Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – add this to your NZ trip!

Are you wanting to relax after a long day of exploring? Then Waikite Valley Thermal pools is the place for you.

There are plenty of thermal pools in Rotorua, however this is one of the best value. The pools are clean, big and some have great views. This is a great place to stop if you have a few hours to spare on your New Zealand road trip.

They are open for 10.30-8pm, however they do start draining the pools at 7.15pm. Make sure you plan accordingly.

Where is it?

Waikite Valley Thermal Pools are located about 30mins outside of Rotorua.

It is a spot that gets popular with both locals and tourists. However, I do have a trick to help get the pools all to yourself for a short while! (More on that later)

What’s there to do?

Bath, relax, swim or take a short walk! Waikite Valley Thermal springs are all about relaxation and unwinding.

This is where you will find the largest single source of 100% pure geothermal water in New Zealand. This spring water cascades into the hot pool complex, which consists of 6 different pools.

Each pool has a different temperature, so there is something to suit everyone. I am not actually sure if this is the case everyday or is this is just what happened with the water on the day I visited!

The six pools include

  • Sit and soak – the hottest pool while I was there, sitting between 41-45 degrees C
  • The garden pool – my favourite. Sitting at a nice 35 C degrees. This also has some of the best views over the hot springs below!
  • The tubs – These were the coldest pools
  • Settlers pool – The biggest pool. It has a shallow section for children.
  • Pergola pool – The second pool with great views, and my second favourite.
  • Private pools – these can be booked separately to general admission.

Once you’ve sat and soaked for many hours, I recommend you take the short stroll down to the Te Manaroa Springs, which is where the hot water comes from. It’s only a short 10min walk, but has some very nice views along the path.

Then treat yourself to a coffee, some cake or a small meal at the cafe. I got the beef bean nachos which cost me $14.50NZD. It was good, but than again after eating only 2min noodles, everything tastes good after a while!

How much does it cost?

Pool admission:

  • Adults $22NZD
  • Children $12NZD
  • Under 5 $4NZD

For private pools prices, you will have to contact them directly. They also offer family/group discounts.

Waikite Valley Thermal Pools also have a promo deal with Waimangu Volcanic Valley, where you can get enter into both valleys for prices below. You can read my blog about Waimangu Volcanic Valley here.

Adult $45.00 NZD
Child $16.00 NZD
Family $108 NZD


Remember earlier when I said I knew a trick where you might be able to get a pool to yourself for a little while? The trick is to stay at the campsite!

Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, have a very small campsite, made up of 26 unpowered/powered campsites. They also have laundry, kitchen, shower and unlimited access to the thermal pools.

A unpowered campsite will cost you $28NZD pp/pn and a powered campsite is $32NZD pp/pn.

That’s right, if you stay at the campgrounds you can access the thermal pools essentially for free. The beauty of this too is that you have access from 6am, where day goers only only have access from 10.30am. A much better opportunity to get the pools to yourself!

I would just like to note that the campsites are pretty small, especially the unpowered ones. I still however saw buses and big rigs coming/parking without a problem.

Is it worth going?

Absolutely! It’s a great place for singles, couples and family’s, to just chill out for a few hours.

This is probably one of the best value thermal springs/hot tub experiences In Rotorua, as you don’t have a time limit. Definitely make sure you add this one to the bucket list.

Click here for a detailed two week North Island itinerary!

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