Hot Springs in Aotearoa
Japan has her “Onsens“, New Zealand has her “Hot Springs”. While they are both not quite the same in terms of ambiance and feel, they are nevertheless both a brilliant experience in terms of geothermal activities at their best, beneficial to human health, both body and soul.
Waiariki Pools, Ngawha Springs
Ngawha Springs has two hot pool complexes next to each other. Between them are several unfiltered pools of varying temperatures. They are very basic, very natural, providing a gentle adventure in the mineral-rich spring water with therapeutic benefits without much in the way of fancy extras.Waiwera Thermal Mineral Pools, Auckland
About 50 minutes drive north of Auckland, this seaside spot has a complex of outdoor and undercover natural, geothermal pools. There are hydroslides and a ‘movie pool’, both very popular with children. The private pools and a spa area offers respite for adults. An on-site cafe serves wedges and ice-cream, perfect fodder for hungry swimmers taking a break before they head back in for another soak.Kerosene Creek, Waiotapu
Set among lush native bushes, Kerosene Creek is popular among visitors and locals alike, offering a natural bathing experience like no other. A geothermally heated stream where swimmers have piled up small smooth rocks to create little hot pools beside the 2m waterfall, where one can enjoy the hot water from the natural spring under the earth bubbling up into the cool waters of the creek, creating pleasantly warm waters.
[Important: This parking area is a black-listed area for item thefts from vehicles. Leave no valuables in the vehicle when visiting the creek]The Lost Springs, Whitianga
With waterfalls running from pool to pool, tropical gardens, magical cave-like landscaping, poolside dining and high-end spa treatments, the Lost Springs provides an indulgent experience for adults seeking a dose of serious relaxation and rejuvenation.
Miranda Hot Springs, Thames
Miranda pools are classic, old-school and popular with local farming families as well as travellers to and from the Coromandel Peninsular by the back road. It has one big outdoor pool and a small, hot, adult-only undercover pool. There are also a picnic and barbeque set-ups, and a camping ground next door.
Hot Water Beach, Coromandel
One of it’s own, the underground hot water flows from the interior to the surface on this long beautiful white beach located between Tairua and Whitianga. The stunning beach overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offshore Castle Rock, with Pohutukawa lined cliffs at either end of the beach. Totally natural with awesome scenic views. The hot springs on the beach is only accessible during low tides and require some digging with spades and mixing of cool seawater to achieve suitable hot pool temperature which could otherwise be too hot.
Mount Hot Pools, Mount Maunganui
You will be greeted with families having a blast in the three large salt water pools, perfect for those with young children. There are two spas and three private pools, if a more relaxed experience is wanted. The pools are located in central Mount Maunganui, right below the mountain.
Waingaro Hot Springs, Waikato
New Zealand’s longest waterslide tumbles down a hillside into one of the several pools; a picnic area adds to the family appeal of this complex. If one is in the mood to simply soak, there is plenty of space for that too. These springs are tucked in a valley in the Waingaro hills, about 20kms west of Ngaruawahia.
Opal Hot Springs, Matamata
Two pools within a holiday park makes this popular with families. The larger pool has a slide for the kids; the smaller, hotter pool is set next to it so parents can take up a relaxed soaking position to watch on. There is also a private, even hotter pool in a romantic, scenic setting away from the main pools.
Oropi Hot Pools, Bay of Plenty
With an open-roof, private pool ideal for star gazing, this is the spa to visit once the sun has set. For family fun, there is a larger pool to enjoy, as well as an on-site cafe and barbeque for hire. If one is keen to stay overnight, a campground is available for tents and caravans.
Tokaanu Thermal Pools, Turangi
The thermal waters of Tokaanu, on the southern edge of Lake Taupo, have been appreciated for generations for their healing qualities. Today the old-school complex consist of a large open air pool and several private pools.
Morere Hot Springs, Gisborne
The setting of these pools is what makes them extra-special. Both the large outdoor pools and the smaller, hotter pools, hidden at the end of a short bush trail, are surrounded by mature rainforest. Bathers soak to the sound of birdsong.