If you’re planning on visiting New Zealand, you need to experience its unique geothermal lands. And the best way to do this is to ensure Rotorua is on your itinerary. Rotorua’s thermal pools and hot springs attract visitors from all over the world wanting to enjoy a relaxing dip in the natural warm baths. Even if your guided tour of New Zealand is during the country’s cooler months, Rotorua’s hot springs will still be lovely and warm, so you can climb in, lie back and enjoy looking out on to some truly stunning surroundings.

Rotorua has plenty of geothermal areas to explore, so to help you seek out the hottest spots, we’ve put together a quick list of some of the best. Whichever you choose to visit, you’ll soon understand why Rotorua features in our list of the top New Zealand landscapes.


On the outskirts of Rotorua is the geothermal lands of Wai-O-Tapu. Here you’ll find plenty of mud pools, sulphur pools and geysers to go between. The Champagne pool is a true beauty spot where you can relax in the warm waters. Or you can explore the muddy hot spring where the hot stream meets the cool river. Don’t worry about getting a little muddy because you can pay a visit to the Lady Knox Geyser – a magnificent waterfall, perfect for washing the mud away before you dry off.

Hell’s Gate

Some of the most famous of Rotorua’s hot springs can be found in the sacred Maori site of Hell’s Gate. These Rotorua hot pools have been around for more than 800 years and today offer an amazing 50 acres of mud pools, geysers and hot springs. Known as some of the best thermal pools in Rotorua, the hot springs are laden with minerals and geothermal mud, providing a spa-like experience. You can even book a massage! Then, when the time comes to wash the mud off your skin, you can take a relaxing dip in the Hurutini pool. On top of all this, Hell’s Gate is home to the largest hot water waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere and the only mud volcano in New Zealand. So if you’d like to experience some of the finest spa pools in Rotorua, you know where to go!


Nestled within a traditional Maori village is Whakarewarewa – a bustling hub of geothermal activity. Also know as a Living Thermal Village, Whakarewarewa boasts an incredible 500 of Rotorua’s hot springs and hot pools. The beauty of this remote geothermal site has to be seen to be believed. The hot springs are surrounded by native bush land and spectacular scenery – the perfect backdrop for a relaxing swim.


If you’d like to visit some of the hot springs in Rotorua that also have an interesting history, you should venture to Waimangu. This geothermal area was born in 1886 when Mount Tarawera erupted causing much destruction and burying what was then known as the 8th Wonder of the World – the Pink and White Terraces. Today in Waimangu, also known as “black water” in Maori, you’ll find numerous craters filled with thermal water and some of Rotorua’s youngest hot pools.

So, if you are journeying to New Zealand any time soon, and like the idea of experiencing Rotorua’s hot springs, we’d be happy to advise which guided tour of New Zealand can incorporate a trip to Rotorua.


Image by Chris Sisarich – Tourism New Zealand