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Kiwi Towns

What’s so great about Te Aroha

  • 5 minutes

Waikato, North Island

Waikato attractions and things to do

Te Aroha, historic Edwardian spa resort town where modern tourism kicked off. Soaking in the natural warm mineral waters of Te Aroha was the time to do. Discover the charms of a heritage town continuing to offer visitors hot pools, interesting walking trails and a vibrant main street.

Te Aroha is located on state highway 26, an aerial route connecting to the towns of Morrinsville and Matamata with the Hobbiton close by.

Te Aroha top attractions

  • Te Aroha Mineral Spa should be on your bucket list, sheer therapeutic holiday magic
  • Mount Te Aroha past the Mokena soda water geyser
  • Nearby attractions from Tauranga and Mt Manganui with its beaches and city vibe and Waikato Hobbiton, one of NZ’s top places to visit
  • Location, put down holiday roots and explore the North Island from Te Aroha

Te Aroha to Tauranga: 81 km

Te Aroha to Morrinsville: 21 km

Te Aroha to Hobbiton: 49 km

Te Aroha to Thames: 53 km

Te Aroha to Auckland:144 km

Te Aroha where to take the best selfie

  • Edwardian pavilion is an ideal setting for a couples selfie
  • The views from Mount Te Aroha
  • The ornate Edwardian clock tower on the main street

Check out things to do in Te Aroha

  • Easy stroll on firm paths (wheelchair friendly) around the Lower Domain to view the town’s natural geyser and pick whether to explore the reservoir loop or Tui Domain track.
  • The ornate elegance of the Edwardian bandstand offers a great photo moment with the surrounding mature trees. Look for No. 7 Bath House located in the vicinity of Cottage Cafe
Te Aroha Mineral Spa in historic Edwardian building, New Zealand
Te Aroha Mineral Spa in historic Edwardian building
Tauranga classic flyer museum kids plane to explore, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Tauranga classic flyer museum kids plane to explore, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Te Aroha for kids

What to do with families in Te Aroha, Waikato?

What makes Te Aroha work?

Te Aroha is a hub for the Waikato agricultural sector, one of the powerhouses of the NZ economy. Tourism is of increasing importance.

Te Aroha social media

See & Do

Great resource

The clock tower in Te Aroha, New Zealand
The clock tower in Te Aroha, New Zealand
Entrance to the Te Aroha Domain park, Te Aroha, New Zealand
Entrance to the Te Aroha Domain park, Te Aroha

Who turned up and settled in Te Aroha

The naming of Mount Te Aroha is said to have originated from Kahumata Mamoe, the son of an Arawa Chief, who was lost in the wetlands of the Waihou Valley. Te Mamoe climbed to the top of the mountain, and from the summit he was able to identify his home at Maketu. European settlers started arriving in the late 1870’s.

Source Te Aroha History.

Te Aroha fame

  • Peter Snell (Olympic champion, runner)
  • Jack Body (composer)
  • Various rugby players and cricket players

In 2020 scientific study on the moths of Mount Te Aroha detailed significant species that inhabit the area.

Robert J. B. Hoare (2020), The Moths of Mt Te Aroha.

Te Aroha festivals

  • Waihou and Te Aroha Cobras play an annual rugby match for the Dr Dunn memorial trophy. This is one of the biggest days on the calendar of Te Aroha.
  • A Day in the Domain (SUMMMER) attracts artists, exhibitors and pop up stalls throughout the North Island
  • The King and Queen of the Mountain and Bald Spur Derby have been annual events in Te Aroha since the 1950s. Held the weekend before Christmas, the challenge is to be the first man or woman up Mt Te Aroha and back down again. This has been achieved in under one hour. The Bald Spur Derby offers competitors a shorter but still challenging course.
  • Te Aroha AP & H Show has been running since the 1890s. Gumboot throwing, pet farm animals next to the latest agricultural machinery. The very popular multiple day show is stock in trade for New Zealand rural communities.
  • Te Aroah Cruise In. Aroha Cruise In is a classic car, motorbike, hot rod and interesting vehicle show spread throughout the streets of Te Aroha,
@Aroha Cruise In
@Aroha Cruise In
The Te Aroha i-SITE visitor information center, located in a historic 1894 building in the Te Aroha Domain park, New Zealand
The Te Aroha i-SITE visitor information center, located in a historic 1894 building in the Te Aroha Domain park, New Zealand

