Hot Water Beach:
Hot water beach is located on the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula on the north island of New Zealand. Visitors flock to the beach for the opportunity to dig their own spas. All one needs to do is dig a hole in the sand within 2 hours of low tide, and wait for the hole to fill up with hot water. This is possible because of the geologic activity nearby the beach. Volcanic activity superheats underground water reserves which then seep, through two main fissures, to the surface through the sandy beach. This unique environment makes the beach a popular tourist attraction and an interesting study site for scientists, as well.
There are many other things to do at the beach as well. Visitors can swim, snorkel, dive, and surf there, although, the rip tides in the area can be very dangerous. There is also a nearby campground and surf shop.
JürgenDigitalNikon. "Hot Water Beach." 10 August 2009. Online Image. Panoramio. 12 October 2009. < http://www.panoramio.com/photo/25469075>.
Picton has a population of about 3000 people is located on the north-eastern side of the south island, near the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound. This sets Picton up as a major ferry route between the two islands. Many visitors to New Zealand end up traveling through this city.
The city was named after Sir Thomas Picton, who was the most senior Seventh Coalition officer killed in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 (he was a Lieutenant General for the British Army). Ironically, he died wearing civilian clothes and a top hat, because his luggage had not arrived on time.
Also from the 19th century, the city is home to the oldest merchant sailing ship that is still floating, the Edwin Fox. In her earlier years, the Edwin Fox brought prisoners to Australia, brought settlers to New Zealand and Australia, and served in the Crimean War. She is now docked at the Edwin Fox Maritime Centre, adjacent to an informative museum.
Tillius. "Picton." 29 November 2006. Online Image. Panoramio. 12 October 2009.