Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park is a fun-filled resort a few minutes from the center of Rotura, 230 kilometers southeast of Auckland, New Zealand’s capital and largest city. Known as a spa and resort town, there are loads of things to do when you’re taking a break from the hot pools.
Walk to Te Puia and the Pohutu Geyser or visit one of the region’s many lakes. Perhaps the most famous activity is mountain biking the tracks of Whakarewarewa Forest, “the Disneyland of mountain biking” and the location of the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in 2006.
The park was initially established as the Rotura Borough Motor Camp by the borough council in the mid-1920s. It’s the oldest motor camp in Rotorua, but It hasn’t always been located across from the Arikikapakapa Golf Course.
The move that took place in the 1960s has allowed the park to expand dramatically since that time. Originally, the Maori people gave the land to the Crown under the “Fenton Agreement” of November 25, 1880 with the intention for it to be used for recreational purposes.
Thermal Pools and Other Activities
The three thermal pools on park-like grounds of Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park are reminiscent of large whirlpools. Ample seating around the edges of the tubs create the perfect setup for your and your friends. Mural-adorned concrete walls give the space some privacy while adding some color.
Outside the pools, guests can enjoy a kids’ play area and mountain bike track, a cricket pitch, a rugby field, tennis and netball courts, and a games room. A seasonal swimming pool also tends to attract a crowd.
The owners have thought through all of the details of what makes a great stay. While most overnight guests are equipped with private or communal kitchens or even gas barbeque grills to satisfy their hunger, there is a place to get drinks and snacks near reception at the front of the park. A bike cleaning station is also centrally located for those who get muddy on the nearby trails.
Native protected trees decorate the land and play host to many local birds. It’s a lovely setting for those wanting to get out into nature, and tui birds can often be found alongside fantails hunting for bugs guests unsettle while wandering around.
The surrounding area is also full of things to see and do. A 20-minute drive from the park, you’ll find Te Wairoa, the village buried by the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. Just six minutes away–easily walkable–is Kuirau Park, a place to check out bubbling mud pools and soak your feet in thermal water.
Lodging options from large, two-bedroom house-like units with flatscreens and decks to tent sites–with or without power–are available for guests to extend their stay. Groups of up to ten people can find shared accommodations. Solo travelers can live it up a cabin of their own or look for communal living in the basic backpacker dorms.
For those staying outside of the self-contained rooms, a communal kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, TV rooms can be accessed by everyone. Wifi is can be found in many places throughout the property, and discounts on local attractions and activities are available at the front desk.
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From Auckland, take SH 1 south from Grafton. In Tirau, at the roundabout, take the first exit onto Thermal Explorer Highway/State Highway 5 towards Thermal Explorer/Rotura. In approximately 27 miles, at the roundabout, take the second exit onto Ngongotaha/State Highway 5 towards Ngongotaha/Tauranga. The park will be on the right in 5.5 miles.
Address: 463 Old Taupo Road, Springfield, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand
Phone: +64 7 346 3140