New Zealand is a land of natural beauty, and its hot springs are no exception. From the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua to the stunning scenery of the South Island, there are hot springs to be found all over the country.
New Zealand, a land of breathtaking landscapes, is also home to some of the world's most stunning hot springs. From the northern tip of the North Island to the southernmost point of the South Island, these natural wonders offer a unique way to relax and unwind while taking in the country's natural beauty. Here's our guide to the best hot springs in New Zealand, featuring both well-known and hidden gems.
North Island Hot Springs
The North Island of New Zealand is a treasure trove of geothermal wonders, home to a host of hot springs that offer an unrivaled experience of relaxation and rejuvenation. With its rich geothermal activity, the North Island is a true paradise for lovers of hot springs.
Natural Hot Springs of the North Island
The North Island is renowned for its geothermal activity, making it a hotbed for hot springs. These thermal pools offer a unique and relaxing experience, surrounded by New Zealand's stunning natural beauty.
- Hot Water Beach: Located along the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, you can dig your own hot pool here.
- Kawhia Hot Water Beach: Like the other famous hot water beach, you can dig your own private hot pool here.
- Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: This geothermal area is a wonderland of hot springs, geysers, and mud pools. It's one of the most surreal places in New Zealand.
- Te Puia: Located in Rotorua, this site offers a unique combination of Maori culture and geothermal wonders, including the famous Pohutu Geyser.
- Waimangu Volcanic Valley: This valley is home to a number of hot springs and geysers, and it's also a great place to learn about the geology and ecology of the area.
- Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village: This authentic Maori village offers a unique insight into Maori culture, as well as access to natural hot springs and geysers.
- Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park: This park offers a variety of geothermal attractions, including hot springs, geysers, and a rare geothermal cave.
- Hot Water Beach, Coromandel: At this beach, you can dig your own hot pool in the sand. The underground hot springs filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches.
- Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve & Mud Spa, Rotorua: This is the most active geothermal park in Rotorua. You can take a guided tour of the geothermal reserve, then enjoy a relaxing mud bath and sulfur spa.
Thermal Pools of the North Island
The thermal pools of the North Island are a must-visit for any traveler. These natural hot tubs, heated by the earth's geothermal activity, offer a unique and relaxing experience. Whether you're visiting the famous hot springs of Rotorua or exploring the lesser-known hot pools of the Coromandel Peninsula, you're in for a treat.
- Rotorua Secret Hot Springs: Offers private hot tubs hidden away next to the trees and Waipa Stream. There are 12 private hot tubs you can book that fit up to 6 people.
- Polynesian Spa in Rotorua: Offers access to both the alkaline water of the Rachel Spring and the acidic water of the Priest Spring, both of which are natural mineral springs.
- Waikite Valley Thermal Pools: Connected to the Te Manaroa Spring, which is the largest single source of 100% pure geothermal water in New Zealand.
- Kuirau Park, Rotorua: This public park in the heart of Rotorua is filled with geothermal activity. You can see boiling mud pools, steam vents, and even soak your feet in hot foot baths for free.
- Spa Thermal Park, Taupo: This park is home to a naturally hot spring-fed bathing area where you can soak and relax. The hot spring is located right next to the Waikato River, the longest river in New Zealand.
- Polynesian Spa, Rotorua: This world-leading, natural hot spring spa offers a unique experience of relaxation and rejuvenation. You can enjoy a range of wellness treatments, including mud wraps, massages, and facials.
- Te Aroha Mineral Spas: These hot pools are located in the heart of the Waikato region, and they're a great place to relax and soak away your cares. The pools are made up of mineral-rich water that is said to have therapeutic benefits.
- Wairakei Terraces: The Wairakei Terraces are a series of natural mineral terraces that are located near Taupo. The terraces are a beautiful sight to see, and they're also a great place to soak in the hot water.
