So, we all know winter in New Zealand is cold, right? Luckily, we have been blessed with many geothermal areas in both the North and South Islands. It’s that awesome feeling you get soaking in a hot pool when it’s freezing cold or sometimes (even better) when it’s snowing.
New Zealand has plenty to choose from and they are always surrounded by beautiful views.
Treat yourself and plan a day (or two) in some of the best hot pools in New Zealand.
Rotorua – Polynesian Spa and many more
Rotorua, being renowned for its geothermal activity, is definitely where you would find the most hot pools and hot springs in New Zealand. The health benefits of its thermal water have been renowned for centuries which is why, back in the early days, Rotorua became New Zealand’s first ever tourist destination. From resorts, spas or free natural hot springs, this is the place to go if you like spending time in thermal water.
For a full day of relaxation, visit the famous Polynesian Spa: 28 hot mineral pools, sourced from two natural springs, mud therapies, massages and magical views off Rotorua Lake.
Didn’t spend enough time in the water? All Seasons Holiday Park Rotorua, a few minutes away, has a heated swimming pool that can be used all year round!
Hanmer Springs – Thermal Pools in an alpine village
In the beautiful Canterbury region, you will find the picturesque village of Hanmer Springs.
The springs were discovered in 1859 and the area became quite popular, even more when the South Island military hospital, Queen Mary Hospital, was built. The thermal water of Hanmer Springs comes from the Greywacke basement rock.
Best time to visit Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools is probably at nightfall, when the resort is quiet, get a beautiful view of the stars between the plumes of steam rising around you.
If you don’t want to use your car, Alpine Adventure Holiday Park Hanmer Springs, just 3kms away, runs regular trips to the Thermal Pools with a courtesy coach.
Tekapo Springs – stargazing from a hot pool
Talking of wonderful views and stargazing, Tekapo Springs should not be forgotten. Nestled in a Pine forest, with views out over Lake Tekapo and right across to the southern alps.
This is such an amazing place, the whole family will love it: kids can ice skate while Mum and Dad enjoy the hot pools or a sauna, all at the same resort. Did you know that each pool is named and shaped in honour of the Mackenzie Region’s lakes?
Miranda Hot Springs
45 minutes south of Auckland, west side of the Firth of Thames, is the beautiful little village of Miranda.
After a walk starting at the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, to observe New Zealand’s amazing birdlife including the endemic Wrybill, there is nothing better than warming up in Miranda Hot Springs pools.
They have three pools filled with thermally heated fresh mineral water, the adult only pool being heated to a temperature of between 40°C-41°C.
But if that’s not enough, Miranda Holiday Park has its own hot thermal mineral pool, beautifully landscaped complete with a waterfall.
Franz Joseph – Glacier Hot Pools
So yeah you know it, it rains a lot in the West Coast. With that in mind, soaking in a hot pool may just be the best option some days.
Glacier Hot Pools in Franz Joseph is nestled in the native rainforest and it’s so quiet and relaxing in winter, you can even hear the birds. They have three main pools ranging in temperature from 36°C to 40°C.
The good news is: the pools all have shade covers overhead, no reason not to swim, rain or shine!