Te Aroha spa town history
Te Aroha spas have a proud history beginning with the Maori tribes who used the springs for their healing properties. In the 1880s, the land was gifted to New Zealand by Maori chief Mokena Hou as a public domain for development as a health resort.
The government invested in developing the facilities when gold was found on Mt Te Aroha, and the settlement flourished as one of the main North Island attractions. It became the most popular spa town in New Zealand with around 30,000 bathers each year in the late 1800s, and the region’s natural hot soda springs were renowned as a cure-all.
The mineral springs vary in temperature, and some of them are naturally infused with sodium bicarbonate underground, making for natural hot soda springs. To improve access to the soda water, a bore was sunk in the 1930s resulting in the world’s only hot soda water geyser – named the Mokena Geyser after the Maori chief who gifted the land. Today the Mokena Geyser erupts approximately every 40 minutes and is one of the great free attractions in the Waikato region.
Many of the beautiful Victorian and Edwardian era bathhouses in the town’s domain have been maintained and refurbished, and Te Aroha retains excellent spa facilities without being inundated with tourists. This makes it a real gem for those looking to relax and get away from it all.
Te Aroha Spa experiences
Te Aroha Mineral Spas, in Te Aroha Domain, are the perfect place to relax if you’re winding down from cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail, exploring Mt Te Aroha, or playing a round of golf at Te Aroha Golf Club.
Te Aroha Mineral Spas offer a range of luxurious experiences. The mineral salts in the natural spring water are therapeutic, and you can bathe in several sizes of traditional wooden tubs. Other experiences include romance packages, massages and beauty therapy treatments.
Built on the site of the original pools and next to Te Aroha Mineral Spas, Te Aroha Leisure Pools have a large public heated pool, outdoor spa pool, restored Edwardian geothermal bathhouse, and a toddler pool. The natural outdoor setting will put your mind at ease and soothe your spirit as the hot water washes away your aches and pains.
The No. 2 Bath House at Te Aroha Swim Zone complex offers a traditional ‘taking the waters’ experience with a modern touch. The No. 2 Bath House is the last remaining of three bathhouses in the Te Aroha Domain.