Winter warmers in New Zealand's favourite hot spots

Warm up your winter escape to New Zealand with a soak in a steaming geothermal hot pool. 

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools
No New Zealand winter escape is complete without a soak in the therapeutic waters of one of this country’s many outstanding natural hot spots. 

Relax in naturally heated mineral waters with views of mountains, forests or lakes – the perfect remedy for aching muscles after a day on the slopes. Non-skiers can take relaxation to the next level with a therapeutic treatment in an on-site health spa. 

New Zealand has so many thermal pool destinations to choose from, but here are three close (ish) to our world class ski fields, and a couple slightly further afield but not to missed!  

Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa, Taupō 

A short drive from Taupō, the mineral rich hot pools of Wairakei Terraces are revered by Māori for their natural healing powers and therapeutic benefits. Pools in beautiful layered terraces are filled with flowing steaming hot thermal waters enriched with silica, magnesium and calcium.  This adults-only destination includes an on-site massage therapy centre where guests can choose from an extensive range of wellness treatments using indigenous herbal oils and balms.  

Trade tip: Guided tours of the bubbling geothermal steam field (complete with gushing geysers) are also available.  

Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort, Taupō 

Long-time local favourite, Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs offers heated indoor and outdoor pools in a steaming thermal valley. En route from Tongariro National Park and the Ruapehu ski fields, this family-friendly complex has a range of slides and other fun water activities for the kids. Parents can relax in the hot mineral pools or indulge in a relaxing massage or rejuvenating spa treatment.  

Trade tip: There is a wide range of family-style accommodation on offer at the resort, from campsites to motel-style studios.  

Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown   

Overlooking the Shotover River with spectacular alpine views, Onsen Hot Pools is the perfect break from Queenstown’s action-packed ski slopes. The luxurious cedar-lined private hot pools feature retracting picture windows designed to transform your setting from indoors to outdoors, at the touch of a single button. Onsen also offers packages which include special extras, such as aromatherapy burners and a glass of local wine.  

Trade tip: Most popular at evenings and sunset, it pays to book these in advance for your clients.  

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Springs   

Soak in naturally heated, mineral-filled waters surrounded by snowy peaks and Redwood trees – or treat yourself to a range of indulgent spa therapies. A 90-minute drive from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Springs offers a range of naturally heated outdoor thermal pools at varying temperatures. It also includes freshwater pools, and a kids’ activity area with New Zealand’s largest aquatic thrill ride. The eco-friendly complex is powered by converting waste methane (a by-product of tapping into geothermal springs) into electricity.  

Trade tip: Hanmer Springs is an appealing resort town with plenty of adventure activities (cycling, hiking, jet boating, bungy and more) for active families. 

Maruia Hot Springs, Lewis Pass Highway 

A little off the beaten track - but worth the picturesque drive through the mountains between Nelson and Christchurch - Maruia Hot Springs is a small thermal eco-wellness spot nestled in a tranquil conservation area. Your clients can immerse themselves in nature’s very own sanctuary, bathing in gentle mineral waters with views of the nearby river and the stunning Southern Alps. Stay and soak or explore the area on the hiking trails that surround the property.  

Trade tip: There is an on-site cafe, and a range of accommodation from nicely appointed guest rooms to camping and motorhome sites.