With cooler weather on the horizon, it’s time to explore the best hot pools in Auckland and our surrounding regions.
Whether you’re looking for a naturally-heated, minerally-rich hot spring in Auckland or a family-friendly swimming adventure, there are plenty of options both in the City of Sails and further afield.
The following list introduces you to the very best hot pools and hot springs, both in Auckland and across the upper North Island. All are within easy reach of New Zealand’s largest city.
Whether you’re looking for the best hot pools in Auckland or are planning a North Island road trip, we’ve got you covered with the most conclusive North Island hot pools list online!
Why does New Zealand have Natural Hot Springs?
Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, there is a great deal of tectonic activity throughout the country. Some cities are geothermally very active – like Rotorua, where the crust of the earth is significantly thinner than in other parts of the world.
Other parts of the country experience the odd earthquake (Wellington, for example) or have a number of volcanoes (Auckland).
Right across the country though, it is possible to find natural hot springs.
In areas where the crust is thin, the mantle sits much closer to the earth. Here, water under the surface of the crust is warmed before making its way to the surface in the form of hot water. When this is combined with cool water, the result is a natural hot spring.
Other natural hot springs are formed when volcanic underground water reservoirs heat the water within them. Again, this water makes its way to the surface, ready for us to enjoy.
Regardless of how the water is heated, these natural hot-water sources are known to contain a wide range of naturally occurring minerals. This water is known for its health benefits.
What is the Difference Between a Hot Spring and a Hot Pool?
Natural hot springs are warmed using geothermal energy from inside the Earth. This water is hot, without any need for human intervention.
By comparison, the water in hot pools is heated manually. Without human intervention, this water would be cold.
The Auckland hot pools mentioned in this article offer all of the benefits that come with hot water (including relaxation and the release of muscle tension), however, the water in these pools does not contain the same minerals that are found in naturally occurring hot springs.
Regardless, both make for an awesome day out!
How is Water Kept Safe for Swimmers?
To ensure the water in commercial hot pools and hot springs is kept safe for swimmers, several different strategies are used.
Some pools choose to add chlorine or salt to prevent the spread of bugs, whilst others have filtration and sanitisation systems in place.
Safety at Wild Hot Springs
If you choose to swim in a natural hot spring, as found in the bush or at some of our geothermal beaches, you will find the water is, of course, completely untreated.
When doing so, it is recommended to keep your head above the water. Warm water, like that which is found in hot springs, is prone to bugs. Without filtration and treatment, it is safest to soak below your shoulders only.
A Map of the Best Hot Springs and Hot Pools in the Upper North Island
The hot springs in New Zealand are an incredible natural resource and fortunately, we have many of them across Auckland and the upper North Island.
The following are the best of the best in the region.
Where to Find the Best Hot Pools in Auckland (and Hot Springs too!)
Naturally-Heated Mineral Hot Springs in Auckland
Geothermally heated, these natural hot pools are found throughout the Auckland region.
1. Parakai Springs – Parakai, North-West Auckland
A firm family favourite, Parakai Springs is an easy drive from the city.
With two awesome hydro slides, a huge open-air pool (heated to 32°C, including a gently sloping beach area for young children), another indoor pool (heated to 40°C), private spas and an exclusive adults-only pool, Parakai Springs has plenty on offer.
Aside from fantastic pools, the grounds also have plenty of space; it’s the perfect spot for a family picnic or lunch. Gas BBQs are available for hire and guests are welcome to bring their own food. If you’d rather turn up and relax, there is also a reasonably priced cafe onsite.
Equipped with something for everyone, Parakai Springs is one of the best hot pools in Auckland.
150 Parkhurst Road, Parakai, Auckland, 0830.
2. Palm Springs – Parakai, North-West Auckland
Next door to Parakai Springs, you’ll find Palm Springs.
Palm Springs has two large pools; one is heated to 40°C (and comes complete with underwater steps for lounging), whilst the other is kept at a comfortable 36°C. They also have a shallow pool (38°C) which is perfect for sunbathing.
Most impressive though, are the semi-private rock pools. These pools are kept at 38°C and are surrounded by native ferns. With running water (from the in-pool waterfall) and steam rising into the sky, it’s hard to do anything but relax!
As you would expect, Palm Springs also has a well-stocked cafe (serving drinks and meals) and also has a picnic area and BBQ facilities.
