Rotorua and its surrounding area has fascinated domestic and international travelers alike for over a century. A town originally built for the weary to visit the healing waters, Rotorua quickly gained international recognition for its breath-taking scenery and display of local culture.
Today the thermal pools still attract a large number of tourists every year – and understandably so. The town, situated in the Bay of Plenty, is known for its mild Rotorua weather providing visitors with balmy temperatures all year around.
Whether you are looking for an admission free, relaxing soak in amongst nature itself or a luxurious dip in a spa retreat, Rotorua’s thermal springs have everything you need to indulge in an experience like no other.
Polynesian Spa If it’s a world class spa experience you’re after, then the Polynesian Spa might just be the place for you. The geothermal bathing retreat is uniquely nestled in on the shores of Lake Rotorua, providing exclusive views of its surroundings. The retreat offers a range of therapies – massages, body wraps and facials among others – perfect if you’re looking for rest and relaxation.
The Blue Baths The stunning art deco heritage bathhouse The Blue Baths is located in the heart of Rotorua's Government Gardens. Although primarily known as an event and wedding venue, the bathhouse is open to the public daily. The historic hot water pools are geothermally heated fresh water with temperatures varying between 30°C – 42°C. Blue Baths is a great place to visit if you want to bathe immersed in Hollywood-style luxury.
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools As a popular tourist “must-do”, the spa retreat of the Waikite hot pools is nestled in a valley with idyllic views of the countryside. The unique spot is home to the Te Manaroa Spring – the largest single source of pure geothermal water in New Zealand. Visitors can choose to soak in the main pool, one of the luxurious garden pools or indulge in a private spa. Open all year around, Waikite hot pools is an ideal place to unwind.
Kerosene Creek For those who prefer to bathe for free immersed in the native bush of Whakarewarewa, Kerosene Creek is a mere thirty five minute drive south of Rotorua and a perfect place to get back to nature. The naturally heated creek is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike, especially as there is no admission charge to use the hot water. Located uniquely just off the side of a local road, a small dirt path leads you down to the natural hot pool in an idyllic location, featuring its own Instagram-friendly waterfall.
Waiotapu Stream Set in the tranquil beauty of Whakarewarewa Valley, the secret spot located outside Wai-O-Tapu geothermal park is an experience unlike any. Admission free, the hot pool is formed as the hot Wai-O-Tapu stream flows into the cool river. Visitors are encouraged to move around the river to find a spot with the perfect temperature for them to enjoy this natural phenomenon - earning it’s deserved nickname ‘Hot and Cold’.
Waterfall Spout Bath Located not far from the Waiotapu Stream is a lesser known attraction – The Waterfall Spout Bath. The pools are best accessed by foot along a welcoming path through native bush. The location’s remote waterfall is perhaps the most appealing aspect of the place, with its breath-taking natural water force. If you’re looking for a truly wild and rustic experience, this is the place to go.
Wairua Stream Though harder to get to, the beautiful stream of Wairua is well worth the boat ride across Lake Tarawera. The native bush bordering the beach hides a small steaming creek, a secret haven for those lucky enough to visit. The Rotorua weather, mild and wet in winter, makes this a perfect spot to experience even during the winter downpours.
Kuirau Park For those who just want to dip their feet in the thermal pools, Kaurau Park is the place to go. As the only geothermal public park in New Zealand, it offers visitors an opportunity to explore beautiful gardens among steaming hot springs and mud pools. The footbaths are free to use, and especially encouraged during the cooler winter months to warm cold feet.
Rotorua is truly a remarkable place. With its mild weather and stunning countryside, visitors are welcome to enjoy the luxurious spas and the free thermal pools all year around.