|Duration:||7 days, 7 nights (one week)|
|Start:||Auckland / Hamilton / Tauranga / Rotorua|
|Finish:||Auckland / Hamilton / Tauranga / Rotorua|
|Best time to visit:||Geothermal exploration all year round. There are fewer shoulder seasons and winter.
Auckland to Tirau to Putaruru Blue Springs to Taupo Craters of Moon to Taupo Huka Falls to Tokannu to Lake Rotopounamu to Chateau Tongariro to Rotorua to Auckalnd
Your journey starts on State Highway one with a coffee break in Tirau. Most visitors whizz through Tirau, or perhaps grab a quick takeaway paper coffee cup for the road. Look up, look around the corner at what the Tirau locals have managed to sculpt out of corrugated iron. Then it’s on the road to one of New Zealand’s hidden gems, a memorizing fresh water spring that gushes stupendous amounts of crystal deep blue water in a natural bush setting. The day finishes with the option of a slow soak in warm geothermal water.
Being at a major junction with links to Rotorua and Auckland the town’s creative spirits have built an identity around corrugated sculpture. Corrugated iron is an acknowledgement of a rural service town’s links to the humble corrugated shed. ‘The Dog’ in Tirau in 1998 was the first of thousands of Corrugated Creations now spread around the world. Each is made with the same processes and materials as a corrugated iron roof – and is expected to last just as long.
The town’s identity is now large corrugated iron sculptures depicting main street businesses. The public toilets are located in large corrugated sheep together with a visitor information desk. Another set of public toilets, off the main road are worth a photo stop together with the pukeko signage on the shops opposite. A great selfie moment next to a public toilet. Tirau is quirky with eclectic shopping outlets, galleries and great cafes.
VISIT DURATION 1 hour
Tirau is a town on State Highway one
Mesmerizing, water welling up forming blue ribbons with tendrils of green swirling freshwater plants. Photo opportunities galore against the blue / green water, hillsides and regenerating bush. The springs flow at a rate of 42 cubic metres per minute. The Blue Spring could fill a six lane, 25 metre swimming pool in just over 12 minutes. It maintains a constant 11°C year round and supplies approximately 60% of New Zealand’s bottled water. The springs origin is the Mamaku Plateau where water percolates through porous rocks taking up a 100 years to produce clear deep blue swelling springs. Look closely at the upwelling water and you will see trout nibbling on the delicious plant life, with open mouths snacking on water insects. The springs are a hotbed of aquatic activity. By the way no fishing is allowed.
Blue Spring Te Waihou Walkway has two major entrances. The longer walk, through farmland and regenerating bush is 4.7 km. The shorter walk is accessed from the Leslie Road car park and it is a 20 minute flat stroll to the springs. The Leslie Road access is wheelchair accessible.
Putaruru Blue Springs ban swimming due to concerns about water pollution. While the Springs are child friendly and most of the area is fenced children must be supervised at all times as the boardwalk is not fenced. Cycling to Springs could be hazardous as it would involve travel on State Highway where there are no dedicated cycle lanes. Care is needed at all times. There is no public transport to the Blue Springs. No admission fees, Public toilet facilities.
VISIT: Allow up to three hours depending on chosen walking route
Where is it? Approximately 15 minutes drive from Tirau. Signposted from State Highway one
Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon is an outdoor steam bath for vegetation complete with gushing water. The vegetation is unique to the area due the geothermal activity. Descriptive signs explain the plants adaptation to a climate where roots have warm feet and live in a natural spa. While walking around on a brisk spring day it’s pleasantly warm with damp heated mist swirling around. The thermal activity consists of steaming vents, boiling water and mud. Boardwalks make for a relaxed pace. The paths are in excellent condition and well signposted. The walks are self-guided and there are seats to rest at regular intervals. The hilltop views are worth the effort. Contrasting with the crowds at Huka Falls there is plenty of space to savour the atmosphere of nature’s display of its inner workings.
