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Daily Daydream: New Zealand's Underground Hot Springs

Spas charge good money to soak in heated mineral water, but at this beach, it will only cost you a shovel and some sweat. The natural wonder of New Zealand's Hot Water Beach's underground hot springs means that you can dig your own pool and be rewarded with a hot water bath in a killer beachfront location.

Show up around two hours either side of low tide, and walk around until you feel a warm spot in the sand. Dig here, and settle in for a nice bath. The spots are a bit hit or miss, and you may have to dig a few test holes before you strike a hot area.

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Didn't pack a shovel in your suitcase? You can rent spades from nearby shops. Come early to claim a good spot, though, as the beach is pretty popular and can get crowded.

Where Is it? On New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula. Fly to Auckland (check prices) and the beach is about a two hour drive away.

Where to Stay? At the Ferry Landing Lodge, a peaceful bed and breakfast in Ferry Landing. The lodge's secluded location offers easy access to Hot Water Beach.

What Else Should I Know? Confine your swimming to splashing in the holes you've dug—the ocean here has strong undertows that are dangerous for swimming.

Who's it for? Spa-lovers, anyone who needs to warm up.

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