Morere Hot Springs
The Morere Hot Springs is not just another hot springs attraction - it is unique offering accommodation, walking tracks and long hot soaks in the hot pools. Very much part of the local community, it is a special corner of the world that is attracting more and more visitors from all over New Zealand and overseas.
Set in 364 hectares of native bush the Morere Hot Springs provide modern bathing and spa facilities in a beautiful natural environment. The bush reserve, managed by the Department of Conservation, is one of the last remaining tracts of lowland rainforest on the east coast of New Zealand.
The natural, healing hot water at Morere is sometimes referred to as “fossilised seawater” as it has travelled for many thousands of years before bubbling its way out of the ground beneath the adjacent rainforest. With a history going back to the 1890s the Morere Hot Springs complex has been modernised over the years but the pools remain secluded, beautiful and unaffected by commercialism. There are a total of eight pools – two private plunge pools, three open-air plunge pools of varying temperatures, a large hot and a large cold pool and a small children’s paddling pool. It is an all year-round attraction set in a scenic bush reserve of lush, lowland rain forest.
The Morere Hot Springs’ 20-metre outdoor recreational cold pool (above) is set in a safely fenced and tiled complex close to the entrance with a large, calf-deep children’s paddling pool alongside. The cold pools are popular in summer when people feel the need to cool off after enjoying the heated waters. In the same enclosure, but undercover, with bi-fold doors that open to let in the ambience of the adjacent rainforest, is a large indoor heated pool.
There are two private hot pools alongside the main Morere Hot Springs complex that allow for secluded bathing (see picture below) but are open on one side to look out across the Mangatawa Stream, letting in the rainforest. And five minutes walk into the bush there are the unique Nikau pools (see picture at top of this page). Surrounded by virgin rainforest these pools comprise two hot pools, one slightly hotter than the other and a cold plunge pool. Note: Wear your shoes when walking up to the Nikau Pools. The path can be tough on soft feet after bathing in the hot pools.
The Hot Springs open every day at 10am. Only exception is the 25 December and in the event of storm damage. Closing time varies from 5pm in the winter to 8.30pm through the summer holidays. Late access by arrangement. The hot and highly therapeutic waters have extra value during the cold winter months. It is a time for local regulars to enjoy the springs in tranquillity. A moonlit soak in the steaming Nikau Pools at Morere Hot Springs (below), surrounded by dripping rainforest in mid-winter, is a magic experience.
The Morere Hot Springs Scenic Reserve is best known for its stands of nikau palms, but high rainfall, a mild climate and fertile mudstone soils have created an environment for a notable area of rain forest.
Major forest trees include Tawa, Kohekohe, Pukatea, Rimu, Totara, Miro and Matai while on the higher ridges there are remnant patches of native beech. Under the canopy a prolific mass of ferns, small trees, orchids, shade loving plants, and epiphytes jostle for space.
- Visitors can enjoy a great wilderness experience on the walking tracks ranging from easy 20-minute walks, to challenging two and three hour hikes.
- The Cemetery Track is a short marked track leading from the cemetery on Tunanui Road, up to the Ridge Track. 10 minutes.
- The Ridge Track is a more demanding trail which leads between to Nikau Loop Track and the Mangakawa Track. It climbs through tall forest to a ridge covered in black beech, lancewood and mingimingi with clearings offering pleasant views over the forest and farmland hills beyond. Allow two hours.
- The Nikau Loop Track is an easy walk through varied lowland forest. Suitable for family groups and usable in all but the worst weather. Mostly flat walking with some gentle inclines. Emerges on Mangakawa Track. Allow 20 minutes.
- The Mangakawa Track is a challenging hike, suitable for fit walkers. Wear sturdy footwear. The track follows the Mangakawa Stream with views of waterfalls and small gorges, and leads back to the Nikau Loop track. Allow two and a half hours.
Non-swimming adults $3
Private pools - $3 per person for 1/2 an hour
Towel Hire - $2
Hot Springs Lodge - family accommodation (sleeps 12)
Please contact for prices
Cabins - self contained (2 people)
$75 for two people
$95 for two or $125 for four
NB: There may be a surcharge at peak times (i.e. from Christmas to mid-January and Easter weekend).