Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa
A standard admission ticket grants you access to all of the thermal pools, which each feature water of varying temperatures. The mineral-rich waters are said to have healing properties and skin-softening effects, which an adults-only policy ensures the thermal pools remain quiet and calm. Access to the Wairakei Terraces walkway, home to the recreated terraces and geysers, costs extra. Spa treatments such as massages and facials come at an extra cost and should be booked in advance.
Things to Know Before You Go
The pools are a welcome reward for travelers on multi-day trips around New Zealand’s North Island, particularly after physical activities such as hiking, cycling, and ziplining.
The pools at the spa are only open to visitors 14 years old and up; younger visitors may be required to show ID.
Robes, towels, lockers, and swimsuits can be hired at the site, though it’s cheaper to bring your own.
Avoid showering for 12 hours after soaking in the mineral pools to maximize the benefits.
How to Get There
Wairakei Terraces are less than 10 minutes’ drive north of Taupo. To get there, follow the Thermal Explorer Highway north of town and then take the turnoff onto Wairakei Road.
When to Get There
The pools stay open late into the evening. Arrive late in the afternoon to watch the sunset and soak beneath the stars. Winter visits mean that the hot pools make a welcome contrast to the cold air.
Where to Witness Natural Geothermal Activity
The terraces, geyser, and pools at Wairakei Terraces are man-made, but if you’d like to see natural thermal features, you’ll find a high concentration of hot springs, geysers, and boiling mud pools in the area between Taupo and Rotorua. The walkway at Craters of the Moon offers unobstructed views of steaming vents and geothermal features, while Orakei Korako boasts colorful silica terraces, geysers, and a rare thermal cave.