New Zealand winter can be pretty chilly and to combat the cold we think there’s nothing better than soaking in a soothing hot spring, relaxing like there’s no tomorrow. Luckily, New Zealand is quite literally a hotbed for geothermal action, so there are some great options to choose from. So we’ve done the ground work and put together the 10 best hot springs you should try at least once around our beautiful country.
Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa, Taupo
Set up in three-layered terraces of steaming thermal water, Wairakei Terraces pools are enriched with silica , magnesium, calcium and more combination of goodies that relaxes your muscles and leave you feeling like you’re floating on clouds. Not only are the terraces of pools very Instagrammable but there is also a stunning walkway around the premises which resonates the pink and white terraces New Zealand was once known for where you can ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over the bubbling and steaming geysers.
Location: Off State Highway 1, Wairakei, Taupo
The Lost Spring, Whitianga
Laid out like an oasis, The Lost Spring is the place to be when you want to escape, offload some stress or if you’re after that romantic getaway with your special someone. Surrounded by native bush, The Lost Spring definitely feels like you’re relaxing in a geothermal paradise - enjoy your soak while you listen to the splashing of beautiful waterfalls or even hide in the swim-in crystal cave.
Location: 121A Cook Dr, Whitianga, Coromandel
Tekapo Springs , Lake Tekapo
Whatever season we’re in, a getaway to Tekapo Springs should be on everyone’s itinerary. Overlooking the iconic turquoise-coloured Lake Tekapo and offering amazing alpine vistas of Mount Dobson, Tekapo Springs is definitely one not to miss! The spectacular views will make your relaxing experience in the steaming water even more serene. In the winter, the mountains are covered with snow and in the summer, make sure to stay back for a late night spa so you can gaze at the Milky Way where it feels like you’re floating in space.
Location: 6 Lakeside Dr, Lake Tekapo
Polynesian Spa, Rotorua
Rotorua is renowned to be New Zealand’s Sulphur City and if you’re heading there to immerse in the good stuff, you can’t miss Polynesian Spa. It’s the picture-perfect place for pampering and relaxation. With a selection of 28 mineral pools, with some overlooking Lake Rotorua, you’re guaranteed that R&R we know you’re longing for!
Location: Hinemoa St, Rotorua
Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown
After a day of action in Queenstown, whether it’s skiing, hiking or jetboating, taking a break in the boutique day spa, Onsen Hot Pools, is a must! It’s a peaceful, relaxing experience that lets you soak in the breath-taking views of the Shotover River and Queenstown Hill. For an even more romantic setting, book an evening session, light some candles and get enchanted by the dreamy stars from above.
Location: 160 Arthurs Point Rd, Arthurs Point
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Rock pools, private pools, water slides, jets and bubbles, Hanmer Springs has it all! It’s the perfect all-ages relaxation hotspot for a family day out, a girls’ trip, a couple’s getaway or whatever you’re feeling that day! One of the largest thermal water parks in the South Island and with over 7 types of pools, Hanmer Springs is an enjoyable place for everyone. Surrounded by redwood trees and with the Southern Alps at view, it’s the perfect destination for any occasion.
Location: 42 Amuri Ave, Hanmer Springs
Copland Track Hot Springs, near Fox Glacier
Sitting on top of the mountains surrounded by glaciers, streams, spectacular forests and alpine vistas, the Copland Track Hot Springs, also named Welcome Flat Hot Pools, is a natural hot pool near Fox Glacier that really does welcome you at the end of your hike, as it is only reached through an 18km tramp. Soaking in this geothermal wonder in the middle of the wilderness, especially in the winter, is an exhilarating and rewarding experience as you emerge from your hike and immerse yourself in the hot steaming water.
Tired and worn out? Not to worry, there’s no need to rush back as there is a hut on top of the Copland Valley where you can stay the night, put your bags down and gaze in the starry night.
Location: Get off on State Highway 6, 26km south of Fox Glacier and start your hike from the carpark on the northern side of the Karangarua River bridge
Kerosene Creek, near Rotorua
Situated south of Rotorua, flowing through the bushes and surrounded by forests and trails, Kerosene Creek is a natural gem that has a small cascading waterfall and thermal rock pools. With the streams of thermal and cold water blending, you can navigate your way through the river and rocks pools to find the perfect temperature to unwind and relax. To avoid the rush of people, we recommend getting there early in the morning before 9am to make the most of the tranquil atmosphere. Kerosene Creek is also a great family-friendly option as the walk from the carpark to the creek is very short and easy for the little ones. Plus it’s a natural hot pool, so free for everyone to enjoy!
Location: Follow State Highway 5 south from Rotorua towards Taupo for about 30km. After passing the turnoff to Murupara on your left and Lake Ngahewa on your right, turn left on to Old Waiotapu Rd. Follow to the end of Old Waiotapu Road, until you see a grass area where you can park your car and then take a short walk to the creek.
Maruia Hot Springs, Lewis Pass, South Island
Situated in the middle of a natural reserve in Lewis Pass in the South Island, the perfect place to soak after your day of hiking is at the rock pools of Maruia Hot Springs. With a balance of natural thermal springs, fresh mountain water and a plethora of good minerals, you will not only feel incredibly relaxed but your skin will love the nutrients in the water. Bordered by mountains, lush trees and singing birds, Maruia Hot Springs is a great stop on a South Island road trip.
Location: Off State Highway 7, Lewis Pass
Hot Tubs Omarama, Central South Island
If you want to cosy up with your loved one or just relax your muscles after a day of adventures, head to Hot Tubs Omarama to reminisce and immerse in the old style firebox hot tubs and take in the magnificent views and peaceful scenery of the Mackenzie Country. Using fresh mountain water that’s been heated to the perfect temperature you’ll feel very relaxed along with the crisp South Island air.
Location: 29 Omarama Ave, Omarama