6 Free Natural Hot Pools on the North Island

Hot pools on the North Island

✅ Last Update: Jul 21, 2024 @ 4:26 pm

New Zealand is famous for its beautiful scenery, and now you can enjoy a peaceful escape in numerous free hot pools it has to offer. 

  • Join us in exploring this tranquil world, where the warm water invites you to unwind and forget about the daily hustle!

1. Kerosene Creek

Kerosene Creek is a natural hot spring located on the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated near Rotorua, known for its geothermal activity and attractions.

Here are some insights about Kerosene Creek:

  • Hot Spring: The main attraction at Kerosene Creek is the natural hot spring. The water temperature is naturally heated by the Earth’s geothermal activity, making it warm and inviting. Visitors can soak in the hot water and enjoy the natural surroundings.
  • Scenery: The area surrounding Kerosene Creek is lush and scenic, with native vegetation and forested landscapes. The hot spring is located in a natural setting, providing a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Access: Visitors need to take a short walk from the parking area through the forest to reach the hot spring. The well-maintained pathway makes it relatively easy for people of all ages to access the site.
  • Caution: While Kerosene Creek is famous, visitors must exercise caution. The water can be pretty hot in some areas, and it’s advisable to test the temperature before fully immersing yourself. Also, natural conditions may change, so it’s wise to stay informed about safety guidelines or recommendations.
  • Local Experience: Kerosene Creek offers a unique experience of bathing in a natural hot spring, surrounded by the picturesque New Zealand landscape. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists looking to unwind and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of geothermal waters.
  • Location: Kerosene Creek is approximately 30 kilometers south of Rotorua, near Waiotapu. It’s easily accessible by car, and a parking area is nearby.


⭐ Reviews of this natural hot spring can be found on Tripadvisor, with over 450 visitors commenting on their experience.

👨‍💻 For booking experiences in Rotorua and its surroundings, check on Viator.

📌 We also invite you to read an article about 30 Best Things to Do in Rotorua.


Kerosene Creek

2. Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is a popular tourist destination on the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand.

Here are some insights about Hot Water Beach:

  • Geothermal Activity: The main attraction of Hot Water Beach is its unique geothermal activity. Beneath the surface of the beach, there are natural hot springs that filter up through the sand. Visitors can dig their own hot pools in the sand during low tide, and hot water will seep up, creating a warm and relaxing bathing experience.
  • Tidal Influence: The hot springs are most accessible during low tide. It’s essential to check the tide times before planning a visit to ensure you have enough time to dig your own hot pool and enjoy the warm water.
  • Spades for Hire: To make the most of the experience, many visitors rent or bring their own spades. Shovels can dig into the sand and create a pool where the hot water mixes with the cooler seawater, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking.
  • Natural Beauty: Hot Water Beach is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The beach is picturesque, with golden sand and clear blue waters. The coastal landscape and nearby hills add to the scenic charm of the area.
  • Tourist Facilities: The area around Hot Water Beach has some facilities catering to tourists, including accommodation options, cafés, and shops. It’s a popular stop for those exploring the Coromandel region.
  • Caution: While Hot Water Beach is a unique and enjoyable experience, visitors should exercise caution. The hot water can be very hot, and it’s advisable to test the temperature before fully immersing yourself. Additionally, be aware of the tidal conditions to avoid getting stranded or caught by rising tides.
  • Location: Hot Water Beach is on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, approximately 12 kilometers southeast of Whitianga.


⭐ Reviews of Hot Water Beach can be found on Tripadvisor, with over 1600 visitors commenting their experience.

👨‍💻 For tours around Coromandel and its surroundings, check on Viator. Additionally, for more specific activities, you can try BookMe.


Hot Water Beach

3. Ngawha Springs

Ngawha Springs offers a unique and culturally significant experience, combining its mineral-rich waters’ therapeutic properties with the Northland region’s natural beauty.

Visitors seeking relaxation, wellness, and a connection to Maori culture may find Ngawha Springs to be a compelling destination.

  • Geothermal Pools: Ngawha Springs is known for its natural geothermal pools, rich in minerals and believed to have therapeutic properties. The pools vary in temperature; visitors can enjoy soaking in these naturally heated mineral waters.
  • Cultural Significance: The springs hold cultural significance for the local Maori people. The waters’ healing properties have been recognized for centuries, and Ngawha Springs has been a traditional bathing and healing site.
  • Different Pools: Ngawha Springs has a range of pools with varying temperatures, allowing visitors to choose the one that suits their preference. Some pools are hotter, while others offer a more moderate temperature.
  • Health and Wellness: Many visitors come to Ngawha Springs for its reputed health and wellness benefits. The mineral content in the water is believed to have therapeutic effects, promoting relaxation and potentially alleviating certain ailments.
  • Scenic Surroundings: Ngawha Springs is surrounded by lush vegetation, providing a tranquil and natural setting. Visitors can relax in the pools while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Northland region.
  • Local Facilities: Ngawha Springs typically has changing rooms and showers to enhance the visitor experience. Some pools are publicly accessible, while others may be part of private facilities.
  • Cautions: As with any geothermal area, it’s essential to be cautious when entering the pools. Some pools may have high temperatures, and visitors are advised to test the water before immersing themselves fully.
  • Location: Ngawha Springs is situated near Kaikohe in the Northland region, approximately 260 kilometers north of Auckland.