One of the few thermal attractions that is wheelchair accessible. Easy gravel / boardwalks for children. Public toilets at the site. Activity child friendly. A well stocked gift shop to tempt the visitor to spend their tourist dollars. Reasonable prices and most items are good quality.
Admission fees website explanation, “From 2002 the Trust was required to pay site land rental fees to the government for the Craters area and from that time entry fees have been charged. While the entry fees primarily cover the site rental and costs to operate and maintain the site facilities – which include the 2 kilometre access road – these funds are also used to support community organisations and environmental work in the Taupo area and to provide scholarships for local high school students who wish to further their studies at Tertiary Institutions.”
Duration 1 hour – 1 ½ hours.
TIP: do not drive East Taupo Arterial Bypass route, instead keep to the left following signs for Taupo town centre.
Huka Falls is a tourist hotspot with crowds bustling for a place on the viewing platform. The place is very busy, I observed two car parking wardens supervising a stream of cars and people. Unlike Craters of the Moon there are a number of designated parking spaces for large mass transit tour buses. The majority of visitors are crowded onto a relatively narrow bridge to view the Huka Falls where the sheer volume of water churns its way through a rock gorge. Yet it does not detract from the swirling churn of water, rocks and sky.
Visitors are in groups or singly focused on the endless flow of water and surges of water energy pushing against the rock faces. Simply standing still, resting against the satisfactorily robust railing, the crowd will melt away. The enormity of pent up energy captures visitor attention. The Waikato river upstream has a width of 100 metres, the gorge is15 metres width. The river battle to escape the gorge is transfixing, you are spellbound by the endless sight of raging white capped foaming water hellbent on releasing energy.
The sheer volume of water power makes the visit worthwhile. Although you might have to queue for your photo moment. There are walking tracks along both sides of the falls, so you can figure the best place for your selfie. The crowds could make supervision of children a challenge. There are toilet facilities next to the gift shop.
Walks to Huka Falls
Huka Falls website describes walks, ‘From the Spa Thermal Park car park, follow the signs towards the Waikato River. Near the start of the track a bridge crosses a natural hot stream, Otumuheke Stream, where you can enjoy a free hot soak. From here the well-defined track winds along the riverbank, offering lovely views along the way. The walk finishes at the spectacular Huka Falls. From Huka Falls you can continue on to Aratiatia Rapids. The walking track continues along the river to the Aratiatia hydro dam and rapids. This is an additional 4 hour return walk.’ (see Day for Aratiatia experience)
No admission fees
VISIT DURATION 1 hour
Huka Falls cruise Adrenaline inducing rides, a favourite of New Zealand’s international visitors, a thrilling ride surrounded by the surging currents of the Waikato River Huka Jet Boat.
Tokaanu: The size of a postage stamp, off the beaten track
Why choose Tokaanu? It is in an ideal location for visits to mountains, lakes and the fly fishing mecca of Tongariro River and it has natural geothermal pools. In Tokaanu there is not a lot of choice as the place is small, even by New Zealand standards.
Tokaanu Lodge Motel, Accommodation, Turangi, New Zealand is recommended. The units are child friendly, spacious and clean. Self-catering is easy as cupboards are stocked with pots and pans. There is a local supermarket inTurangi. The motel has a geothermal indoor pool. The pool is a bit tired around the edges however clean and maintained regularly. There is grass and gardens for children to run around outside. Smaller children might require supervision as the property is not fenced.
Today is lakes, forests and another chance for a soak in geothermal waters. You will walk through primeal native forest, accompanied by the harmony of bird song to a lake where the water purity matches Putaruru Blue Springs. A leisurely picnic lunch compliments of your visit to Turangi supermarket. A heartfelt thankyou to Project Tongariro,a group, made up of local volunteers, protects this World Heritage area from introduced predators and weeds through a network of traps and bait stations. The afternoon exploring Tokaanu village. There is a faded by the elements wharf for atmospheric photos of Lake Taupo, perhaps a selfie. For fishing enthusiasts you will likely be found in waders on the Tongariro River, remember to post a photo of the catch. Active holiday fans have great cycling trails to explore.