155 Parkhurst Road, Parakai, Auckland, 0830
3. Kaitoke Hot Springs – Great Barrier Island
Easily accessible, the Kaitoke Hot Springs, which are located on Great Barrier Island are the first of the completely natural hot springs on this list.
Whether you’re planning to take on the Aotea Track in full (which means spending several days hiking), or just want a short talk, the Kaitoke Hot Springs should be on your agenda whilst visiting the Barrier.
Walking from Whangaparapara Road, the track takes approximately 45 minutes to complete (one way) and is even pushchair friendly which means you can easily take even the smallest of kids! As you wander, you’ll enjoy local wetlands, a kānuka forest, orchids and umbrella ferns.
Upon arrival, you’ll notice a dammed hot pool at a fork in the Kaitoke Creek; this is where you can jump in for a swim.
With warm water and a stunning outlook, the Kaitoke Hot Springs are a real slice of Kiwi paradise! This is one of the best natural hot springs in Auckland.
Why not take a picnic lunch and make the most of a beautiful day out in Mother Nature?
Kaitoke Hot Springs Track, Great Barrier Island.
4. Peach Tree Hot Springs – Great Barrier Island
To get there, you’ll want to hike to the Kaitoke Springs and continue on. Continue past the springs on Kaitoke Hot Springs Track, before turning right onto Tramline North Track. Walk along until just before Peach Tree Track. You’ll then want to follow the creek upstream (which you’ll find on the right-hand side), for approximately 50m.
In front of you, you’ll find a lovely wee clearing – that’s how you’ll know you’ve made it to the right spot.
Wading into the creek, you’ll notice hot water bubbling up from the earth. Cross right on over though and head downstream until you find a smaller creek on the right. Follow that creek briefly until you find the Peach Tree Hot Springs.
These pools were dug by early gum diggers and are beautifully private. They’re rough and ready but perfect for a mid-hike soak.
Though Peach Tree Hot Springs isn’t quite as easy to find as the Kaitoke Hot Springs, they’re well worth the effort. As the only other 100% natural hot spring in Auckland, it’s worth checking out.
5. Club Oasis – Parakai
Club Oasis is a small complex opposite Parakai Springs.
It is well set up for children, with three pools, each warmer than the next.
The Best Hot Pools in Auckland
Though not geothermally heated, the following hot pools are amongst the best in Auckland.
They’re perfect for family fun, exercise in the wintertime and for relaxation.
6. Float Culture – Grafton, Central Auckland
Possibly the most relaxing spot in the whole city, Float Culture has a slightly different take on ‘hot pools’.
Guests jump into individual pods where they float their worries away. These are anything but your average family-friendly swimming pools.
Each pod contains water warmed to 35.5°C (the same temperature as found on the skin), whilst rooms are heated. This combination ensures that guests float, completely in sync with their surroundings, almost unable to tell where the water starts and ends.
With water only 30cm deep, the Epsom-salt solution is incredibly buoyant. Guests slip into their private pod, close the hatch and enjoy a period of pure relaxation.
Whether it be to relaxing music or complete silence, the pods are designed to block out most, if not all of your senses.
12 Water Street, Grafton, Auckland 1023.
7. Mount Albert Aquatic Centre – Mount Albert, Central Auckland
If Float Culture is designed for parents to destress, then Mount Albert Aquatic Centre sits on the opposite side of the spectrum.
There, you can expect to see masses of families having the time of their lives!
Perfect for New Zealand’s unpredictable winter weather, Mount Albert’s Aquatic Centre is indoors and perfectly heated.
Build for kids, they’ve got an awesome hydro-slide, a lazy river and an infamous wave pool (that cycles through every half hour).
If you’re looking for a way to entertain the family without breaking the bank, a trip to the Mount Albert Aquatic Centre is a must.
38 Alberton Avenue, Mount Albert, Auckland 1025
8. West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre – Henderson, West Auckland
Another spot popular amongst families, the West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre has plenty to keep the kids entertained.
Custom-built in 1990 for the Commonwealth Games, you’ll find the expected dive and lap pools, but it’s the other pools that are really worth getting excited about.
West Wave is perfectly set up for fun; they have an awesome wave pool, hydro-slide, lazy river, and a fantastic toddler swimming area.
Whatever you’re after, you’ll find it at West Wave.
