Hot Pools in New Zealand
Because New Zealand is located on the edge of two massive tectonic plates of the Earth's crust, it has a large amount of geothermal activity. This means there are many hot pools in New Zealand to enjoy after a long hard day!
New Zealand hot pools range from small spa-type natural mineral pools to large thermally heated swimming pool complexes. Some of the best known hot pools in New Zealand are to be found in Rotorua and Taupo in the North Island, and Hanmer Springs in the South Island.
Rotorua - Rotorua City is New Zealand's oldest tourist resort. There is a pervasive smell of sulphur, and steam escapes from cracks in the ground, pathways and sidewalks. In 1878 Father Mahoney, a Catholic Priest disabled with arthritis, is said to have been carried 88 km to Rotorua from Tauranga, to bathe in the acidic waters. After three months he was reputedly able to walk back to Tauranga.
It was believed the close juxtaposition of strongly alkaline water alongside a still stronger acid, was the secret to the healing powers of the Rotorua springs. Whether it was the heat, the acidity, or the minerals in the water, the New Zealand hot pool became known as the 'Priest's Bath' and Rotorua's reputation as a health resort has been spreading ever since.
In 1880 local Māori leaders signed an agreement setting aside Rotorua's thermal springs 'for the benefit of the people of the world'. The area's first sanatorium opened in 1885. Water from nearby springs was piped to private bathrooms and larger douche massage rooms. There were also a number of deep pools.
For over 100 years people from all over the world flocked to 'take the cure'. Crown Princess Louise of Sweden was among them, as were George Bernard Shaw and the Duke of Bedford. These days you can choose from a range of these small mineral New Zealand hot pools, all with different temperatures, in a beautifully landscaped natural environment.
Hanmer Springs - Situated only 90 minutes drive from Christchurch or Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs is unique in New Zealand. A blend of geothermal activity and spa facilities in an alpine setting.
Enjoy thermal mineral, sulphur and freshwater pools, or indulge in the private thermal pools and Scandinavian sauna and steam rooms.
And for the children, there is a delightfully themed shallow pool and a challenging hydroslide. Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve is the winner of the Visitor Attractions Award in the 2004 New Zealand Tourism Awards.
Taupo - DeBrett's baths in Taupo offers private mineral pools in New Zealand as well as larger public pools, all within a stunning geothermal environment.
Click here to view tourism operators for hot pools and health spas in New Zealand.