Whakapapa Hot Springs. Whakapapa is a ski resort in the central North Island, and it's also home to some great hot springs. The Whakapapa Hot Springs are located in the heart of the ski resort, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
South Island Hot Springs
The South Island, while less geothermally active than its northern counterpart, still boasts some of the most beautiful hot springs in New Zealand. From the free hot springs in the wild to the luxurious hot pools in resorts, there's something for everyone.
Natural Hot Springs of the South Island
The South Island is home to some of the most stunning natural hot springs in New Zealand. From the secluded hot pools in the Otago Harbor to the geothermal waters of the Fiordland hot pools, these natural wonders offer a unique way to relax and unwind.
- The Blue Pool is a natural hot spring located in the Nelson Lakes National Park. The pool is a deep blue color, and the water is a refreshing 25 degrees Celsius. The Blue Pool is a great place to visit if you're looking for a more adventurous hot spring experience.
- Otama Hot Springs is a small hot springs resort located on the West Coast of the South Island. The resort has a variety of pools to choose from, including indoor and outdoor pools, thermal pools, and mineral pools. Otama Hot Springs is a great place to visit if you're looking for a relaxing and affordable hot spring experience.
Thermal Pools of the South Island
The South Island of New Zealand is a paradise for lovers of thermal pools. With its stunning geography, including majestic mountains, crystal clear lakes and dense forests, the South Island is home to a variety of thermal pools that offer an unrivaled relaxation experience.
- Onsen Hot Pools: Located just outside Queenstown, it’s regarded as one of the top spots to see in all of New Zealand.
- Onsen, Queenstown: These Japanese-inspired hot tubs in Queenstown are some of the most popular hot tubs in New Zealand. They are perched on a cliff, providing a stunning view of the Shotover River.
- Kamana Lakehouse, Queenstown: This luxury hotel has Onsen-type hot tubs right on-site. These private stainless steel soaking tubs offer sweeping views over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable mountain range.
- Omarama Hot Tubs, Omarama: This hidden gem is located in a small town on State Highway 8. The private hot tubs are dotted along a small lake and offer a view of the mountains.
- Tekapo Springs, Tekapo: These hot pools overlook the stunning turquoise Lake Tekapo. Tekapo Springs have three hot pools, all named after local lakes and at different temperatures.
- Ōpuke Thermal Pools, Methven: Located in Methven, a small town at the feet of Mt Cook, these pools are almost exclusively heated by solar panels.
- Hanmer Springs: One of the oldest bathing resorts in New Zealand, Hanmer Springs has a whole waterpark with a myriad of hot pools.
- Maruia Hot Springs, Lewis Pass: This wellness resort is tucked away into the mountains near Lewis Pass. It offers hot pools, saunas, steam rooms, and daily guided yoga and meditations.
- Waiho Hot Tubs, Franz Josef: These woodfire-heated stainless steel tubs are tucked into the forest, providing a natural hot spring experience.
- He Puna Taimoana Hot Pools, New Brighton (Christchurch): These hot pools are located right at the beach in New Brighton, a suburb of Christchurch.
- Kura Whakapai: Kura Whakapai is a Maori-owned and operated hot springs resort located in the Waitomo Caves region. The hot pools are set in a tranquil setting, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Amuri Hot Springs: The Amuri Hot Springs are located in the Southern Alps, and they're a great place to experience the natural beauty of the South Island. The hot pools are surrounded by mountains and forests, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
- Reefton Hot Springs. Reefton is a small town in the West Coast region, and it's home to a number of hot springs. The Reefton Hot Springs are located in the heart of town, and they offer a variety of hot pools, as well as a number of other amenities, including a cafe and a gift shop.
- Purakaunui Hot Springs. Purakaunui Hot Springs are located in the Catlins region, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding coastline. The hot springs are set in a beautiful forest, and they're a great place to relax and soak away your cares.
- Morven Hills Hot Springs. Morven Hills Hot Springs are located in the Otago region, and they offer a variety of hot pools, as well as a number of other amenities, including a cafe and a gift shop. The hot springs are set in the foothills of the Southern Alps, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains
These are just a few of the many great hot springs in New Zealand. With so many options to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect hot spring to soak in and relax.
