9 Fantastic Hot Springs In New Zealand to Experience

by Jackie
Published: Updated:
Murky geothermal waters surrounded by rocks from Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve, one of the best hot springs in New Zealand

Are you looking for the best hot springs in New Zealand? You’ve come to the right place!

Thanks to its geologically active location, New Zealand is home to over 100 hot springs and geothermal pools scattered throughout the North and South Islands. And that doesn’t even account for those on private property.

With so many options, picking which ones to visit on your trip might seem impossible. 

We’ve put together this post on New Zealand’s top 9 hot springs and thermal pools to experience on your next trip. 

Whether you want to relax as a solo traveler, couple, or with family members, or need some recovery after your outdoor adventures or hiking excursions to soothe blistered feet, you’ll find the right spot for your vacation. 

Now if you are ready to relax in one of these healing pools, keep reading this NZ hot springs and thermal pools guide. Add one or more of these pools to your next NZ itinerary.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Appreciate the support.

New Zealand’s Hot Springs Overview

As you know, we love New Zealand’s amazing outdoor adventures. 

The weather varies depending on the season and which part of the island you’re located in. With the vast wilderness, the cooler summers and cold winters can take campers and hikers by surprise. 

What better way to warm up than in a natural hot spring?

New Zealand’s hot springs range from untouched, natural streams to luxurious hot springs with a full menu of additional services. 

Note: Keep in mind that some springs might be dangerous and too hot for swimming, so respect the signs and only swim in marked hot springs.

Here is our selection of 9 hot springs in New Zealand:

  1. Hot Water Beach – Coromandel
  2. Te Waiariki Ngawha Springs – Kaikohe, Northland
  3. The Lost Spring – Whitianga, Coromandel
  4. Polynesian Spa – Rotorua
  5. Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa – Rotorua
  6. Kerosene Creek – Rotorua
  7. Onsen Hot Pools – Queenstown
  8. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa – Hanmer Springs, Canterbury
  9. Hot Tubs Omarama – Omarama

It’s recommended to drive a car to get to these hot spring locations. Check out tips on how to drive around New Zealand.

Map of NZ Hot Springs Locations

Map of New Zealand's hot springs and thermal pool locations to visit

Click on the map to see a larger view of the recommended hot spring locations on North and South Island New Zealand. Credit: Map data: Google

Best Hot Springs in the North Island, New Zealand

1. Hot Water Beach – Coromandel

We’re starting with one of the most unusual hot springs in New Zealand

Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel Peninsula is exactly what it sounds like – a sandy beach, where people come with a shovel to dig holes in the sand at low tide. 

As the hot water flows through the sand, it creates a private hot pool.

TIP: Don’t have a shovel? It’s not a problem! You can rent one at the nearby beach bars. 

For the best experience, come to the beach within 2 hours of low tide. 

A shovel standing up in the Hot Water Beach and shallow pools of hot water at Coromandel Peninsula, North Island New Zealand

Hot Water Beach is a must visit hot spring to check out in North Island New Zealand. Photo credit: jovannig via Depositphotos.com

Address: Off of Hot Water Beach Road, Coromandel Peninsula

How to Get There: The best way to reach Hot Water Beach is a 30-minute car ride from Whitianga.

Admission: Free to access

Read More: Add a visit to Driving Creek Railway when you’re in Coromandel.

2. Te Waiariki Ngawha Springs – Kaikohe, Northland

Te Waiariki Ngawha Spring has 16 mineral-rich public pools and is operated by local Maori people. These geothermal springs have cultural, environmental, and political significance for the local community. 

What makes this hot spring special is that each of the 16 public pools is unique with different temperatures, colors, and healing properties. 

The Bulldog is the oldest and hottest pool while Kowhai and Milky Way have cooler temperatures. The last two have a milky blue-colored pool.

Address: 303 Ngawha Springs Road Ngawha, Kaikohe 0473

How to Get There: You’ll find Te Waiariki Ngawha Springs about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) outside of Kaikohe and can get there by car.