20 Alderman Drive, Henderson, Auckland 0612
9. The Tepid Baths – The Viaduct, Central Auckland
Looking to escape the kids and swim a few laps in style?
If so, the Tepid Baths (affectionately known as ‘the Teps’ by locals) are the place to be.
Housed in a stunning old building and centrally located in Auckland’s CBD, the Tepid Baths are an Auckland icon.
Perfect for swimming laps, the pools welcome both leisure swimmers and serious competitors alike. With renovated facilities, swimmers can make the most of this gorgeous 100-year-old building whilst still being comfortable.
100 Customs Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010
10. The Olympic Pool – New Market, Central Auckland
If you’re looking for a heated pool that’s nice and central to Auckland City, the Olympic Pool is another great option.
With two swimming pools – one of which is 50m long – this is a serious facility.
It’s great for swimming laps but also has plenty of room for the kids to mess around, making it an awesome indoor activity for rainy days.
Hot Pools in Easy Reach of Auckland
Though there are many hot pools in Auckland, we’re also fortunate to have some fantastic options an easy drive from the City of Sails.
All of the following options make excellent day trips from Auckland, or if you’d prefer, why not back an overnight bag and make a weekend of it?
Natural Hot Pools in the Waikato
11. Kawhia Springs (Te Puia Springs) – Kawhia Beach, Waikato
Just like ‘the original’ (which we also cover shortly), you’ll want to take a shovel and dig a small hole in the sand. Climb over the sand dunes and down to the high-tide mark (actually, just a touch beyond it). You’ll want to dig within 2-hours of high tide.
The water is lovely and warm but varies depending on the location. Worst case, if you don’t find a hot spot, just have another dig!
Facilities at Kawhia Beach are fairly limited. The car park has an old changing room and toilet but not much else.
It’s a simple day out but a perfect example of old-fashioned New Zealand fun.
3331 Te Puia Road, Kawhia 3889
12. Opal Hot Springs – Matamata, Waikato
Looking for a fun day in the sun alongside a visit to Hobbiton? We’ve got you covered!
The Opal Hot Springs has a number of both private and public pools.
From their big swimming pool (which is kept at a very pleasant 27-30°C, to the scorching 40°C Ramaroa pool, it’s another great spot for family fun. They’ve even got a little waterslide for the kids!
When you’re finished, you can pack up and go home, or you can stay onsite at their holiday park.
257 Okauia Springs Road, Okauia, Matamata 3471
13. Te Aroha Mineral Spas – Te Aroha, Waikato
The Te Aroha Mineral Spas are a beautiful haven for adults looking to relax.
Te Aroha’s healing mineral water has been famed for over 100 years.
Now, guests can unwind in their own private wooden tubs, benefiting from this amazing natural resource.
These pools are the ultimate in private luxury. Each room comes complete with its own ensuite bathroom and controls to allow you complete control of the water temperature.
Should you choose, a fantastic range of additional spa treatments (including massages, scrubs and wraps) are also available.
This really is a hidden gem in Te Aroha!
Boundary Street, Te Aroha 3320
14. Swimzone Te Aroha – Te Aroha, Waikato
With a lap pool, toddlers pool and spa, Swimzone Te Aroha is another well-rounded hot pool in the Waikato.
The 20m lap pool is warm enough to be comfortable but not so warm that you can’t get a good workout in. In the summer they keep it around 31°C and in the winter they crank it up to 33.5°C. They’ve even got a lift, making the pool accessible for everyone.
After your workout, jump in the spa pool. This is the perfect place to soak tired muscles and relax before taking on the rest of the day.
Do you have young ones in your family? If so, they’ll make great use of the toddlers’ pool! It slowly slopes away, making it suitable for children of all ages and had a fun fountain. It’s kept a touch warmer than the main pool too, so there’s no risk of the little ones getting cold.
Te Aroha Domain, Off Boundary St, Te Aroha 3320
15. Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel – Okoroire
If you’re looking for a commercial hot spring that is as close to natural as possible, the pools at Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel are for you.
With three mineral hot springs, this is the perfect place to relax. Their naturally heated mineral water has all of the benefits that you’d expect whilst the private setting almost the ferns is just beautiful.
They don’t filter the water or control the heat, so your experience at the springs is almost as nature intended – only you’re guaranteed beautiful pools to sit in!