Here are some additional tips for planning your hot springs trip to New Zealand:
- The best time to visit hot springs in New Zealand is during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn). The weather is still mild during these times, and there are fewer crowds.
- If you're planning on visiting a popular hot springs resort, be sure to book your tickets in advance. Many resorts get booked up well in advance, especially during the summer months.
- Bring a towel, swimsuit, and flip-flops. You'll also want to bring sunscreen and insect repellent, if necessary.
- Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your hot springs soak. The hot water can dehydrate you, so it's important to stay hydrated.
- Enjoy! Hot springs are a great way to relax and soak up the natural beauty of New Zealand.
No matter where you are in New Zealand, you're never far from a hot spring. So next time you're looking for a way to relax and rejuvenate, be sure to check out one of the many hot springs that New Zealand has to offer.
Here are some additional tips for visiting hot springs in New Zealand:
- Do your research: There are many different hot springs to choose from in New Zealand, so it's important to do your research and find the one that's right for you. Consider the location, the type of pools, and the amenities offered when making your decision.
- Be respectful: Hot springs are sacred to many Maori people, so it's important to be respectful when visiting them. Be sure to dress appropriately and follow the rules of the facility.
- Take your time: There's no need to rush when you're at a hot spring. Relax and enjoy the experience.
Whether you're a local looking for a weekend getaway or a traveler exploring the beauty of New Zealand, the hot springs of the North and South Islands offer a unique and relaxing experience. So pack your swimsuit, grab a towel, and get ready to soak in the beauty of New Zealand's hot springs.
Remember to book your slot early to avoid disappointment at these popular locations. Enjoy your soak!
Frequently asked questions about the best hot springs in North and South New Zealand
What are the best hot springs in North Island?
- Rotorua is known for its hot springs, and some of the most popular ones include Te Puia, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and Polynesian Spa.
- Taupo also has a number of hot springs, including Spa Thermal Resort, Taupo DeBretts, and Huka Falls Resort.
- The Coromandel Peninsula has some beautiful hot springs, such as Hot Water Beach and Hot Springs Beach.
What are the best hot springs in South Island?
- Hanmer Springs is a popular destination for hot springs, and it has a variety of pools to choose from, including outdoor, indoor, and thermal pools.
- Methven has a number of hot springs, including the Peppers Blue Springs Resort and the Methven Hot Pools.
- Queenstown is home to some of the most scenic hot springs in New Zealand, such as The Remarkables Hot Pools and Kawarau Gorge Hot Springs.
What are the different types of hot springs in New Zealand?
There are a variety of hot springs in New Zealand, including:
- Thermal pools: These pools are heated by geothermal activity and can range in temperature from warm to hot.
- Mineral pools: These pools contain minerals that are beneficial for health and well-being.
- Mud baths: These baths are made up of mineral-rich mud that can help to exfoliate the skin.
- Open-air pools: These pools are located outdoors and offer stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
- Indoor pools: These pools are located indoors and are a good option for those who want to soak in the heat regardless of the weather.
What are the best hot springs for families?
Some of the best hot springs for families in New Zealand include:
- Te Puia: This hot springs complex in Rotorua has a variety of pools to choose from, including a children's pool.
- Polynesian Spa: This hot springs resort in Rotorua also has a children's pool, as well as a variety of other activities for families.
- Hot Water Beach: This hot springs beach in the Coromandel Peninsula is a great place to relax and soak in the sand.
What are the best hot springs for couples?
Some of the best hot springs for couples in New Zealand include:
- Huka Falls Resort: This hot springs resort in Taupo has private pools that are perfect for couples.
- Peppers Blue Springs Resort: This hot springs resort in Hanmer Springs also has private pools, as well as a variety of other couples' activities.
- The Remarkables Hot Pools: These hot pools in Queenstown offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.