Admission: The admission fee to access the Ngawha pools is quite affordable starting at $34 NZD ($20.80 USD) for adults and $15 NZD ($9.20) for children. Book your session in advance here. 

3. The Lost Spring – Whitianga, Coromandel

The Lost Spring is the most lavish natural spring in New Zealand. The experience is similar to “Disneyland for adults” with many relaxing pools and caves

The story of the Lost Spring is an interesting one. The owner, Alan Hopping, spent 20 years drilling in the area searching for the lost spring of Taputapuatea. Luckily, he was successful, and today you can enjoy this relaxing oasis in 16,000-year-old mineral-rich waters. 

This is an adults-only hot spring place so children under 14 years old are not allowed. 

The Lost Spring also has spa treatments and a restaurant. It’s a full day of relaxation here!

Address: 121A Cook Drive, Whitianga 3510

How to Get There: The pools are located in the city of Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula so it’s easy to get here by car. 

Admission: The pricing varies depending on the package – 2 hours for $60 NZD ($37 USD), 4 hours for $100 NZD ($36.40). It’s highly recommended to book your ticket in advance.

4. Polynesian Spa – Rotorua

Located in Rotorua, Polynesian Spa is one of New Zealand’s popular hot springs.

The mineral waters in this hot spring are a blend of acidic and alkaline springs providing a memorable experience unlike any other spa on this list. 

This is an upscale spa so it’s popular with tourists and locals alike. You can choose between 28 different springs and pools to enjoy and spend the day. There are private and public pools available, and even family-friendly pools. 

To contribute to its relaxing atmosphere, Polynesian Spa is situated overlooking Owhatiura Bay/Rotorua Lake.

A blue lake and a small beach at Sulphur Point in Rotorua, New Zealand

Here is one of the views of Owhatiura Bay/Lake Rotorua that you’ll see from Polynesian Spa

Address: 1000 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua 3010

How to Get There: This place is located in the center of Rotorua. You can drive or walk here if you’re based in the town.

Admission: There are various packages to choose from. 

Read More: Rotorua 2 Days Itinerary

5. Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa – Rotorua

What makes Hell’s Gate Spa different from others in the geothermally rich area of Rotorua is that it’s home to the only mud spa

Thanks to the nutrient-rich nature of this mineral pool, the silky mud in Hell’s Gate contains extraordinary healing properties. It’s also a fantastic way to detox the skin!

There is more than just mud in Hell’s Gate! When you’ve had enough of the mud, you can hop into one of the sulfur spa baths or the cool, springwater waterfall

If you’re not looking for a full-body soak in the thermal pools, then take a guided and self-guided walking tour. There is also a foot soak afterward. 

A blue milky sulfur spa thermal pool at Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa in Rotorua

You’ll want to relax in one of these sulfur spa pools when visiting Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa. Photo credit: zhukovsky via Depositphotos.com

Address: 351 State Highway 30, Tikitere, Rotorua 3010

How to Get There: Hell’s Gate is located just a 15-minute car ride outside of Rotorua.

Admission: It will vary depending on the package. 

6. Kerosene Creek – Rotorua

Finally, Kerosene Creek is one of the most magical natural hot springs in New Zealand

Located in a lush green forest, Kerosene Creek has a 2-meter (6.6 feet) high waterfall offering a free hot water massage. It’s a completely natural hot spring, so there aren’t any facilities on site apart from untouched nature. 

This stunning place doesn’t have a lot of visitors so you can have the springs all to yourself!

A small waterfall at a natural hot spring at Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand

Kerosene Creek is a free hot spring to visit in Rotorua! Photo credit: kamchatka via Depositphotos.com

Address: Old Waiotapu Road, Waiotapu 3073

How to Get There: The hot spring is about 35 kilometers (21.8 miles) away from Rotorua and is best accessed by car, followed by a short hike through the forest. 

Note: We heard about the deep potholes along the road so drive carefully. 