18 Somerville Road, Okoroire 3485
16. Waingaro Hot Springs – Ngaruawahia
An easy drive from Auckland, Waingaro Hot Springs is another real hit amongst families.
With the longest water slide in the country and a speedy camel-hump hydro-slide, this place is serious about fun!
Add to that a number of pools (with temperatures ranging from 37°C to 41°C) and it’s easy to find the perfect place to let loose or unwind – depending on your mood.
Set amongst beautiful parklands, we suggest taking a gourmet picnic and making the most of a sunny afternoon with your family.
When you’re finished at the pools, there’s no need to race back to Auckland. Instead, you can choose to stay onsite; be it camping, in your campervan/caravan or in one of their motel units.
2263 Waingaro Road Waingaro Ngaruawahia 3793
Naturally-Heated Hot Springs in the Coromandel
Not far from Auckland, you’ll find three different locations where natural geothermal hot pools can be found.
Each of these springs is well worth the road trip from New Zealand’s busiest city. Relax, soak up the serenity and return to Auckland rejuvenated.
17. Hot Water Beach – Hot Water Beach, Coromandel
A real kiwi treasure, Hot Water Beach is the perfect place to take visitors from abroad.
Free to access, it’s simply a matter of turning up to Hot Water Beach near low tide and digging a hole.
Natural hot water will flow through the sand, providing you with the perfect place to relax for a few hours. Take a pew with your newfound friends and enjoy paradise!
It’s such a unique experience and one that every Aucklander should experience at least once!
Pro Tip: If you’ve got one at home, we suggest taking your spade with you. If not, there are some available to rent at the beach. We also suggest packing a picnic and really making a day of it. Don’t forget your sun protection though!
18. Miranda Hot Springs – Miranda, Coromandel
Another family favourite, the Miranda Hot Springs is close enough to Auckland to make a day trip easy, even with youngsters.
These hot springs were used well before European settlers arrived in New Zealand. The original (and existing) pool was built in 1959, and to this day, remains a popular destination in the region.
With several pools (reaching up to 41°C), the whole family is accounted for. The largest of their pools is a massive 47m x 17m! Visitors can also splash about in the cooler children’s pool or relax in the adults-only sauna pool. Should you prefer, four private spa pools are also available for hire.
Just like many of the Auckland hot springs, Miranda also has coin-operated BBQs available for guests and a well-stocked cafe.
You’ll also find a jumping pillow, games room and awesome adventure playground on site, along with 2 acres of gardens and land. It’s perfect for a relaxing day out.
Front Miranda Rd, RD 6, Thames, Miranda 3576
Please note: Miranda Hot Springs is currently being renovated and is closed. Check their website for updates.
19. The Lost Spring – Whitianga, Coromandel
With a range of pools, heated to between 32°C to 41°C, it’s easy to find your ideal temperature. As their pools are no deeper than chest height, there’s no serious swimming to be hard; this is a place to relax.
With healing water and an incredible setting, it’s impossible to do anything but relax! Add a spa treatment and a few cocktails into the mix and you’re in for a treat.
The water itself rises from 667m below the earth’s surface. Having spent 16,000 years underground, it emerges pristine and beautifully warm – ready for you to enjoy.
Once considered lost, the spring itself was rediscovered in 1989. It now welcomes guests from all around New Zealand and the world.
121A Cook Drive, Coromandel Peninsula, Whitianga 3510
20. Athenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park – Waihi Beach
This lovely holiday park has two natural mineral pools.
They are well-maintained and clean, as it the campground itself.
Hot Springs and Pools to Enjoy on Weekends away from Auckland
If you’re happy to drive a little further out of Auckland, the following hot pools are awesome and well worth planning a weekend getaway around.
Hot Springs in Northland
- Te Waiariki Ngawha Hot Springs – Kaikohe. With 16 individual mineral baths, these pools are famed for their healing properties and cultural significance. They’re currently under renovation and are expected to reopen at the end of 2020. The renovations look incredible so ensure a visit is on your agenda!
Hot Springs/mineral pools in the Bay of Plenty
Though not as well-known for its geothermal activity, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty is home to some great hot pools.
- Mount Hot Pools – Mount Maunganui, Tauranga. Stunning pools in an even better location. Right at the base of Mount Maunganui and on the shore of this incredibly popular surf beach, it’s a great place to relax.