Bird song and virgin forest greet visitors as they walk through a slice of primal New Zealand. You are surrounded by filtered light and the sense of bird life fluttering past. Lunch at the lakeside is recommended. Remember to pack your picnic sandwiches and water bottle. Rotopounamu is a crater lake located on western side of Mount Pihanga. It is nine metres deep and covers one square kilometre.
There is a walking track around the lake. At the junction of Five Minute Beach and Ten Minute Beach turn right towards Ten Minute Beach. Ten Minute Beach has picnic tables and a toilet. The track traverses the northern edge of the lake where the lake’s tributary streams enter. It appears the lake’s water levels are spring fed as visible tributaries cannot be seen unless the water level is low. As you are walking into a crater lake there are track areas that descend or ascend steadily.
The track is gravelled and well maintained. Although young children might find sections a little steep it is worth the effort of discovering Twenty Minute Beach. You will appreciate the name as it probably took you an hour or so to get to the picnic table. For younger children the steep ascent could be a challenge. Promises of lunch and a swim in the lake should work without parents having to lug the children over the steeper parts of the walk.
Shorter track option. From the road, take the track up to the junction and turn left. This short 20 minute walk will bring you to Ten Minute Beach. Safety : Take care crossing the road to the walk entrance as the car park is on the opposite side of the entrance. You are crossing a road with a speed limit of 100km.
Duration: 2 – 6 hours
Where is Lake Rotopounamu?
On your return to Tokaanu there is a scenic lookout with views of Lake Taupo. Not a great view of the lake however it is an official layby for visitors. You will not miss anything if you simply keep on driving.
VISIT DURATION: fifteen minutes
Lake Rotopounamu sounds exquisite yet the thought of tramping through the bush doesn’t appeal. Tokaanua offers geothermal bliss with a chance to meet the locals while soaking in the local natural hot water pools.
You can take a wander down to the Tokaanu old wharf.
Tokaanu was a transport hub now the wharf is a decaying relic of early 20th century transport links.
For jetty and wharf fans, with aging timbers gracefully rotting in the elements this wharf has got it all. Plus it reaches into the infinity of Lake Taupo giving a perspective to a photo moment.
Tokaanu geothermal pools, although in need of a spruce up, a family friendly greeting makes you feel welcome. There is a sense of connection with the thermal activity in the vicinity. Ice cream and snacks are available at the onsite cafe. Remember to bring your own towels and swimming gear. TIP Look up at the nearby cliffs and you will see Hipaua steaming cliffs. The cliff face is part of the Tokaanu-Waihi-Hipaa thermal area. The cliffs are not safe to climb. A great cliff viewing spot is the old wharf or the bridge to the thermal pools. Do not forget to peer over the Tokaanu geothermal pools bridge to observe trout in the warm stream waters.
Safety notice: Take heed of notices about not immersing your head in the geothermal water and no fishing from the bridge.
Fishing options summary (with licence):
All day fishing on Lake Taupo is bliss for some visitors or perhaps fly fishing Tongariro River is a highlight. Tongariro River is a stone’s throw away with the challenges of fly fishing. Then again, perhaps a full day on the Lake doesn’t appeal yet the idea of fresh water fishing sounds good. There is the option of trying your hand at fishing from Tokaanu old wharf. For fishing charters and guides, visitors based in either Tokaanu or Turangi have a quick 25 minute drive to the numerous charter options in Taupo. You can join a group of first time holiday makers for a Taupo fishing cruise.
Fishing licences are compulsory. For visitors without a fishing licence or gear to fish this will need to be a pre-booked activity. Fishing gear can be rented for the day, and if you have booked a guide they will manage transport or a meeting point.
TIP: Visitors with a current licence, check with your accommodation provider for tips on the best spots locally to fish.
Lake Taupo & Turangi Fishing Guides. When you check out the professional fishing guides you will be entranced by their wide, I’ve got this fish grin. NOTE: for fly fishing waders will need to be hired as well. More pesky details to get excited about. Lifeajackets.
