35km south of Rotorua (on the way to Taupo)
Near Lake Rotowhero
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The hot spring is a small stream and flows downhill through natural bush. There is a good old kiwi corrugated iron changing shed there. Bathers have excavated small smooth rocks to form their own little hot pools that you can sit next to and enjoy the hot water cascading down. It's a very effective way to ease aches and pains after a hard tramp. It's a good idea to be aware of the dangers of theft from vehicles parked at the beginning of the track down to the pools and to ensure that you don't leave valuable items in your car. [Pat MacKay, Auckland]
Heading south from Rotorua on the road to Taupo (about 30km), pass the turn off to Murupara on your left, pass a lake on your right, then take the next left turn, just past a small bridge (only about 1/2 km from the Murupara turnoff). The signpost is Old Waiotapu Road. Trip your odometre at the start of this forestry road. Stop exactly 2.2km down the road and pull over to the grass verge on the right. Follow the path down a couple of hundred metres beside the stream to the pool itself. Enjoy. [Rowena Yalland, New Zealand]
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90 Bather Reviews
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- funny for kids,eldders,you can even have pinick there ,while exploring falls,hot rivers
Rating: 8/10   29th April 2013
- Stunning, We are truly lucky to have something so beautiful available to us free of charge..I have driven past this place so many times and didnt know it was there till recently, A MUST DO!!
Karla - Wellington,NZ
Rating: 10/10   19th February 2013
- Must see!
Rating: 10/10   3rd February 2013
- Once a local secret for skinny dipping, this place is nearly always busy now with backpackers and campervans, children and teenagers.
If you are lucky enough to get the first small waterfall bathing spot to yourselves you can go au natural and still be relatively disguised around the white bubbles in the water.
Most people we've stuck there don't blink an eyelid even if they do see you naked bathing. It goes with the territory. If people are bashful they will head to the second waterfall. No big deal, everyone is happy.
You'll have a much more enjoyable experience if you skinny dip and no stinky wet toggs to have to deal with.
Peter Woods - Rotorua
Rating: 8/10   30th December 2012
- Thank you for the straightforward directions. We found our way easily!
Like others said, make sure you lock up your valuables. We ended up taking everything with us because of some shady guys parked in their van asking us suspicious questions.
Girls, go with friends and be safe since it is a secluded spot!
Rating: 10/10   12th December 2012
- Thank you for your excellent instructions on how to get to Keresene Creek. My visiting German friend was amazed at the uniqueness of this swimming experience!
And I didn't get lost getting us there!!
Valerie Setters - Rotorua
21st November 2012
- Absolutely a Kiwi Icon. Only improvements I can imagine are Toilets and Rubbish dumping facilities. Its free and its natural and caters to all sorts.I recommend doing the Crater Walk (15mins) up the ajacent Rainbow Mountain.
Ken - New Zealand
Rating: 9/10   27th October 2012
- this place is just mint!! use to spend alot time here when i was living and working in vegas:) hadnt been back for some time but made the effort and called in on my way up to auckland and when i came home againand took my 12 year old there. and its as mint as it ever was. i will be back every chance i get:)
rachel - NZ
Rating: 9/10   11th October 2012
- Never knew about it. No rubbish when we went ,no glass,some people drinking wine and beer,perfectly safe, hid valuables in car ,few cars so no problems,few local families . My 9 year old kids loved it. One of thoses magic tourist things you remember for ever. Do it. Make the effort.
Dave - Nz
Rating: 10/10   7th October 2012
- I'm a Kiwi and this would be the number one thing to do with visitors to NZ. Kerosene Creek is easy to find but hidden enough to be peaceful. There's a choice of three pools, with the downstream one featuring a waterfall. Temperature is perfect; I would guess low 30s Celsius, so you don't get too cold or too hot and stay in indefinitely. Don't know why some people are uptight about beers in the water... it'd be rude not to! I guess just exercising common sense by drinking from cans (not bottles, for safety) taking away empties/rubbish and not being noisy does no harm to anyone or anything. Very relaxing to lie back and enjoy the of random eye candy that comes and goes from time to time. :)
Tim - Auckland, New Zealand
Rating: 10/10   10th September 2012
- Went there with wife and family had place to our selves for 5 mins before some drunken idiots showed up and started throwing bottles around, warned them to pick it up, didnt want to listen so sent family back to car and then made them pick up there rubbish and the rubbish that was left there from other idiots,
whakatane - nz
Rating: 7/10   7th September 2012
- Have enjoyed Kerosene Creek many times over the years. The pool below the waterfall is beautiful & very relaxing. The water & the bush setting are nicer than the hot & cold streams further south. The best way to soak in any hot pools is naturally & Iíve shared the creek with others, both nude & clothed. Once in the water you canít see whether people are wearing anything or not & no problems with those not comfortable being natural.
