Tourists from far and wide visit New Zealand over summer to taste their own slice of Kiwi paradise.
Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel is a renowned hot spot where some zip straight off the plane to wade into the crystal clear water and have a go at digging a hole to expose hot water.
Today the beach was thronging with people, spade in hand doing their best to dig their way to the other side of the world. The heat melted the bitumen on the road.
Israeli women Shir Kahiri and Maayan Shelef, both 23, were two of the many internationals having a go at digging when the Herald visited the beach today.
They were at the beginning of a three month trip around New Zealand after getting out of compulsory military service in Israel. They chose New Zealand to confirm the rumours of its beauty.
"It's so far away we won't have a lot of opportunities to get here and we've heard so many things about this country," Shelef said.
And the pair haven't been disappointed, from arrival they were "amazed" by all the green. Israel is more yellow looking with all the dessert, Shelef explained.
"Here it's like 'wow' – so we love it."
They had come to hot water beach but their efforts at digging hadn't worked out with only cold water entering their hole.
The biggest surprise about New Zealand had been how polite the people were.
"We're not used to it," Kahiri said.
"New Zealanders wait in lines and don't honk. Everyone says hello, good morning, good evening, merry Christmas, happy Christmas."
Korean man Seoktae Joe came to the beach with his partner and two children in bright fluro tops to dig the best hole they could. The family was in New Zealand for six months while Joe studies IT.
"This is nice and warm for us. The Korean summer is too hot," Joe said.
"We love New Zealand life. It's fun."
Korean retiree Hyun Um was visiting New Zealand on a trip to see his sister who lives in Auckland. He had come for the "natural clean air", the beautiful scenery and the golf – every day they would play at least one round.
"It's winter in Korea right now so it's a great time to be here."
The high level of foreigners was typical for the beach, Chairman of the Hot Water Beach life guard services Gary Hinds said.
In peak summer time they can get 2000 people an hour visiting which amount to over half a million over the summer period.
Hinds advice for getting the best hot pool is to come early, and at low tide, test out the spot with your feet. When you dig your feet in and feel warmth you've hit the spring.
The best place to dig is slightly to the side of the spring to get a mix of cold and hot water so it's a nice temperature.
At 60C and 64C the two springs, both positioned near some rocks in the middle of the beach – can be burning hot.
Most people who come to the beach have no idea where to dig and the whole beach is covered in fruitless rabbit holes full of cold sea water.
"It's a bit like the Emperor's New Clothes, people see people in pools and think everyone has hot water, but they don't."
Each time the tide comes in it flattens out all the digging and makes a clean slate for it all to start again.
And the beach isn't reserved only for foreigners, many Kiwis flock to the hot spot for a day trip too.
Tauranga 9 year old, Diego Takitaki, was sunning himself in his hole sitting in shallow water. The water wasn't hot but that didn't matter when the sun was scorching down.
"We're just here trying to get warm water, but we didn't get it," he said.
Auckland man Jeff Li, 31, came to Hot Water Beach to create happy memories with his 3-year-old daughter Audrey.
"Audrey loves to play with the sand and beach, so we've come."
Brett Haywood has come to Hot Water Beach every summer for the last eight years and knows the drill. He has his special spots to dig a hole and knows to come early to get the best hole. Sometimes the water is too hot once you hit the spring.
"It just gets crazy busy. The tide is too high today."
"You've got to dig deep."