TIP: Remember to wear lifejackets while on the water and supervise children around water.
And we look forward to the selfie with the catch of the day.
Lakeland House Restaurant Braxmere Tokaanu – accommodation for little adventures on the shores of Lake Taupo. On the southern side of the lake, approximately 10 minutes drive from Tokaanu / Turangi is the location of your treat for the day. Perhaps it is dinner by the lakeside after a vigorous walk to Lake Rotopounamu or time to unwind after learning the intricacies of fly fishing. Check the menu beforehand and savour the moment. Your accommodation could arrange child minders for your evening out if discussed beforehand.
TIP: Discuss child minding when you book your accommodation.
The majestic mountain Mt Ngauruhoe is a striking landmark, a highlight of the famous multi-day tramp, the Tongariro Crossing. Summer in the mountains is glorious with the temperatures between 18c to 25c making walking comfortable. While the sun is not scorching you will need sun protection as well as a layer for the occasional brisk nip in the air. Winter white snow with tints of ivory are magical to look at. Remember to follow winter safety advice for the great outdoors. There are a number of short walks in the vicinity of Chateau Tongariro giving visitors a chance to work up an appetite for afternoon tea ensconced in the depths of the Chateau Tongariro armchairs.
Whakapapa Village Visitor Centre is your first stop. The visitor centre is a dynamic meeting place for trampers undertaking the Tongariro Crossing. A gigantic screen outlining the crossing stops, hazards and spectacular scenery greets visitors entering the premises. If you have younger members of your party this is a great place to introduce them to the National Park’s breathtaking landscape, the flora and fauna that call the place home. Year round the visitor centre caters for summer visitors tramping the mountains and winter skiers.
There is a large gift and clothing shop for individuals who need warm clothing, a T shirt or simply indulge in some window shopping. Naturally you have browsed the brochures, the guidebooks which are complementary and part of the New Zealand travel experience. NOTE : (image Tongariro Crossing)
Tongariro Crossing is on the bucket list for great hiking trips and can be accomplished in a day. Tongariro Alpine Crossing | National Park | World Heritage Area | Welcome check the site for details and perhaps the tramp is your must do list.
All of the walks are on State Highway 48, in the vicinity of Whakapapa Village. The walks offer a variety of scenery, from waterfalls, high altitude vegetation to avalanche debris. They are well signposted, with information panels and easy to moderate gradients. A gem of water, sky, rocks in an alpine setting.
Whakapapa Nature Walk
The first walk is closest to the Visitor Centre, Whakapapa Nature Walk introduces the walker to the flora and fauna with on site information panels. This walk can be completed by all fitness levels. Wheelchair accessible on a sealed loop track.
The Mounds Walk
The Mounds walk is a short easy walk for children with a history of human occupation and volcanic activity. Detailed information panels engage the walker to reassess the landscape for telltale signs of avalanche debris. There is a great photo moment of Mount Ngauruhoe at the commencement of this walk. The best position for a photo is at the top of the steps as you are elevated with soaring Mountain backdropping the tundra. Not wheelchair accessible.
Tawhai Falls Walk
Tawhai Falls walk packs a punch with mountain toatoa, beech forest, bird song and then a pretty waterfall at the end of the walk. To access the waterfalls there is a short climb over rocks slippery when wet. There are steps to the Tawhai Falls with handrails. It is a favourite spot for instagrammers due to the Gollom scene in the film Lord of the Rings.
Ridge Track Walk
Ridge Track starts with the dappled light of beech forest then the horizon widens to alpine shrubs and the reward of a panoramic view of Mt Ngauruhoe. As the walk is aptly described you have climbed a ridge with a truely great moment to soak into the view of the mountain poised against the sky. If it is cloudy, as happens, return for another day in the mountains.
Indulge in afternoon tea at the Chateau Tongariro afternoon tea. Make sure to sit under enormous picture windows overlooking the mountains. Bookings are essential. A perfect indulgence after vigorous morning walks. Bookings are essential. Then highlight could be a gondola ride to the Knoll Ridge Chalet. There is the option of your afternoon tea at the top of a mountain. No bookings required for afternoon tea at Knoll Ridge.