Admission: Free, so it’s perfect if you are on a budget

Read More: Add a visit to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in Waiotapu to See Colorful Hot Springs

Best Hot Springs in the South Island, New Zealand

7. Onsen Hot Pools – Queenstown

How does unwinding in a wooden hot tub with naturally steaming hot water overlooking the mountains and a river sound? That is exactly the experience you get in luxurious Onsen Hot Pools

This hot spring is a flawless blend of natural and manmade, stunning scenery with cedar-lined hot tubs to soak in. 

The view from the private tubs is especially stunning for sunset, so make sure to book it in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly! 

Children (5-11 years old) can visit in the mornings and afternoons. Yet, in the evenings, the age requirement is 12 years and up. 

Address: 162 Arthurs Point Road, Arthurs Point, Queenstown 9371

How to Get There: Onsen Hot Pools are located just a quick 10-minute car ride from Queenstown. There are also complimentary shuttle buses from central Queenstown which must be requested at the time of booking. 

Admission: Prices depend on the package chosen. The outdoor and original onsen package is based on the price per pool and number of people starting at $87.50 NZD ($54 USD) for 1 person, $145 NZD ($89) for 2 people, and up. Book your package ahead of time here. 

8. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa – Hanmer Springs, Canterbury

Hanmer is the largest pool complex on the South Island and New Zealand in general! Tourists have been flocking to Hanmer since the 19th century. 

This hot spring is best for families as there are different pools and activities for the whole family. 

Children will love the natural thermal water pools with four water slides and rides, while adults can relax in Hanmer Spa and adult-only pools.

Hanmer Springs is a resort town, so you can choose to stay there for a long weekend. Otherwise, taking a day trip here from Christchurch is doable.

Address: 42 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs 7334

How to Get There: It’s a 2-hour drive from Christchurch. A shuttle can also be arranged between Christchurch and Hanmer Springs. Hanmer Springs I-SITE Visitor Centre can arrange the transportation for you.

Admission: $38 NZD ($23.30 USD) for adults, $25 NZD ($15.30) for senior citizens, and $22 NZD ($13.50) for children. Buy tickets online here. Prebooking is only required for private thermal pools. 

9. Hot Tubs Omarama – Omarama

Finally, we have the luxurious Hot Tubs Omarama, located in the small town of Omarama. It does not get much more relaxing than soaking in one of their private hot tubs surrounded by mountain ranges overlooking the lake.

It’s a perfect experience for couples and everyone who wants to get away from the crowds. 

The tubs filled with fresh mountain water are spaced out throughout the premises for an ultimately serene experience.

There are tubs available for large groups (up to 8 people) and for those who need easy accessibility tubs. 

Each tub soak lasts 90 minutes. If you want to have more time here, feel free to add a sauna service for a total of 120 minutes. 

Address: 29 Omarama Ave Main, Twizel Highway, Omarama 9448

How to Get There: Hot Tubs Omarama is about a 20-minute drive from Twizel, the largest town in the Mackenzie District.

Admission: The price for a hot tub is $68 NZD ($41.80 USD) for 1 person, $120 NZD ($73.80) for 2 people, and up. Children (5-14 years old) are $25 NZD ($15.40) and children under 5 years old are $20 NZD ($12.30). Click here for more information.

Final Thoughts

After reading this comprehensive list of the best hot springs in New Zealand, how many of these do you want to visit on your next Kiwi adventure? 

Luckily, there is something for every type of traveler from natural hot springs for hikers and adventurers to luxury private hot tubs and family-friendly pools with slides.

Take advantage of these natural spas and enjoy the health benefits of warm, mineral-filled water. 

Since hot springs are sprinkled throughout the country, there is no reason to miss out on this unique New Zealand attraction regardless of your itinerary!

Like this post? Save it to your New Zealand Pinterest board.

Top photo is a milky blue hot spring at Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve and bottom photo is a thermal waterfall at Kerosene Creek in Rotorua

Featured photo credit: zhukovsky via Depositphotos.com

Pin #1 photo credit: zhukovsky via Depositphotos.com (Top); Kamchatka via Depositphotos.com (Bottom)

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Please accept or opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy