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A List of 5 of the best hot pools in Lake Taupo New Zealand

Updated: Jan 2

What with the exciting geo thermal activity and literally living next to a volcano, Lake Taupō being the largest Caldera lake in the world, we are treated to naturally occurring hot water spots around Lake Taupō. Secret spots and locals favourites, read on for the full guide.

Hot Thermal Pools are a popular activity in Winter and are known for their healing mineral rich wellness capabilities. They are fun, naturally interesting and feel absolutely luxurious. An excellent family friendly activity made even better by some places adding hydro slides and warm water playgrounds. There are plenty of gloriously romantic thermal options available too.

What actually are Hot Pools?

A hot pool or spring forms when rainwater seeps down through rocks to the earths hot zone, where it gets heated. Then it bubbles up to form a pool, containing minerals dissolved from the rocks.

Are Thermal Pools good for you?

According to the Wairakei Terraces website they have listed 13 different minerals that occur in the rich mineral thermal waters of their silica hot pools. These indicate that hot pools are indeed healing and therapeutic and there is plenty of evidence that they have been used in this way for many years.

It is important to keep your head above the water to prevent amoebic meningitis in geo thermal hot pools.

How hot are the Hot Pools?

Hot pools are thermally heated with natural hot water. They are usually above 35 degrees celsius going up to 39 – 41 degrees celsius possibly more. Do heed any 'Danger Hot Water' signs that you see when around hot pools. With the commercial hot pools, they will have a different temperature in each pool to suit different people and ages.

Are Hot pools safe when pregnant?

Healthline explains that a pregnant womans body temperature should not exceed 39 degrees celsius. Some pregnant woment prefer to just bathe their feet in hot pools.

Here are our favourite Taupō thermal hot pools which are amongst the most famous in New Zealand.

1. Otumuheke

At Spa Park you will find the (free) Otumuheke hot pools a historical bathing and meeting place. These naturally occuring waterfall thermal pools are located right next to the mighty Waikato river. There are changing rooms and toilets and you can also enjoy a coffee onsite. The setting is natural and pristine and you can luxuriate under the little warm waterfalls. There is space for the whole family and this is a very popular spot. It helps that there is a fab playground and flying fox close to the car park. Early mornings in the hot pools are a peaceful, blissful experience.

For directions click here.

2. Hot Water Beach on Lake Taupō

Located just on the corner by the Toilet Block you will find Hot Water Beach. (Free) There is a rock pool of Hot Water which you will find directly next to the Warning Sign Hot Water Do Not Touch! Further along you can play in the sandy beach. Ideal for sand play experimenting with mixing the hot water spots with the cold water spots. Nuzzle your toes under the sand at the waters edge to find your perfect temperature and enjoy the natural cleverness of nature. Ideal for families as it is also an enjoyable walk along the lakes edge to the coffee cart and gelato cart. A real locals spot, it is pretty normal to get here in the mornings and not leave again until the sun has set.

For directions click here

3. Wairakei Terraces

These are our absolute favourite hot pools. (Entrance fee applies) Children are not allowed, over 14 years only. The Silica terraced hotpools are in a beautiful natural setting, surrounded by fern fronds and beautiful native fauna. It is utterly romantic and peaceful here listening to the birdsong and not much else. There are different pools of varying temperatures. You can work your way through the different pools to see how hot you can go. The Wairakei Terraces stays open until 9pm so it is a perfect spot for catching the sunset. A very special experience you will always remember.

For directions click here

4. De Bretts

The De Bretts hot pools are hugely popular with families. (Entrance fee applies) There are a few different pools of varying temperatures to choose from and they also have a warm water playground and water slides. De Bretts is so popular that many local families will purchase an annual pass so they can go there regularly.

For directions click here

5. AC Baths and Thermal Hot Pools

AC Baths are my kids favourite swimming pool with hydrolides, bombing zone and relaxing jacuzzi bubbly seating. (Entrance fee applies) You will also find private thermally heated hot pools located here. AC Baths is very well run, has a cafe onsite and is a popular choice for families having fun and couples who enjoy their privacy.

For directions click here

Thank you to Justamumnz for this fabulous photo!

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