- Oropi Hot Pools – Oropi, Tauranga. These natural hot springs are beautifully presented. You’ll find both a public pool and private pools there.
- Fernland Spa – Bethlehem, Tauranga. With both indoor and outdoor pools, there are a number of options at Fernland. The pools are impeccably clean. Sit back, relax and enjoy native birdsong as you unwind.
- Welcome Bay Hot Pools – Welcome Bay, Tauranga. Another great family option, Welcome Bay Hot Pools is an awesome spot to take the kids and enjoy a BBQ lunch or picnic in the sun.
- Hell’s Gate – Rotorua. Sitting on the most geothermally active land in New Zealand, visitors can explore the nature reserve onsite before soaking in their incredible hot pools and mud bath. A visit to Hell’s Gate is a must! Save on your entry to Hell’s Gate.
- Polynesian Spa – Rotorua. Perched on the side of Lake Rotorua, the Polynesian Spa is Rotorua’s flagship geothermal resort. It is absolutely gorgeous and the perfect place to spend an evening. They also have a child-friendly zone if you’re keen to entertain the kids. Save on your entry to Polynesian Spa.
- Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – Waikite Valley, Rotorua. An incredible facility, this is one of the only NZ thermal pool complexes of this size using 100% pure natural geothermal water. If you want to experience a commercial hot spring as nature intended the water to be, this is the place.
- Waitangi Soda Springs – Rotorua. These natural hot springs are cheap and cheerful, but don’t assume that makes them anything less than awesome! A huge spring, this is how natural hot pools should be.
- Hot Water Beach – Tarawera, Rotorua. For something a bit different, you can either walk (4.5 hours, one way) or catch a water taxi to the shore of Lake Tarawera. Once there, jump into the lake and enjoy the natural geothermal waters. You can even camp overnight if you like (advance bookings required).
- Kerosene Creek – Rotorua. Just out of Rotorua, you’ll find Kerosene Creek, a natural hot-water waterfall and swimming hole. Access is free of charge, making this a fantastic Kiwi spot to take visitors.
- The Blue Baths – Rotorua. With geothermally heated freshwater, these pools are perfect for adults looking to unwind inside a stunning old building (built in 1933). This facility is often used for weddings and special events, so you know you’re in for a treat.
- Butchers Pool – Reporoa. As you travel between Rotorua and Taupo, you’ll find a fantastic local pool. Once used by the Butcher family as a bathing facility, it was gifted to the people of Reporoa. Now, it is a tidy swimming spot, with water that naturally renews itself.
Hot Springs in the Central North Island – Taupō
Like the Bay of Plenty, Taupō is known for its geothermal activity. The region is a great place to visit, be it for a long weekend or holiday.
- Taupo DeBretts – Taupō. A real family favourite, you’ll find a number of hydro-slides and kids’ pools, alongside stunning adult pools. Located at the bottom of a private valley, this is a magical place to spend an evening. Be warned; you probably won’t want to leave so we suggest staying the night at their campsite.
- AC Baths and Thermal Pools – Taupō. With both indoor and outdoor pools, this is a huge facility! There you’ll find hydro-slides, a Tarzan swing, kids pools, lap pools and spas. It’s another great family option.
- Lake Taupo Holiday Resort – Taupō. You might be surprised to find taste of Fiji in Taupo but that’s exactly what the Lake Taupo Holiday Resort offers! They offer camping alongside the first thermally heated lagoon in the country (complete with a swim-up bar and cafe and a movie screen too!). Accommodation is also available onsite.
- Otumuheke Stream and Grandeur Thermal Spa Resort – Taupō. The Otumuheke Stream is a historical bathing and meeting place for local Māori people, and now is also enjoyed by visitors. A two-hour return walk, you will want to allow a fair bit of time. Or, if you’d prefer, you can visit the Grandeur Thermal Spa Resort to swim in the same water inside their private pools.
- Wairakei Terraces – Taupō. Located at the bottom of silica terraces, a visit to Wairaekei feels like a step back in time (albeit a luxurious one)
- Tokaanu Thermal Pools – Tokaanu, Turangi. This is a great local facility – unpretentious, welcoming and tidy. It is a great place to stop after a day of skiing or snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu.
New Zealand is blessed to have geothermally heated water that bubbles to the surface in the form of hot springs.
Many of these are located in and around Auckland.
Which will you visit first?