Forward booking for afternoon tea is essential High Tea Mt. Ruapehu Hotel. To mark a truly special occasion, upgrade to enjoy a glass of bubbles with your fresh scones, savouries and macarons. Choose between a traditional, vegetarian, gluten free or vegan menu. Pamper yourself and your friends with High Tea at The Chateau Tongariro Hotel, available daily from 11 AM – 5 PM.
RETURN SIGHTSEEING GONDOLA RIDE
Journey through the clouds on a return trip (one ride up, one ride down) on the Sky Waka to the Knoll Ridge Chalet. Sightseeing passengers are not permitted to carry ski & ride equipment onto the gondola. Check the travel pack information for details about walks from the Knoll Ridge Chalet. Watch the sky watchvideo as it provides a clear view of the terrain and ease of the walking track. The gondola is spectacular, you are effortlessly whisked up the side of a massive mountain with 360-degree views through a glass gondola.
Floor to ceiling windows float visitors to a height of 2021 metres above sea level. This is a must do for all age groups.
Take the kids to the top: cut-price tickets for children aged 18 and under
Consider an afternoon saunter in a small vibrant town exploring local artisan stores, restaurants and enjoying the vibe of a town that supports a vigorous agricultural sector as well as tourism. There are cafes, boutique shops, short walks and spectacular mountain views. Ohakune is an experienced host welcoming visitors year round.
Cycling the Old Coach Road, Ohakune
Forgot a day in the mountains and afternoon tea at the Chateau, it’s all about the great outdoors. Hop onto either a rented bike or your own trusty mountain bike and explore the Ohakune Old Coach Road. This is an all day cycle option.
This is one of those “something-for-everyone” kind of rides. You’ll have your dose of impressive mountain views, forest and history. The Old Coach Road was used for horse-drawn coaches, which now connects Horopito and Ohakune. There are equal uphill and downhill sections in the pretty native forest of the Tongariro National Park.Two highlights include the 45 metre-high Hapuwhenu Viaduct and the Old Train Tunnel, both looking out-of-place amongst native bush. There are plenty of information panels to read should you need an excuse to rest. Check Ohakune Old Coach Road for details.
The Tongariro River trails are explored with an option to vigorously bike the entire trail or to simply walk at your own pace. Tongariro River Trail encourages cycling, pets and people of all ages. There is a swing bridge which is fun for all ages. The River Trail has numerous entry points; it is also suitable for short walks with children. Remember to check into the Turangi visitor centre Your start is the Tūrangi i-SITE Visitor Information Centre | Visitor Information Centres in Taupō before you embark on your Tongariro day trails. The interactive earthquake centre is worth a look as well as you will obtain tips for your river exploration. As with the Huka Falls there is an option of rafting or jet boating the Tongariro River.
The Centre’s narrative is the story of fishing in New Zealand, various fish species and the importance of trout fishing. Outside the museum centre are numerous trout swimming in the Centre’s pools and streams. You can purchase bread to encourage trout to rise to the surface for your photo opportunity.
Your afternoon is an exploration of the Tongariro River Walk. The River Walk is an excellent choice for all fitness levels, it is relatively flat, there is a wide firm path, there is opportunity to vigorously cycle. The walk meanders on both sides of the Tongariro River past people’s backyards, rolling farmland and through native bush. The River is always present with glimpses and vistas opening up to people fly fishing or swimming in sheltered areas. The Tongario National Trout Centre is on the route and a great place to break your journey.
The 15 km loop track is undulating and has numerous well signposted exit and entrance points giving visitors the choice of how far and where to go. The track allows dogs on a lease and is suitable for families with children in a buggy.
Check out New Zealand country notes for bike hire options.