Best time to go to Te Aroha

Year round with plenty of indoor activities when the weather is cooler. Te Aroha Mineral Spa will ensure you are toasty warm

Population in Te Aroha

6,680 (2020)

Judgment on Te Aroha

Te Aroha is relatively unknown tourist destination. The heyday of Edwardian spa resort identity is now part of the heritage of Te Aroha. Definitely a place less travelled and you will enjoy several days exploring the region and soaking in an authentic spa with a history over 100 years. Te Aroha is part of the Waikato region yet nestled in the foothills of the Kamai Ranges you could feel as though you were entering a gateway to Whitanga and Thames.

Lower domain walk

Beginning at the Mokena Geyser this is a lovely short bush land walk suitable for pushchair/wheelchair access. Pass the No.20 – iron spring and No.21 – magnesia spring and finish at the Te Aroha Leisure Pools.

  • Walking time: 20 minutes one way
  • Difficulty: Easy

Reservoir Loop walk

Follow the Tui Domain track and detour to the No.22 or ‘honeymoon’ spring where newly married couples would dip their wedding ring into the spring to ensure a long and happy marriage. Continue up around the old town reservoir and return to Domain.

  • Walking time: 25 minutes round trip
  • Difficulty: Medium

Tui domain track

Starting at the Mokena Geyser this track takes you through regenerating bush and shallow mountain streams. There is a 5 minute detour to the Tutumangao Falls and lookout over the town before reaching the junction with the Tui Link track and finally emerging onto Tui Road, near the tailings dam.

  • Walking time: 1 hour 30 minutes 1 way
  • Difficulty: Easy

Te Aroha Domain pavilion and museum.

Howarth memorial wetland loop walk

Lovely, mostly flat walk around established bird sanctuary, following the Waihou River through one section. Perfect for early morning or evening walks. Access from Spur St or via footbridge at end of Lawrence Ave or by boardwalk at Skidmore Reserve on Kenrick Street.

  • Walking time: 45 minutes round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
Te Aroha Domain pavilion and museum, Waikato, New Zealand
Te Aroha Domain pavilion and museum, Waikato

Whakapipi lookout (also known as bald spur track)

Starting at the Mokena Geyser, the track zigzags its way through mature pines and pūriri that were planted in the early 1900s. The Whakapipi lookout provides a stunning view of Te Aroha township, the wetlands, river and beyond. Mt Aroha Mountain Track (see below) continues on through a saddle and then steeply up for another 2 hr to the summit of Mount Te Aroha.

  • Walking time: 45 minutes one way
  • Difficulty: Medium
Mokena Geyser in full flow, Te Aroha, NZ
Mokena Geyser in full flow, Te Aroha, NZ


Have you found the free foot spa in the Domain. It is perhaps the most fun thing to do in Te Aroha is to soak your feet in the original Domain foot baths. Located among the mature trees the foot pool is a quiet surprise in the Domain. At a consistent temperature of approximately 36c the naturally hot soda pool is perfect for soaking the feet. The pool is free. And the geyser is nearby to have a look at.

Mokena Geyser

A hot soda geyser, a rare natural occurrence and Te Aroha is where it all happens, regularly around one hour intervals the geyser erupts. The world’s only hot soda water geyser is artificially created to provide an outflow for the nearby hot pools. The hot soda water rises from a depth of 70 metres providing crystal clear hot water. The geyser’s name recognises the Maori chief, Mokea Te Hau who gifted the Domain to the public.


A must visit Edwardian feature is the Gazebo. The Edwardian delight formerely housing the number 8 cold natural soda drinking fountain. Don’t miss viewing the Mokea Te Hau’s memorial cairn next to the Gazebo. The Gazebo is now a quiet seating area within the Domain. Te Aroha was a key destination, in the early years of the 20th century for ‘taking the waters’, Reflecting attitudes to health and medicine in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century New Zealand.

