Kai Festival – held in February each year the Kawhia Kai Festival is a celebration of Maori cuisine, culture, and traditions and draws crowds from near and far. Lonely Planet listed the Kawhia Kai Festival in the Top 10 Indigenous events for overseas visitors and tourists to attend.

The off-the-beaten-track and somewhat untouched nature of Kāwhia provides for the perfect destination to escape to. The Kawhia wharf and harbour is great for a spot of fishing. On a hot summer’s day you will often find local children jumping off the wharf to cool off.

Kawhia Hot Water Beach Location:

Directions: Drive to the end of Ocean Beach Road (ask one of the friendly locals if you have trouble finding this road). Park in the car park and walk over the sand dunes down onto Ocean Beach.