VISIT DURATION 1- 3 hours
Taupo is a tourist hub with numerous accommodation choices from luxury to backpacker. Unwind spa indulgences, adventure driven bungy jumping, lake cruises and even a round of golf putting into a lake. A highlight is the Aratiatia Dam spill observation (free) and an exploration of the early walking trails in the district. You will be checking out of your Tokaanu (or Turangi) accommodation this morning.
The piercing sound of the siren alert before the spill flood gates are open builds anticipation. Eyes and cameras are focused on the change in the water flow. Instant waterfalls and surging torrents echo the Huka Falls with the power of water to occupy space.
Tip check spill opening times and plan to be in the carpark 20 minutes beforehand. The upper viewing platform is an easy / moderate walk while the lower viewing platform has a very uneven surface requiring greater agility.
TIP: children under five could find the ‘waiting’ tiring
TIP: best viewing on the upper path standing on the concrete platforms designed for this purpose.
VISIT DURATION 1 hour
Opepe Reserve is an original and regenerating native bush reserve embracing the original Taupo to Napier road.
The original road followed the traditional Maori tracks over the ranges and into the Lake Taupo region.
The bush reserve has the remains of the logging industry with a pit saw, partly cut Totara trees and plaques describing the nineteenth century logging industry and its impact on the environment.
It is a special moment when you are retracing the footsteps of people on the overgrown highway, imaging all of those who went before.
There is public car parking on both sides of the road.
The reserve is surprisingly quiet, as it abuts a major highway.
Within a few paces of entering the reserve the sight and sound of a highway disappears into bird sound and forest whispers.
The walk is relatively flat although in wet weather it could be slippery with the vegetation.
Public toilets: has a compostable toilet on site
TIP: Safety – The reserve is split in two by a major highway which you need to cross over to explore both sides of the reserve.
The highway has a speed limit of 100km.
Exercise caution with children crossing the road.
For more information abou the reserve click here for Opepe walks: Taupō area.
VISIT DURATION 1 – 1 ½ hours
Where is it?
Free afternoon, perhaps shopping in Taupo, bungy jumping or an afternoon cruising Lake Taupo. Lake Taupo is a major tourist destination with the lake as the centrepiece for visitors and locals alike. Lake Taupo attractions include cruises to rock carvings and hidden coves, fishing trips and beaches for swimming and picnics. The town has developed a range of themed entertainments from bungee jumping, water based sports activities to boutique stores, cafes and restaurants catering for visitors.
Taupo is ridiculously spoilt for choice. Wall to wall motels greet visitors on the roads into town. There are sedclued resorts and lakeside camping grounds. The best spots can be fully booked especially in the school holidays. Forward bookings are recommended. The itinerary recommends a classic location, a private geothermal pool for guests only, extensive grounds for families and the option of spa massage for indulgence.
Today is about exploring hidden gems and geothermal valleys of the central plateau. Situated between Taupo and Rotorua Orakei Korako Thermal Area is a highlight. Silica formations, boiling water, and thermal activity are naturally carved out of the forest against the backdrop of a lake that steams on the edges. The visual impact of geothermal activity reminds the visitor the world can be very hot.
Orakei Korako Thermal Area exploration starts with a short boat trip across Ohakuri (Cloak of the Dog) Dam completed 1961. There are up to 23 active natural.
Up to 23 active natural geysers play freely through the area, which is constantly changing. The chemical composition of the geothermal water is vividly on display with the colours of the rainbow coating the hillsides and valley surfaces with orange, reds, yellows and green shades together with white undercoats. The walk is through rengenerating bush on wide even boardwalks, there are a few steps in places (clearly signposted) and the walk is suitable for all fitness levels. The walk itself is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs. The area welcomes dogs on a lease.
Orakei Korako has been an important settlement site of Ngati Tahu for many generations. The settlement of Orakei Korako consisted of a fortified pa on the left bank above the river and a living area on the flats beside the river amidst the geysers and hot pools.
Open every day 8.30am – 3.30pm
VISIT DURATION: 3 hours (including cafe and lake waters massage).
Where is it?
