Te Aroha

  1. Visitors
  2. Places to go
  3. Te Aroha
Situated 50 minutes north east of Hamilton is Te Aroha. Nestled at the foot of its mountain namesake, the historic spa town is famous for its natural hot soda water springs, gold mining and mountain hiking and biking trails.

Destination Te Aroha

Built on the lower foothills of Mount Te Aroha in the northeast of the Waikato region, the settlement of Te Aroha has a proud history as a gold mining boom-town and spa resort. The town’s identity is founded around its heritage, and you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Te Aroha, from exciting mountain adventures to historic journeys and thermal spas.

As far back as the late 1800s people flocked from Auckland and elsewhere to Te Aroha to ‘take the waters’ – naturally bubbly, silky mineral water renowned as a cure-all.

Today, the distinctive heritage Victorian and Edwardian buildings around Te Aroha Domain are a pleasing reminder of the peak when some 30,000 bathers a year arrived by train and boat to soak and sip, returning home feeling revitalised.

Varying in temperature, Te Aroha’s springs include natural hot soda water springs, the water being infused with sodium bicarbonate as it rises from under the ground.

Together with the scenic beauty of the area and the walking, hiking and biking activities, the rejuvenating waters continue to draw visitors.

Te Aroha Domain

Resplendent with heritage buildings from the Victorian and Edwardian eras when Te Aroha was a popular spa destination, Te Aroha Domain is very much the centre of town and the starting point for many of the experiences here.

The distinctive cream weatherboard buildings with their red roofs were constructed in the late 1800s and today house the likes of Te Aroha Mineral Spas, Te Aroha and Districts Museum, Te Aroha isite, Swim Zone Te Aroha and Cottage Café.

Also in the domain are the band rotunda, bowling green and croquet club, an art gallery, barbecue area and a playground.

Te Aroha spas

Located in Te Aroha Domain, Te Aroha Mineral Spas offer a range of luxurious experiences, from spa baths in wooden tubs to massages and beauty treatments provided by experienced therapists.

The range of pools at Swim Zone Te Aroha includes family-friendly options suitable for young children and toddlers. The No. 2 Bath House where the mineral water is made up of silica and bicarbonate and keeps your skin soft can be booked for private soaking.

Te Aroha walking tracks

For a natural high there is the hike to the top of Mt Te Aroha, which stands 952 metres tall over the township. The spectacular views over the surrounding countryside are a fine reward for the steep climb – allow about 5 hours for the round trip.

There are also walking trails through the Waiorongomai Valley where in the late 1880s gold was discovered. Still visible along the trail are the remains of the Piako County Tramway, New Zealand’s oldest bush tramway, plus other machinery and miners’ lodgings.

Howarth Memorial Wetlands – An easy 50-minute loop walk, this is a great one to do with the kids. It’s mostly flat, follows a section of the Waihou River and includes the wetland bird sanctuary.

Te Aroha Cycling Trails

A great four-five day cycle ride, the Hauraki Rail Trail is one of the easiest Great New Zealand Rides. It follows the historic railway line between Thames, Waihi, Te Aroha and Matamata. There’s no need to ride the entire 197km trail in one big adventure, however, as there are five well defined sections – e.g. the easy 37kms between Te Aroha and Matamata trail that can be ridden in 3-4 hours and traverses the fertile Waikato plains where there is dairy and sheep farming, as well as thoroughbred horse studs.

Mokena Geyser

Believed to be the only natural thermal soda water geyser in the world, Mokena Geyser erupts every 40 minutes throwing sodium bicarbonate-infused water up to five metres into the air. It produces about 28,000 litres of crystal-clear water each day with a temperature range of 75-85C.

One of the great free attractions in the Waikato, Mokena Geyser is a short walk from Te Aroha Domain.

Street Sculptures and Adrian Worsley Gallery

Te Aroha sculptor Adrian Worsely has made his mark around town in a series of works that are both artistic and functional, such as the dachshund dog bike stand outside Te Aroha’s Palace Hotel and a penny farthing-style bike outside Te Aroha Railway Station.

A former fitter and welder and cabinetmaker, Adrian is the creative behind the sculptures, many of which do double time as practical bicycle racks and drinking fountains.

His works are fabricated out of scrap metal including bits and pieces of machinery, tools and farm implements, and as well as those around town there are more on display at the Adrian Worsley Art Gallery which can be visited by appointment.