However, being about 3ks off the main road security & rubbish are a problem. Iíd suggest going either early in the morning or later in the afternoon, when the locals arenít there. It appears they donít like tourists using ďtheirí creek. The pool is about 200 metres walk from the carpark & cars are regularly broken into & damaged. If there are no other cars there Iíd suggest going to the hot & cold streams. Once some locals arrived who were either drunk or on drugs & were abusive & throwing beer bottles around. In those cases, you just need to get out of there as quick as you can.
Prost - New Zealand
Rating: 7/10   20th July 2012
- Stunning place. kids enjoyed it
Jeanne - NZ
Rating: 10/10   12th July 2012
- i think this is a perfect natural stream which has many intersting waterfall i have never seen before. warm and clean water with sulphur smell. it is stupid if someone compare to spa houses. my wife and i enjoyed there, i never foget!
byung gu kim - South Korea
Rating: 10/10   29th June 2012
- Beautiful spot. Natural, laid back and free also.
We stopped there in august 2010, 2 days after completing the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk and it was a beautiful place to relax even when it was pretty cold outside the water.
Because it was totally out of season then, we had it for ourselves - a fantastic experience.
The place is wonderful, but because itīs free, it atracts not so wonderful people. There are broken beer bottles all ovrer the place even under water so I was not brave enough to leave my sandals on the shore (thatīs why I mark 9 of 10).
Ludek - Czech Republic
Rating: 9/10   20th April 2012
- If there ever was a title for the most romantic free thing to do, then Kerosene Creek will win hands down.
A wonderful gem tucked in the middle of nowhere, we arrived at the spot at dusk when all the day bathers were leaving and we were the only ones there till the nightimers arrived 1.5hrs later. So it was just us, the trees, the stars, hot running water and a bottle of wine. Perfect!
If you are the nature loving, outdoorsy type, then this is a must do. One can pay good money for an experience like this!
Arpi Dutta - Wellington, NZ
Rating: 10/10   10th April 2012
- Amazing place and it's free!. Went there with rellies in January for the first time!
It is a must visit! Don't be so paranoid people!.
Now I have done the five top free things (without even knowing there was a list!) to do in New Zealand and I'm only 52!
Mightlook at Oz's list next!
Enjoy the adventure of Kerosene Creek. I'm going back.
Anne - NZ
Rating: 10/10   6th April 2012
- This spot is now sighposted from SH. Road is very badly potholed. New sign by security gate closed at night
malcolm - nz
Rating: 9/10   11th February 2012
- Ended up there last night after trying to find hotncold again, no regrets here! Gota bit iffy bout leaving the car there after dark but no probs. Bit of rubbish there, so took it back to car, shame it was left there
Alisha - NZ
Rating: 10/10   24th January 2012
Mike Larry - new Zealand
Rating: 10/10   5th January 2012
- Its absolutely brilliant - and its free !!
Bronwyn - England
Rating: 10/10   20th December 2011
- In response to the review about people having beers in the stream and it being disrespectful. I take great offense to that statement. If you clean up your mess ie:bottles & caps and dont drop a drip in the stream then what is the issue?
I have never littered in my entire life but I still enjoy the odd brew in the abode of mother nature as long as the mess is taken away!