“ As a functioning spring in a public park … to be the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian spa in New Zealand.” The significance of this landscape has been recognised by the NZHPT/Pouhere Taonga in its registration of the Domain as a Historic Area (#7012).Search the List | Gazebo over No 15 Spring.

Highlight – spa

Te Aroha Mineral Spas have private spa which are booked in half hour duration slots. The silky smooth soda waters have been used for their therapeutic qualities for more than 100 years. Part of the ambiance is the nineteenth century style wooden hot tubs where you can adjust your own water temperature. The spa complex also offers spa treatments, such as massages, body wraps and beauty treatments. Every private room has its own ensuite, changing area and ceiling skylight. After each use, the room and spa are cleaned and the water is refreshed. Each spa has both hot and cold taps allowing you to adjust the temperature to suit your needs.

Qualified spa therapists offer a range of luxurious, pampering massage and beauty treatments that will ensure you leave feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Te Aroha Mineral Spas, New Zealand @tearohamineralspas

Treatments are available:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 10.30am to 6.00pm Thursday and Saturday 10.30am to 8pm Sunday and Public Holidays 10.30am to 6.30pm Bookings are essential.

Te Aroha Mineral Spa is open every day except Christmas Day.

Opening Hours: 10.30am-9pm Monday to Thursday; 10.30am-10pm Friday to Sunday and public holidays.

For spa enthusiastic don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge your senses with number 2 Bath House. The exquisite Edwardian bath house has been beautifully restored. While there is an infinity wall and glass viewing panels the bath house has retained its original charm. The temperature of the naturally hot soda water is 70°C and is cooled to 40°C for comfort. Come and experience ‘taking the waters’ how it was 100 years ago.

Open: Weekdays: 7am – 5:45pm; Weekends and Public Holidays: 10am – 6:45pm

Please note that pools are cleared 15 minutes before closing.

The old Te Aroha post office, New Zealand
The old Te Aroha post office, New Zealand

Heritage Te Aroha

The Cadman Bath House is now the Te Aroha Museum. The building was a first for New Zealand tourism as it was specifically designed to attract visitors to the spa town. The birthplace of New Zealand tourism is an accolade Te Aroha embraces.

Bowling greens and croquet club

Te Aroha i visitor centre is housed in the former Domain office, former Domain Office reflects important and representative aspects of New Zealand history, including civic administration, the role of Domain Boards, and the development of health care and early tourism in New Zealand.

Currently operating as a visitor’s centre, it has high potential for public education.

The Cottage Cafe is occupying the old Gardener’s Cottage. The house is a good example of a “T” plan Edwardian Villa. The interesting feature of this cottage is that it has no projecting bay beneath the gable representing a local variation. An exterior room was built on the verandah in 1928/9. This was restored by DOC in 1989 and the verandah rebuilt. The cottage exemplifies the growth and development of the Domain with regard to the need for a resident Head Gardener and its control by the (then) Department of Tourist and Health Resorts.


You planned a day trip and Te Aroha wove its magic. And now you need a place to stay.

Stay in Te Aroha

Te Aroha Holiday Park & Hot Pools

Te Aroha deserves more than a day trip. You are indulging in a weekend away with several booked spa treatments. A great idea and stay at Te Aroha Holiday Park and Hot Pools. The holiday park has its own private hot pool. The perfect antidote as you have alternative indulgence on tap at your accommodation. Te Aroha Holiday Park is a unique country camping experience in one of New Zealand’s few remaining traditional holiday parks in the Waikato. Enjoy soaking in our mineral hot pool (open during the evening), Alternatively enjoy a BBQ on the private deck of your own self-contained cottage. There is an adventure playground amongst oak trees. Warm cosy cabins to spend a wintery night something to think about when you need a break.

@Te Aroha Holiday Park & Hot Pools, New Zealand
@Te Aroha Holiday Park & Hot Pools



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