Whether you’re after a relaxing soak or somewhere to wind down after a hard day of activities visiting The Wairakei Terraces thermal hot pools should be on your list. These hot pools are simply stunning and the perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with nature.
- Wairakei Hot Pools
- Things to know when visiting Wairakei Hot Pools
- How to get to Taupo
- Taupo Accommodation
Wairakei Hot Pools
The Wairakei Terraces Thermal Hot Pools are nestled in the Wairakei geothermal valley. Driving past the property you wouldn’t know this idyllic spot existed, but once you walk down the track to the pools you are transported to a magical paradise.
The pools sit at the bottom of the naturally formed silica terraces and are surrounded by native trees which encroach over the pools making for a serene and relaxing setting.
The geothermal water in these pools comes from 1.5km underground and emerges after being underground for thousands of years. This thermal water is mineral rich including silica, sodium, potassium, magnesium, arsenic, manganese, sulfate, calcium, chloride, fluoride, boron, and iron, and has many healing properties. These minerals help to enrich and restore your skin and muscles. As soon as you get in the pool you’ll feel the silky smoothness of these minerals on your skin. It is recommended you do not shower after your swim to allow the minerals to soak into your skin.
The Wairakei Terraces has 4 different pools, which range in temperature from warm to very hot. The temperatures change depending on the heat coming from underground. From the top, hottest pool, you are able to stand right beside the silica terraces and, if you want to, put your hands in the water that feeds the pools. Just be careful as it is very hot!
If hot pools are not for you, you may be interested in doing the Silica terraces walk instead, where you can walk through native bush and get an up-close view of the silica terraces and the man-made geyser (stream of water that blows up into the sky)
If you’re after a bite to eat, there is also a cafe on site.
What to know about visiting the Wairakei Hot Pools
Location: Wairakei Terraces, 671 Wairakei Drive, Wairakei, Taupō 3377
Cost: $25 per person. But you can normally get it for $15 on Grabone.
- Wairakei Terraces is open daily from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, apart from Thursdays which it is open from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
- Pools are open to those aged 14 and over.
How to get to Taupo
Taupo has a domestic airport you can fly into from most major towns/cities within New Zealand. One-way flights with Air New Zealand, from Auckland, start from $49 and there are plenty of flight options throughout the day.
Many buses go through Taupo as it is on the main route from Auckland to Wellington.
The best option for traveling by bus is with Intercity. You may have previously heard of other New Zealand bus companies such as Magic Bus, Naked Bus, Manabus, or Skip Bus. These companies have unfortunately closed.
The majority of travelers get to Taupo by car. If you need to rent a car there are a few good options.
- Jucy Rentals – budget car options + small campervans
- Snap Rentals – available in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown
- Ace Rentals – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Picton, Dunedin, Greymouth
Drive times to the Wairakei Thermal Hot Pools:
- Auckland to Taupo: 3 hrs
- Hamilton to Taupo: 1hr 50 mins
- Tauranga to Taupo: 1 hr 50 mins
- Wellington to Taupo: 4 hrs 30 mins
Budget Option (less than $100/night):
Location: Taupo, Town Centre
You may recognise the Haka name as they are a well-known adventure travel provider who offers some amazing guided tours across New Zealand and has hostels in all the popular tourist spots. So you’re likely to meet like-minded adventurers during your stay here.
This Taupo accommodation is an 8-minute walk from the town centre. The backpacker accommodation offers a range of up-market dormitory rooms, as well as private rooms for those who like their own space. Relax on a sun lounger and enjoy uninterrupted views across Lake Taupo to Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro.
This accommodation is a 9 min drive from The Wairakei Terraces Hot Pools.
Mid-range couples/families accommodation ($100 – $250/night):
Location: Wairakei, Taupo
Situated a stone’s throw away from the Wairakei Terraces, this is a great accommodation option if you’re wanting to visit the hot pools. A wide variety of accommodation is available, from studio king rooms to large family rooms, making it a great option for couples and families. The grounds are stunning, and the staff are extremely friendly.
The resort has two outdoor heated pools, six spa pools, squash and tennis courts, and a 9 hole golf course.
This accommodation is a 5 min walk drive from The Wairakei Terraces Hot Pools or a 30-sec drive. It is an 8 min drive from Taupo town centre. It is also very conveniently located just down the road from the Huka Falls jet, The Prawn park, golf driving range, and high ropes course.
Luxury Accommodation ($1,000+ /night):
Location: Huka Falls, Taupo
Stay at Taupo’s most luxurious lodge. Located on the edge of the Waikato river, above the Huka Falls, the Huka Lodge is Taupo’s premier lodge. Guest suites and private residences offer superior bliss, appointed to the standard you would expect from a 5-star lodge – with views to die for (over rolling laws or across the Waikato river), premium white linens, deeps baths, and stunning furnishings. Rates for rooms include a full country breakfast, pre-dinner drinks, and canapés, gourmet five-course dinner with a daily changing menu, use of the lodge facilities, and return Taupō Airport transfers.
Guests can experience many exclusive lodge-based activities such as tennis, petanque, fly fishing, or a walk to the Huka Falls. For the more adventurous white water rafting, a Heli tour, or a Formula one experience.
This accommodation is a 4 min drive from The Wairakei Terraces Hot Pools and a 5 min drive from Taupo town centre.
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