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Off the Beaten Track to... Morere Hot Springs

Copyright: New Zealand Tourism Guide. Morere Hot Springs, New Zealand

You'll find the Morere Springs Scenic Reserve on State Highway 2 in the North Island, roughly 3 kilometres north of Nuhaka, 40 kilometres north-east of Wairoa and 60 kilometres south-west of Gisborne. This lovely reserve offers visitors the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in natural hot mineral pools and explore the native forest on either easy-walking or challenging tramping tracks.

Bathers have been using the springs since the 1890s and whilst still a popular attraction for visitors and locals, the Morere Springs Scenic Reserve retain a wonderful off-the-beaten-track quality, even the best-known pools (the Nikau Pools) are a 10-minute walk away into the rainforest.

The heated non-sulphurous water in the springs originates from the nearby Pacific Ocean and over quarter of a million litres emerges every day from springs beneath the rainforest, one of the last remaining tracts of coastal native forest on the East Coast.

Highlights of the Morere Springs Scenic Reserve

  • The natural mineral hot pools - Set in a modern complex set in a protected rainforest reserve offering hot and cold, public and private, indoor and outdoor pools.
  • Native forest – Nikau palms, kohekohe, tawa, rimu, totara and matai trees.
  • Birdlife - Tui, bellbird, kereru and shining cuckoos.
  • Walking tracks including:
    • Ridge Track (tramping grade*) - A demanding two-hour track climb through the forest to a ridge covered in black beech, lancewood and mingimingi with clearings offering pleasant views over the forest and farmland hills.
    • Mangakawa Track (tramping grade) – A challenging track for fit walkers which follows the Managkawa Stream with views of waterfalls and small gorges.
    • Nikau Loop Track (easy) – Suitable for family groups and almost all weather conditions, this easy 20-minute track meanders through lowland forest.

* Tramping grade tracks have steep, rough or muddy sections and are suitable for people with good fitness. There may be unbridged stream and river crossing and sturdy hiking boots will be required.

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