⭐ Reviews of this natural pool can be found on Tripadvisor, with over 300 visitors commenting on their experience.

👨‍💻 Tours and activities around Kaikoke are limited. This natural pool could be a relaxing stop on the way to another destination. 


Ngawha Springs

4. Waiotapu Thermal Springs

Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland is a renowned geothermal area near Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand.

Here are some insights about Waiotapu Thermal Springs:

  • Geothermal Features: Waiotapu is known for its vibrant and colourful geothermal features, including hot springs, geysers, and boiling mud pools. The various mineral deposits in the area create a surreal and otherworldly landscape.
  • Champagne Pool: One of the highlights of Waiotapu is the Champagne Pool, a large geothermal spring with a distinctive orange and green perimeter. The pool is named for its effervescent appearance, resembling a champagne glass.
  • Lady Knox Geyser: Waiotapu is home to the Lady Knox Geyser, a natural geyser that erupts daily at a scheduled time. Visitors can witness the spectacular display of hot water and steam shooting into the air.
  • Artist’s Palette: The Artist’s Palette is another notable feature, showcasing a spectrum of mineral-rich colours in the soil. The vibrant hues result from various minerals, such as sulfur and ferrous salts.
  • Waiotapu Stream: The Waiotapu Stream flows through the thermal area, and the geothermal activity heats its waters. Geothermal terraces and unique formations surround the stream.
  • Educational Trails: Waiotapu offers well-maintained walking trails with informative signposts explaining the geological and cultural significance of the features. Visitors can explore the thermal wonderland at their own pace.
  • Cultural Significance: The Waiotapu Stream flows through the thermal area, and the geothermal activity heats its waters. Geothermal terraces and unique formations surround the stream.
  • Facilities: Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland offers visitors facilities, including a visitor centre, souvenir shop, and cafe. Guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the geological wonders.
  • Entrance Fee: Access to Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland requires an entrance fee, and the revenue contributes to the preservation and maintenance of the site.


⭐ Reviews of this natural pool can be found on Tripadvisor, with well over 8,700 visitors commenting on their experience.

💳 The entry to this natural pool and other complementary activities can be purchased directly on Viator.

Waiotapu Thermal Springs

5. Miranda Hot Springs

Miranda Hot Springs is situated in the small coastal town of Miranda on the western shore of the Firth of Thames.

It’s approximately 75 kilometres southeast of Auckland and 45 kilometres north of Hamilton.

Here are some insights about Miranda Hot Springs:

  • Geothermal Pools: The main attraction at Miranda Hot Springs is its natural geothermal pools. These pools are filled with mineral-rich, geothermally heated water, providing a relaxing and therapeutic bathing experience.
  • Temperature Variation: Miranda Hot Springs offers a variety of pools with different temperatures, allowing visitors to choose the pool that best suits their preferences. The warm water is sourced from the underlying geothermal springs.
  • Scenic Surroundings: The facility is set against scenic coastal landscapes and estuarine views. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the Firth of Thames while soaking in the pools.
  • Avian Wildlife: Miranda is renowned for its birdlife, particularly migratory waders and shorebirds. The nearby Miranda Shorebird Centre is a popular spot for birdwatchers, and visitors to the hot springs may catch glimpses of the diverse avian population.
  • Family-Friendly Facilities: Miranda Hot Springs caters to families and individuals alike. The facility includes family, private, and larger communal pools, making it suitable for various visitors.
  • Accessibility: Miranda Hot Springs is easily accessible by road, and ample parking is available for visitors. The location makes it a convenient stop for those travelling between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula.
  • Therapeutic Benefits: The mineral content of the geothermal water is believed to have therapeutic benefits, promoting relaxation and potentially offering relief for various ailments.
  • Café and Facilities: The facility includes a café where visitors can grab refreshments. Changing rooms and shower facilities are also provided for guests’ convenience.
  • Entrance Fee: Miranda Hot Springs operates on a fee basis, and the entrance fee grants visitors access to the pools and facilities.


⭐ Reviews of this natural pool can be found on Tripadvisor, with around 130 visitors commenting on their experience. Also their Google profile features well over 1,200 reviews from customers.

👨‍💻 For tours around Hamiton and its surroundings, check on Viator. Additionally, for more specific activities, you can try BookMe.


Miranda Hot Springs

6. Okoroire Hot Springs

Okoroire Hot Springs is a charming geothermal resort located in the Waikato region, approximately 45 kilometres northeast of Taupo and 50 kilometres southwest of Rotorua.