You’ve got numerous jet boat operators throughout New Zealand to choose from, there is a combination of jet boat thrills to a geothermal treasure. Visitors jet boat down the Waikato River through the spectacular Tutukau Gorge. The scenery is pine forests, regenerating bush, farmland, steaming volcanic river banks and trout feeding areas on your way down to Orakei Korako; one of New Zealand’s most popular geothermal attractions.
New Zealand RiverJet | Jet Boat Taupo and Rotorua is not just about a quick spin and a swirl against large river boulders. While there is definitely speed involved, its a jet boat after all, there is time to absorb the scenery you are passing. The jet boat is a great transport option, leave the car at Taupo DeBretts and enjoy the day with someelse organising getting to and from Orakei Korako. River Jet offers a pick up and drop off service. This is only available when you book our Ultimate Squeeze or Ultimate Thermal Safari. The Ultimate part is essentially just a shuttle service to and from our base with a couple of added bonus stops! When you book this tour, it will ask for your accommodation so we know where to pick you up from (must be central Town). Pick up time is between 8:50am and 9:20am. Ensure you wait out front for your pick up collection. Check here for FAQ.
VISIT DURATION: All day
Rotorua, the image on uncountable postcards, the tourism image for New Zealand and perhaps one of the birthplaces for modern international visitor experiences in Aoteoroa NZ. Rotorua itself is marked by motels, hotels and themed visitor parks with all the elements of a mass tourism destination. For locals this can be offputting as many attractions are fee paying. Rotorua caters for large numbers of people creating loss of individuality around the experience. While these factors are present Rotorua is extraordinary as an active volcanic, geothermal area where earth’s core heat and energy rise up, on full display for visitors to marvel at what the earth can offer. A magical place where for hundreds of years people have enjoyed the mineral laden warm waters that constantly well from the earth’s interior.
Rotorua’s Waikite Valley Thermal Pools is a natural thermal bathing complex. Water for our pools comes straight out of the Te Manaroa natural boiling spring, and is then cooled before entering (and exiting) the pools. This 100% natural thermal water is not treated with any chemicals whatsoever nor is it filtered or recycled back into the pools. The ‘Living Waters’ of Waikite Valley is the only thermal pool complex of this size in New Zealand using only 100% pure natural geothermal water. Given the nature of the water we recommend that you keep your head above water when swimming.
Indulge in the soft calcite-laden mineral water in temperatures of 35-38°Celsius seducing you into a total state of relaxation. Welcome to Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Springs n Spa, Thermal Pools Rotorua, Thermal Hot Pools Rotorua, Hot Pools Rotorua Area for details.
Camping ground adjacent to Waikite Valley Thermal Pools provides the opportunity to relax and experience the pure natural geothermal waters from the Te Manaroa Spring. Facilities include The Pukeko in the Ponga Tree Cafe, a splash pool with adjoining toddlers play area.
Take a stroll on the Te Manaroa Spring Walkway and Eco-Trail to the largest single source of boiling water in New Zealand. Experience the ‘Living Waters’ of Waikite Valley and see the violently magnificent Te Manaroa Spring as it discharges thousands of litres of geothermal energy into the Otamakokore Stream that winds its way downstream leaving a trail of calcite formations in its wake.
Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool. Waiotapu Track is located 27 km (20 minutes drive) south of Rotorua off SH5, turn left on Loop Rd opposite Waikite Rd for 2 km until you reach Waiotapu Track. Waiotapu Boardwalk: Rainbow Mountain & Waiotapu Scenic Reserves is free to visit. A well maintained flat, wheelchair accessible path. Geothermal bubbling mud pools, boiling alkes and bright green steaming ponds.
Adjoining the pool complex is a 26-site camp ground featuring powered and non-powered sites. There are shower, laundry and kitchen facilities plus a thermally-heated drying room available for campers to use during their stay. At time of reservation please nominate either powered or non-powered site and provide a clear description of your camping mode, i.e Camper van (size), Caravan or tent. Online bookings are not available. Check website for details and telephone Waikite Valley accommodation directly for booking inquiries. Dogs are not allowed.