You have to love road trips in New Zealand where, with a little helpful local knowledge to guide you, you can literally pull over the car on the side of the road and be soaking in some of nature's best free hot water springs within minutes.
The North Island is scattered with free hot water springs but it would be easy to overlook them all on a road trip, as they are often 'off the beaten track' by a few country miles, and need some navigation.If you're traveling between Auckland and Taupo, in either direction, you are in luck.
|Ocean Beach, Kawhia|
Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel Peninsula also offers this treat. A more populated destination, the beach is shared with sunbathers and surfers and you can even hire spades from the local ice-cream store.
Kerosine Creek, Rotorua
Getting to it maybe a slight adventure: you will need to drive along a forestry gravel road, and arrive at an isolated and somewhat 'insecure' carpark, and even follow a grimy creek for a few minutes. But the stream itself is fabulous, piping hot and well worth the visit.
And not too far away is a very special little spot, Waiotapu Stream. This is very much a local spot, so do treat it and it's soaking inhabitants with respect. Not far from the commercial Waiotapu Thermal Resort, this stream offers New Zealand hot spring creek bathing in true Kiwi form. Follow a dirt path between the native bush and you'll discover your destination.
Once you have reached Taupo, there's yet another spring stream to enjoy. Part of the Huka Falls Walkway, just 15 minutes walk from a public carpark, you can clamber over rocks beneath a simple pedestrian bridge, and soak up Taupo's best - the Spa Park Stream.Thermal activity can be found in pockets throughout the North Island but most prevalent in the Central Plateau region (middle of the North Island) namely Rotorua, Taupo and eastern Bay of Plenty.