One of my favourite spots between Rotorua and Taupo is the Waitapu thermal river, locally known as the Hot & Cold Rivers. Named simply because it is where a cold river and a near scalding thermal river converge, and whether you take a soak in the day or at night with stars over head or romantically line the banks in candles – it’s one hell of a place to relax and marvel at natures way of putting things together just right.
Not long ago it was the ‘locals’ little secret. The tourists were sent via Lonely Planet to ‘Kerosene Creek’ (just up the road). But it was only a matter of time before ‘the secret’ was published in the well known traveler’s bible. And I don’t mind so much, as I’ve had plenty of fun and entertaining days and nights soaking in that thermal little grotto. Meeting people from all nationalities, attempting to speak Russian, sharing drinks and camping out nearby on New Year’s Eve with Germans, Mexicans, Maori’s and Brits, side by side singing tunes to Guitar by the glow of a campfire and an assortment of young traveler’s vehicles.
But … just the other day after a long day in Rotorua, I drove by the creek looking to relax with my kids before making our way home in Taupo. I counted 12 cars lining the road over the bridge … my passing glimpse through the trees showed the hot pool was packed … and four young tourist sat around their primus cooking their dinner on the road. Like an infestation of caterpillars destroying the beauty of a green leaf, I decided to drive on.
But as luck would have it there is one more spot unknown to most … the place shown in the photos above and below … it is not yet in the book of travelers, the location whispered in my ear by a local traveler. Eventually those whispers will turn into calls to all, and this amazingly hot waterfall lagoon will eventually find it’s way into a publication … but until then my lips are sealed and I shall enjoy my exclusive rights as a citizen of this country and selfishly bath alone in natures thermal paradise while I still can.ecret Steaming Hot Thermal Waterfall – Hotter than your Shower at home!
P.S. Waitapu’s Hot and Cold Rivers can be found underneath the bridge on the loop road that takes you to the Waitapu Geothermal Wonderland of State Highway 5 between Rotorua and Taupo. Despite it’s popularity it’s still an awesome hot spot to go to! And I recommend you take some little tea candles for the banks if you’re going at night – a truly stunning experience!
P.P.S By the way … Waitapu Geothermal Wonderland is THE BEST geothermal walk in the country – WAY WAY WAY better than both Te Puia & Hell’s Gate in Rotorua!! Just thought I’d let you know 🙂