Why don’t hot pools ever get invited to parties? Because they always blow off steam!
Now that we’ve broken the ice with a little humour, let’s talk about those actual pools. Rotorua really does have many hot pools that are always blowing off steam—in a good way, of course.
Whether you’re a local looking for some relaxation or just someone hunting for a unique experience, the following geothermal pools in Rotorua should be at the top of your list.
1. Polynesian Spa
Address: 1000 Hinemoa Street, Lakeside, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 9 AM to 11 PM
Prices: From 40 NZD
If you’re looking to dip into the superb hot pools of Rotorua, there’s one spot you can’t afford to miss—the Polynesian Spa. This place is straight out of a dream. It’s even right on the shores of Lake Rotorua, so you get to unwind while taking in the breathtaking views of the lake.
The spa’s thermal waters aren’t sourced from the lake, though, but from the slightly acidic Priest Spring and the alkaline water of Rachel Spring—both bodies of water contain properties that are like superfoods for your skin.
Indulge in private pools for that intimate relaxation, family pools for some fun-filled quality time, and their luxe spa therapies for the ultimate spa day.
2. Hell’s Gate
Address: 351 State Highway 30, Tikitere, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 6 PM
- Adults – 85 NZD
- Child – 42 NZD
Hell’s Gate—don’t let the name deter you—it’s more of a paradise for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation than the entryway to a place of pain. It’s also the most active geothermal park in Rotorua.
Hell’s Gate is renowned for its unique landscape, featuring violently spouting geysers, steaming fumaroles, and mud pools that bubble and boil as if possessed by supernatural forces.
Head to the geothermal spa and soak in the sulphur-infused waters. A dip in these waters is known to alleviate skin conditions, arthritis, and muscle pain.
Plus, don’t miss the chance to slather on the therapeutic mud, which we swear by when it comes to all-natural skin detox.
The best time to visit Hell’s Gate is in the early morning hours. You’ll beat the crowds.
3. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Address: 201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua 3073, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
- Adult – 32.50 NZD
- Child – 11 NZD
When you’re in Rotorua, you simply can’t miss out on Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. While these hot pools aren’t technically ones you’re supposed to relax in, they deserve a spot on our list for how relaxing they are just to look at. Besides, they’re easily among the most famous hot pools here.
From the vivid, technicolour mineral pools to bubbling mud, spouting geysers, and vast volcanic craters, the area is truly a sight to behold. Feast your eyes on Artist’s Palette, which is like nature’s own impressionist painting, for example.
Or go to Champagne Pool, which swirls with shades of gold, orange, and rich sapphire—a spectacle caused by mineral deposits in the water. There’s a lot to see!
Don’t miss out on the vibrant green Devil’s Bath. It’s a fantastic photo op and a rare sight you won’t want to miss.
4. Waikite Valley Thermal Pools
Address: 648 Waikite Valley Road, Waikite Valley 3077, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10:30 AM to 8PM
- Adult – 25 NZD
- Child – 13 NZD
- Infant – 4 NZD
The Waikite Valley Thermal Pools are fed directly from the Te Manaroa spring, the largest single source of 100% pure geothermal water in New Zealand. This ensures a unique and authentic thermal bathing experience, with temperatures ranging from 35 to 38 degrees Celsius.
While here, make sure you walk down the eco-trail, because it leads to the boiling source of the spring while providing some incredible photo opportunities.
If you want to extend your vacation in this geothermal wonderland, they have a campground!
5. Kerosene Creek
Address: Old Waiotapu Road, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand
Kerosene Creek is a natural hot pool within the forest that’s completely free to use. Although the water has a slight petrol-like smell due to the geothermal activity, the water temperature is just right.
A short, easy trail leads you to the main pool, which is complete with a waterfall—a nice touch, if you ask us.
Try to get here early in the morning. You’ll have the creek all to yourself for a while before the crowds come in.
6. Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua
Address: 13/33 Waipa State Mill Road, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3073, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 10 PM
- Adult – 39 NZD
- Child – 14 NZD
Tucked away off the beaten path, this oasis offers an escape from the tourists’ hustle and bustle and a chance to bask in your own private hot pool. The unique blend of privacy, relaxation, and natural beauty makes the overall experience a must-try for any fan of hot pools.
And the cherry on top? They also have a shinny dip, which is a cold water foot bath situated next to a beautiful stream—a perfect way to restore your tired feet after a long day of exploring.
If you want to appear classy while you soak in your hot tub, treat yourself to one of their famous Wanaka ciders.
7. Kuirau Park Mud Pools
At the heart of the city, Kuirau Park is literally a geothermal playground. Steaming vents, simmering hot foot baths, and bubbling mud pools make up the fascinating landscape of Kuirau Park.
Apart from all the geothermal wonders, the park has a beautiful lake, picnic areas, and even a playground.
Visit the park early in the morning or on colder days. The cooler air temperature enhances the steam effects of the mud pools, making them even more dramatic and perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots!
8. Manupirua Hot Pools
If you’re looking to escape the crowds, then Manupirua Hot Springs is the place to be. Located on the shores of Lake Rotoiti and accessible only by boat or kayak, these hot springs offer a slice of tranquility that’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of Rotorua’s main tourist areas.
The hot springs themselves are a series of naturally heated pools, each one offering a slightly different temperature. Take your pick from the cooler pools that are perfect for a refreshing dip, or opt for the warmer ones if you’re in the mood for some serious relaxation.
The best time to visit Manupirua Hot Springs is early in the morning. This way, you’ll witness the sun rising over Lake Rotoiti and get some totally Tiktok-worthy videos.
9. Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa
Address: 1047 Whakaue Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 10:30 PM
Prices: From 155 NZD
The Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa boasts a unique combination of geothermal waters, rich mineral mud, and Māori cultural experiences.
It’s not just about the therapeutic hot pools here, because the spa facilities are top-notch too. Here, professional therapists are ready at any moment to pamper you with traditional Māori healing treatments.
Always book your spa treatments during the week. It’s less crowded, and you might even get a nice discount if you’re lucky.