The Top 9 Geothermal Hotspots to Explore In Rotorua
Rotorua is known as a haven for weird and wonderful geothermal activity, and we've got the inside word on the best places to see geysers, mud pools, and soak in natural hot springs!
There's a couple of great reasons why this central city park makes the top of our list. a) It's a public park, so of course it's free to enter, b) it's right next to the CBD so it's very accessible, even if you don't have much time, and c), it's right next to YHA Rotorua! The park includes steam vents, bubbling mud pools, and even some man-made hot pools you can soak your feet in - fed by the natural boiling ponds where you most definitely do not want to put your feet!
One part geothermal park, one part wellness spa. Sound good to us! Take a stroll around the park, soak in a mud bath, admire the native forest, or splash about in the cool plunge pool. The choice is yours.
On the edge of the beautiful government gardens, this bird sanctuary is also a great (and free) place to observe sulphur vents right on the lake's edge. The steam and strange landscape are another easily accessible spot to feel like you might have been transported to another planet!
This well-known attraction is home to the famous Pohutu Geyser - the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere and one that erupts a couple of times an hour, so you'll be sure to catch it during your visit. The facility also houses Kiwi birds, Māori art and architecture, and cultural performances. Choose a daytime or evening experience; YHA members can get 30% off a Te Rā family pass.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Take a look back at how the world began with one of the world's youngest geothermal valleys. This is a great spot to see a bunch of different geological features all in one place. Choose from self-guided walking tours and boat cruise options on one of Rotorua's stunning lakes, right over the site of the legendary Pink and White Terraces.
Wai O Tapu
We're stoked to offer a YHA guest discount when you book at YHA Rotorua's reception. A large geyser name Lady Knox lives here (she's a beauty!), but you'll probably also recognise the famous Champagne Pool. We think it's vibrant colours must make it one of the most photographed spots in Rotorua.
As one of the top 10 spas in the world, you'd be silly to miss soaking in Polynesian Spa. Treat yo'self with a massage or spa therapy, or simply enjoy your soak - this ultimate relaxation spot comes complete with lakeside views. The mineral waters are known for their healing properties, so this is definitely required for your health, right?!
And our top locals tip...
Kerosene Creek and Hot'n'Cold
These literal hotspots are well-known to locals, and visitors in-the-know. At approximately 20 minutes drive from the CBD, these are spots you won't happen across by chance, but well worth the visit. Kerosene Creek includes a drive down a long gravel road and a short walk through the bush to a natural, free, hot little waterfall, making for a stunning place to relax for a couple of hours. Hot and Cold, near Wai-O-Tapu, features two different temperature streams merging so you can sit at exactly the spot you prefer. Ask our team to point you in the right direction (we can even hire you a towel!) and get amongst these secret insider haunts.
YHA Rotorua offers accommodation with shared facilities for families, groups and backpackers opposite geothermal park Kuirau Park. Free parking, full kitchen, large shared lounge.
A working farm with native bush as its backdrop, YHA Waitomo offers an authentic rural Kiwi experience right next to the famous Waitomo Caves.
Modernised, stylised and positive vibes; this backpacker hostel has what you need for a great stay in Taupo, providing views from the balcony of New Zealand's largest lake.
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