Here are some insights about Okoroire Hot Springs:

  • Historical Significance: Okoroire Hot Springs holds historical significance as it is New Zealand’s oldest geothermal spa. The springs were discovered in the late 19th century, and the resort has been attracting visitors seeking relaxation and rejuvenation ever since.
  • Geothermal Pools: The resort features geothermally heated pools that draw water from the natural hot springs. Visitors can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich waters while surrounded by a tranquil rural setting.
  • Variety of Pools: Okoroire Hot Springs offers a variety of pools with different temperatures, catering to various preferences. From warmer pools for relaxation to more extraordinary plunge pools, there are options for everyone.
  • Landscaped Gardens: The resort is complemented by beautifully landscaped gardens, creating a serene and aesthetically pleasing environment. Visitors can stroll through the gardens or relax in the outdoor areas.
  • Accommodation: Okoroire Hot Springs offers accommodation options to extend visitors’ stay. The historic Okoroire Hotel, adjacent to the hot springs, offers a charming place to stay with a touch of old-world charm.
  • Golf Course: The resort boasts a golf course, adding recreational options for visitors. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf in the picturesque countryside surroundings.
  • Restaurant and Café: Okoroire Hot Springs features a restaurant and café where visitors can enjoy meals and refreshments. The dining options often showcase local cuisine, providing a delightful culinary experience.
  • Relaxed Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Okoroire Hot Springs is comfortable and welcoming. The rural setting and the soothing geothermal waters create a perfect environment for unwinding and escaping the hustle and bustle.
  • Event Venue: The resort is equipped to host events, making it a popular choice for weddings, conferences, and other gatherings. The picturesque surroundings add a special touch to any occasion.


⭐ Reviews of this natural pool can be found on Tripadvisor, with around 260 visitors commenting on their experience with the Hotel it features.

👨‍💻 Taupo has lots of activities and tours. You can check them on Viator. Also, BookMe has exciting deals for this area, especially if you book in advance.


Okoroire Hot Springs

✅ Benefits of Visiting The Hot Pools on The North Island

Visiting the hot pools on the North Island of New Zealand can offer a range of physical and mental benefits.

Here are some of the potential benefits of soaking in these natural hot pools:

  1. Relaxation and Stress Relief: The warm temperature of the hot pools helps relax muscles and promote overall well-being. The soothing environment, often surrounded by natural beauty, can contribute to stress reduction and relaxation.
  2. Improved Circulation: Soaking in hot pools can enhance blood circulation. The heat causes blood vessels to dilate, which can help improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to various parts of the body.
  3. Muscle and Joint Pain Relief: The heat from the hot pools can alleviate muscle and joint pain. It’s a natural form of therapy that can be particularly beneficial for those with arthritis, sore muscles, or other chronic conditions.
  4. Skin Benefits: The mineral-rich waters in some hot pools can positively affect the skin. The minerals may nourish the skin and help with eczema or psoriasis.
  5. Detoxification: Heat-induced sweating can aid in detoxification by eliminating toxins from the body. This can significantly benefit the skin and contribute to general well-being.
  6. Improved Sleep: Many people find that soaking in hot pools before bedtime helps promote better sleep. The relaxation of muscles and the calming effects of the warm water can contribute to a more restful night’s sleep.
  7. Social and Cultural Experience: Hot pools are often situated in beautiful natural settings, providing an opportunity for social interaction. Enjoying hot pools can be a communal and enjoyable experience with friends, family, or fellow travellers.
  8. Adventure and Exploration: Exploring different hot pools on the North Island can be an exciting adventure. Each location may offer unique features like varying temperatures, mineral compositions, and scenic surroundings.
  9. Connection with Nature: Many hot pools are in geothermal areas with stunning landscapes. Soaking in these pools allows visitors to connect with nature and appreciate the region’s geothermal wonders.
  10. Mindfulness and Reflection: Hot pools’ tranquil environment can create a conducive space for mindfulness and reflection. It’s an opportunity to unwind, disconnect from daily stresses, and appreciate the present moment.
Hot pools benefits

🧑‍💻 FAQs about Natural Hot Pools on The North Island

No, the highlighted hot pools in this guide are free to access, making them budget-friendly options for travelers.

While some hot pools are accessibly year-round, it’s essential to check the specific details for each location. Tidal conditions may affect access in some places.

Depending on the location, bringing a towel, swimwear, and water is recommended. Some places may require renting or bringing a spade for digging.

Yes, in some places. However, it’s essential to follow any rules or guidelines set by the specific hot pool location.

Depending on the location, some hot pools may be near other attractions or activities. Exploring the surrounding areas for additional experiences is recommended.

Some hot pools, like Miranda Hot Springs and Okoroire Hot Springs, have nearby accommodations. However, it’s essential to check availability and book in advance.

📝 Additional Resources

Table of Contents

About Kiwilanders NZ

Kiwilanders is a directory and blog featuring informational and recreational content about New Zealand.