World's Coolest Hot Springs

Sometimes surreal, always sublime, and occasionally stinky, these 10 steaming pools of wellness are worth a dip.

Hot Water Beach, Waikato, New Zealand

4 of 11

The Soak: “No pain, no gain” is the motto at this unique beach just south of the North Island’s Mercury Bay: you have to bring a shovel and dig your own “hot tub,” which for two hours before and after low tide will fill with spring-fed water laced with calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica, and fluorine. Note: also bring a bucket to add cold seawater to regulate the temperature, which can emerge at a scalding 147°F.

The Scene: It’s a communal Kiwi beach bash, so arrive early to stake out your circle of sand.

When to Go: Year-round, but summer (December to March) is ideal.

World's Coolest Hot Springs

Hot Water Beach, Waikato, New Zealand

The Soak: “No pain, no gain” is the motto at this unique beach just south of the North Island’s Mercury Bay: you have to bring a shovel and dig your own “hot tub,” which for two hours before and after low tide will fill with spring-fed water laced with calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica, and fluorine. Note: also bring a bucket to add cold seawater to regulate the temperature, which can emerge at a scalding 147°F.

The Scene: It’s a communal Kiwi beach bash, so arrive early to stake out your circle of sand.

When to Go: Year-round, but summer (December to March) is ideal.

Gillian F. Rodgers [1] [1] http://www.flickr.com/gfr
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