Unique Camping Spots with Hot Pools

The Central North Island boasts a variety of natural hot springs, and bathing in the soothing mineral water after exploring the great outdoors has become a natural part of any New Zealand holiday.

While you’d expect to find a spa in a top hotel, what might come as a surprise is the number of unique camping spots with natural hot pools. Here’s a rundown on our favourites:

Hot Water Beach - Lake Tarawera

Less well-known than Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel is Te Rata Bay on Lake Tarawera. This camping spot is only accessible by boat or via the 16km Tarawera Trail walking track. Natural hot springs provide the opportunity to build your own lakeside hot pool. 

If you’re feeling flash, there’s also two glamping sites tucked into the bush not far from the beach, with a separate dining & kitchen tent and bathroom tent, and a kayak available to explore the lake and the nearby pools.


Waikite Valley Thermal Pools

Tucked away in the rural Waikite Valley, conveniently located between hot spots Rotorua and Taupo, the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools has a 26 site camping ground adjoining the hot pool complex. 

Camping fees include unlimited access to the pools, where there are six bathing options from the family friendly Settlers pool to the tranquil and beautifully landscaped Garden Pool. Private Pools where you can control the temperature are also available to be booked at additional cost. 


There’s also a licensed café on site and a beautiful short walk to the source of the mineral spring water, Te Manaroa Spring.



Lake Taupo Holiday Resort

A hotpot for families, the Lake Taupo Holiday Resort features a thermally heated lagoon style pool with a swim up bar. They also screen outdoor movies and sporting events at the pool so you can enjoy a magical evening under the stars.

As well as campsites, there’s a variety of accommodation options including units, cabins and motels. 



Mangatutu Hot Springs Campsite, Kaweka Forest Park 

This little gem on the banks of the Mohaka River is a little tricky to get to, but well worth the journey. Be prepared for an hour of travel on gravel roads, and there’s also a river ford crossing on the way in, so be mindful of heavy rainfall and snow melt. 

Once you get there, you’re spoilt with a scenic camping spot with easy access to the Kaweka Forest Park for walking and hiking. The icing on the cake is 2 beautiful hot pools fed by a deep hole in the riverbank, the perfect spot to relax after a day exploring the bush.


From here you can also hike to some more secluded hot pools at Mangatainoka, follow the track to Te Puia Hut, and the hot pools are a further 45 minute walk. 


Te Aroha Holiday Park

At the base of Mount Ta Aroha in the Kaimai ranges, the traditional Te Aroha Holiday Park and Hot Pools is a great spot to base yourself to explore the local hiking trails and the Hauraki Rail Trail. 

When hot water was found around 30 years ago, a huge concrete pool was built and became a destination for school camps and picnics. The pool area has since been extended to include an alfresco pool with silky mineral water and a hydro jet spa pool. 
Unique Camping Spots with Hot Pools
Waikite Valley Thermal PoolsUnique Camping Spots with Hot Pools
Waikite Valley Thermal PoolsUnique Camping Spots with Hot Pools
Waikite Valley Thermal PoolsUnique Camping Spots with Hot Pools
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools