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The Best Hot Pools & Hot Springs in Rotorua

12 June 2022




The geothermally heated water of Rotorua on the North Island has long been hailed for its healing properties. Soaking in luxuriously warm Rotorua thermal pools will do amazing things for tired muscles, stressed-out bodies, and weary souls.

Let’s look at the best hot pools Rotorua New Zealand has to offer.

Polynesian Spa

Image credit: Polynesian Spa

Need to refresh and unwind after enjoying the multitude of adrenaline-pumping tourism activities that Rotorua has on offer? Slip into the warm water of one of Polynesian Spa’s 28 hot mineral pools sourced from two natural springs in Rotorua for ultimate relaxation. The venue’s hot pools in Rotorua include the Deluxe Lake Spa, Adult Pools (including the Priest Spa and Rachel Spring), Pavilion Pools, Private Pools, and the Family Pools. They’re just the ticket to relieve aching muscles and rejuvenate tired skin.

Location: 1000 Hinemoa Street

Lake Rotoiti – Manupirua Spring Hot Pools

Image credit: Rotorua NZ

Head off-the-beaten-track to enjoy swimming in the secluded, unspoiled haven of Manupirua Hot Pools. Tucked away on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, this Rotorua hot pool is only accessible by water or air. Absorb the surrounding beauty of native flora and fauna on the lake’s edge as you soak in one of the eight mineral Lake Rotoiti hot pools. Then, take a cold plunge into the clear blue lake waters to rejuvenate the skin.

Location: Catch a water taxi from the VR Rotorua Lake Resort in Okawa Bay.

Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park & Mud Spa

Image credit: Hell’s Gate

Hell’s Gate is Rotorua’s most active geothermal reserve and has been used by Māori for over 800 years to ease joint and muscle pain. Get down and dirty in an outdoor mud bath and spa treatment before kicking back and cleansing the skin in a sulphur spa overlooking a geothermal paradise. Then, cool off in a spectacular spring-fed waterfall and cold plunge pool.

Location: 351 State Highway 30, Tikitere

Kerosene Creek

Image credit: @lostbells

Kerosene Creek is a geothermally heated stream where natural hot spring waters from beneath the earth bubble up to meet the calm waters of the creek. The result – delightful, free hot pools to swim and relax in. Bathers have piled rocks beside the two-metre-high waterfall to create a hot pool or two from which to enjoy the cascading water.

Location: Old Waiotapu Loop Road

Secret Spot Cedar Hot Tubs

Image credit: Rotorua NZ

Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua is the perfect place to escape from your busy life and spend time with friends and family. Slide into your own private spa in a hand-crafted cedar hot tub alongside a small stream on the edge of an enchanted forest. Relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while soaking in a deep pool of pure spring water, which is heated to a delicious 39.5°C.

Location: Mountain bike car park, Waipa State Mill Road

Waikite Valley Thermal Pools

Image credit: Waikite Valley Thermal Pools

Connect with nature in the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – one of the best Rotorua hot pools, with panoramic views of the geothermal valley, lush native bush, and surrounding geothermal activity. The ‘Living Waters’ of the Te Manaroa Spring is the largest single source of 100% pure boiling geothermal water in New Zealand.

Location: 648 Waikite Valley Road

Hot Water Beach – Te Rātā Bay

Image credit: Rotorua NZ

On Lake Tarawera’s southern shore, in the very heart of the thermal Rotorua district, you’ll find natural hot springs trickling into the lake, creating the Hot Water Beach at Te Rātā Bay. Dig your hands into the silky sand to create a hole to soak in, or grab some large rocks to create your own private Rotorua geothermal pools.

Location: Te Rātā Bay, Lake Tarawera

Kuirau Park

Image credit: Rotorua NZ

Come and visit Kuirau Park, the only free geothermal park in Rotorua featuring steaming, hissing, and bubbling geothermal activity. Follow the walkways past the crater lake, bubbling mud pools, and free thermal foot bath nestled within beautifully manicured gardens.

Location: Corner of Pukuatua Street and Ranolf Street, City Centre

Whangapipiro Rachel Pool

Image credit: @8188mutti

The silica-laden alkaline waters of the Rachel Pool are believed to have a softening effect on the skin, resulting in a more youthful complexion. These natural hot springs in Rotorua are open for viewing 24 hours a day, but guests cannot enter the waters due to its high temperatures and no cold water to moderate it. However, the waters are channelled into the nearby Polynesian Spa, where you can experience bathing in their wonders first-hand.

Location: Government Gardens, 9 Queens Drive

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