12 Feb Hells Gate Thermal Reserve in Rotorua, New Zealand

Hells Gate Thermal Park in Rotorua New Zealand

In 2009 I went to the North Island of New Zealand and visited this geothermal park in Rotorua. When you get to Rotorua, the sulphur in the air means it smells like rotten eggs…not very pleasant. But after a while you get used to it and it is incredible to see this hotbed of geothermal activity. Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa is based on a volcanic plateau, producing hot springs, steaming fumeroles, erupting geysers and mud pools. Now if I were to imagine what ‘hell’ would look like, I’m sure it would feature boiling hot pools like these guarded by devils with pitchforks ready to throw you in.

Hells Gate Rotorua New Zealand the Cauldron

As you walk through the geothermal park you pass boiling hot springs of different temperatures and colours, a sulphur pool with a PH similar to strong acid, a mud volcano, a pool of boiling water which is 122 degrees Celsius at the surface, a pool used by Maoris for cooking and a medicinal sulphur lake. The highlight is Kahaki falls, which is a hot waterfall with a temperature of 40 degrees; warm enough to take a shower. The Maori Warriors used it to bathe their wounds under this waterfall and it is the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere.

Hells Gate Geothermal Park Rotorua New Zealand

Hells Gate also has a mud bath and spa where you can have various mud treatments and massages. The mud is rich in minerals and the sulphur lakes have curative and invigorating properties.

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Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

  • Becky Padmore
    Posted at 08:11h, 13 February Reply

    They’ve definitely chosen a good name! I’ve heard they’re amazing but yes also a bit smelly! Great photos.

    • victoria
      Posted at 14:34h, 13 February Reply

      Thanks Becky, once you get over the smell the mud pools and sulphur baths are great for your skin…so soft and supple afterwards!

  • katie
    Posted at 19:51h, 13 February Reply

    Very interesting. I’m seriously considering going. I’ve just come back from Hanmer Springs – which is a lot less smelly!! But really relaxing. Keen to give Rotorua a try too!

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