Te Aroha and District Museum

Located in the Cadman Bath House, which was built in 1898 to mark Queen Victoria’s 79th birthday, Te Aroha and District Museum is said by many visitors to be the best little museum in New Zealand. Artefacts and photograph collections on display date back to early Māori, the gold mining days, early European settlement and the town’s spa history. Exhibitions also tell the more recent stories of the area’s ongoing development.

Te Aroha Heritage Trail

Te Aroha’s fascinating history is revealed in the Te Aroha Heritage Trail, a leisurely two-kilometre stroll around the town. The trail starts In Te Aroha Domain where the beautiful Victorian and Edwardian buildings date back to the time when the natural spa waters here drew visitors from afar. The area’s gold mining past is also showcased. You can pick up a walking guide from Te Aroha isite Visitor Information Centre at the domain gates.

Te Aroha dining

From gourmet 'paddock to plate' cuisine to quirky cafes and organic health shops, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. Explore dining options in Te Aroha here.

Te Aroha Golf Club

Along with the regular game of golf involving birdies and bogies, at Te Aroha Golf Club there is also foot golf – that fun hybrid game where players kick a soccer ball aiming to get the ball to the foot golf hole with the lowest number of kicks.

The club, which is located on SH26 on the northern side of town and surrounded by the foothills of the Kaimai Ranges, welcomes guest golfers of all ages and skill levels.

Aroha Cruise In

All manner of interesting vehicles from classic cars, hot rods and motorbikes come to town for the annual Aroha Cruise In. The day includes live music and family fun such as the colourfully dressed living statutes that at first appear static and then surprise when they come to life. There is also a food festival tempting with everything from fresh berries and locally made gourmet ice cream to hot dogs, dumplings, tacos, crepes, and coffee, of course. A market features the likes of collectibles, handcrafts, art and apparel.

Top activities in Te Aroha

top pick Alexandra Weddings
from
$11
Te Aroha

Te Aroha Mineral Spas

Relax and unwind in our private wooden tubs filled with naturally silky mineral water that flows from the Mokena Geyser. Each mineral spa is in a private room with changing area and en suite for ultimate relaxation. For your comfort you can adjust the temperature of the spa. Treat someone special to our Birthday Package or Romance package with all the added extras including a candlelit room & take home gift. Indulge in a beauty or massage treatment at the recently opened Domain House Beauty. . The facility is set at the base of Mount Te Aroha in the beautiful Edwardian style Te Aroha Domain. For your safety remember to always bring a friend, there is a minimum of two adults per spa.
top pick Alexandra Weddings
from
$40
Te Aroha

Domain House Beauty

Set in the historic Domain House, a former Te House built in 1908. Recently renovated and opened in 2021. Domain House Beauty is the perfect place to treat yourself or loved one to one of our many beauty or massage treatments. We recommend visiting the Te Aroha Mineral spas for a private spa before a treatment. This well-appointed Edwardian building caters to individuals, couples and group bookings in a picturesque setting. Waxing, facials, lash lifts, massage, spa treatments, manicures & pedicures are all available.
top pick Matamata-Piako District Council
Free
Te Aroha

Te Aroha isite Visitor Information Centre

The Te Aroha isite Visitor Centre is part of New Zealand's official nationwide Visitor Information Network. Visit us and discover Te Aroha's rich history when 'taking the waters' was a fashionable pastime and a cure for everything. After a day walking the hills, cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail or simply relaxing in a hot mineral pool, we can help find the accommodation that best suits you, be it backpackers, motel, country cottage or luxury villa. And we can recommend somewhere to eat, book a massage and tell you 'what's on' in town. Let us help you make your stay the very best time ever.
top pick Adventure Te Aroha
from
$40
Te Aroha

Adventure Te Aroha

From its source at the blue springs to where it enters the Hauraki Gulf, Te Waihou winds its way gently northwards. Your guide will take you on a tour of the historic town of Te Aroha where you will learn about some of the rich culture, history and wild geology of the area. The tour then travels to Waiorongomi to where a gold mining settlement used to thrive. Once at your departure point on the Waihou River you will be given expert instruction on how to navigate your kayak down the river safely. This section of river flows mainly through rural land, don't forget to look up and take in the majestic views of the mountain range a truly fantastic sight from the river perspective. Keep a sharp eye out for the wide variety of bird life.