Tokaanu Thermal Pools are a family-friendly set of freshwater and spring-fed pools in a traditional public swimming pool environment. Set on the southern shore of Lake Taupo in the center of the North Island, there’s plenty of nature to explore including an easy trail through the area with the original thermal pools.
As an added bonus, it’s open every day except for Christmas.
The Maori people have a long history with the healing waters of the spring. The Ngati Kurauia tribe has been frequenting the area since the 16th century. Aside from bathing, they use the hot water and steam vents to cook food and dye traditional clothing.
The Pools and Other Activities
The hot spring feeds 12 private indoor pools with water 102-106℉ (39-41℃). They make a wonderful, relaxing activity after spending the day on the nearby ski slopes or an afternoon on the lake.
A large, swimming pool filled with chlorine-treated freshwater that remains between 97-100℉ (36-38℃) is slightly cooler. A small pool for preschoolers, also heated freshwater, is a constant 97℉ (36℃). It’s located directly beside the main pool, making it easy for parents and guardians to swim while watching their toddlers.
Nature is all around, from a brightly-colored mural depicting the local lake to the tree-covered grounds the facility sits on. Guests can take an easy 10-15-minute walk through the Tokaanu Thermal Loop to discover the steaming original thermal pools in sinter basins. It’s wheelchair accessible and fun for kids.
Mud pools and mud volcanoes also hide amidst the natural vegetation. There is one area that even displays manuka trees with their roots tucked into the hot water. Near the trailhead and site entrance, walkers with extra breadcrumbs from lunch can feed the rainbow trout in the Tokaanu stream from the bridge above.
From Auckland, take SH 1 south at Grifton. Continue for 102 miles (164 km) before turning right onto Horahora Road in Piarere. In 8 miles (13 km), turn left onto Arapuni Road, then right on Old Taupo Road. After another 17 miles (27 km), take a right on Whakamaru Road/State Hwy 32, and follow it to State Hwy 41. Take a left, then a right at Mangaroa.
Address: Mangaroa Street, Tokaanu 3381, New Zealand
Phone: +64 7 386 8575