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Thermal Activity

After an adrenaline filled day sledging, zorbing and luging in Rotorua, we were looking forward to relaxing in the hot pools at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools campsite. We had stayed here back in September when we last explored Rotorua so we knew it was the perfect way to spend a cool autumn evening.

Up early in search for a ‘secret’ hot pool we had heard about in this AWESOME ‘off the beaten path’ guidebook NZ Frenzy, after a few wrong turns we finally found it! It was the most beautiful, secluded hot pool we’ve experienced yet in New Zealand – and it even had a waterfall! (To find it you’ll have to de-code the riddle from the NZ Frenzy book yourself – gotta keep these gems secret for as long as possible!)

The ‘secret’ hot pool

This was the image of a hot pool I had in my head since I was a kid after watching the hot springs scene in Dante’s Peak (not going to lie – I am always a bit weary when I’m in a hot pool in such a volcanic, thermal active area – always hoping we done end up the same way!) So many ‘hot pools’ are advertised but I’m always disappointed when most are just an oversized hot swimming pool – THIS was the real deal!

Brent enjoying a hot waterfall massage

Looking to explore more of the free thermal activity in the area, we ventured down to the mud pools at the Waiotapu Thermal Track. The giant steaming mud pools are quite mesmerising to watch – something about the sound of the bubbling mud gets you in a bit of a trance.

Waiotapu Mud Pools

A few really grumpy areas were quite loud and shot boiling mud into the air, often catching Kristina off guard as she tried to snap a photo!


Around the corner we headed down the unsealed road to Kerosene Creek. Along the way a beautiful green lake appeared – the color was almost unreal!

Green Lake along Kerosene Creek road

A local hot spot, Kerosene creek is a well known hot pool with an upper and lower set of waterfalls.Known to have a high theft rate, we brought all our important belongings with us as we had been warned of the frequent break-ins.

A steaming stream flows along the short path from the carpark, leading to the small upper falls. A perfect spot to sit inside the waterfall to get a relaxing massage from the water.


A little further down the path, the river widens, leading to a larger waterfall that opens up into a large warm pool. A popular spot at night, many locals setup candles along the edge creating the perfect candle lit hot pool for an evening ‘oh natural’ swim.

Kerosene Creek hot pool

I still am in awe that these beautiful natural wonders are all over this country – it seems almost unfair that New Zealand can have so many incredible spots like this in such a small area!

Kristina, Brent, me & Jordan enjoying Kerosene Creek

Once the cars started rolling in and the crowds started to form, we decided to head back to Wellington to catch some surf! Great way to end a fun filled weekend!

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