Leighton - Auckland
Rating: 10/10   5th October 2011
- [some text removed] itz not nice to see people with beers in the creek that is jst disrepectful
tearoha - kaikohe
Rating: 1/10   15th June 2011
- I visited these pools yesterday 29/5/11
I am ashamed as a kiwi to even suggest anyone visit these pools. Dirty, littered muddy, and obvious water pollution. We are saddened we cannot present this potentially beautiful wonder with pride!! Please close this to the public until it can be bought back to its natural state.
glenda kennedy - NZ
30th May 2011
- another visit back to this superb site-what an experience-temperature ideal.Until next trip.
marcus - sydney
Rating: 9/10   29th March 2011
- Best place ever!
Hannah Rae Strange - New Zealand
Rating: 10/10   8th March 2011
- It is such a beautiful place, couldn't get better. BUT. I was only able to enjoy this for a little while before a group of the native people came. They had children who ran about breaking glass bottles into the river, jumping, slashing going beserk. Everyone who was there left soon after. Sad to see something so beautiful trashed like that
Travis - South Africa
Rating: 7/10   27th January 2011
- roy - auckland
Rating: 10/10   4th January 2011
- The turnoff is called Old Waitapu Road, although Google Maps shows it as Waikaremoana Road. There's a gate at the carpark that stops you proceeding further into the forestry area, so it's hard to miss.
Very, very warm water with a bit of sulphur. It might take a while to get into the water due to the heat, but it's great once you're in!
Just down the road is Wai-O-Tapu featuring strange volcanic landscape and a geyser they induce at 10.15am each morning.
John R - Sydney, Australia
Rating: 9/10   20th December 2010
- So many wonderful childhood memories here, if you're brave enough, slide down the waterfall into the main pool! Love this place, you must visit!
Tim Nesdale - Hamilton
Rating: 8/10   23rd November 2010
- Still prefer this spot to "The Bridge". Seemed quite a bit of litter round the car parking area.
Go in the morning, as there was nobody there when we went. Started getting busy towards lunch time.
David Cox - Chch
7th October 2010
- Beautiful. Read of it in Lonely Planet. First visit to Rotorua. Visited amazing sites at the adjacent Waiotapu complex ($30 worth it!)...and chose this over, say, Polynesian baths. Perfect intro to Rotorua (cheaper/prettier than the tourist establishments!). Not crowded 4 pm mid-July (winter!!). Cold out, warm in! Luckily, seemed clean - no beer bottles when we were there - please keep it that way!! Maybe DOC cleaned it? or good locals? Ugly graffiti over DOC's useful info notice board. Was careful to clean up car and lock. I'm from N. Ireland. Lucky to be here, I guess...just don't screw it all up people with trash! You're lucky. So are we for visiting it. Hot & Cold next time...
Jack - Cambridge NZ
Rating: 10/10   13th July 2010
- As someone else said, saw some candles, went with school group, thought it was sweet. too hot meant you could move further away as it cooled down.
Rating: 9/10   22nd May 2010
- Exhilarating, invigorating so much so calming 4 body and mind. Favourite stopover point when travelling through nz most years. Be back 4 more of no doubt. Shame to have de-afforestation adjacent to site.Such a magnificent country to visit, a real treasure.
Marcus - Mt.Kuring-gai/Oz
Rating: 10/10   18th May 2010
- I went there yesterday. The temperature was perfect, I didn't see any litter (apart from some tea lights under the overhang where people had apparently been having a candlelit swim), nobody else was swimming there, although we passed a lot of friendly people on the way there who looked like they'd just been swimming. Nothing was stolen and I have not died of amoebic meningitis (I didn't put my head under water because I know there are such dangers in all hot pools.) Maybe we were just lucky.
Rating: 10/10   15th May 2010
- Great thermal pools. Just too many thieves coming around.
Tim - Wellington/New Zealand
Rating: 9/10   9th April 2010
- Visited recently. The area seemed clean, I didn't notice any litter around. But it was quite busy, with a constant stream of people coming and going.
David Cox - Chch
Rating: 8/10   15th January 2010
- I like Kerosene Creek but it is true lazy people do put you off with the way they leave their rubbish about.
Pete - NZ
Rating: 8/10   15th December 2009
- OMG how much more rubbish can people dump here, it is disgusting. Very sad that our nature is vandalized by lazy idiots.
John - NZ
Rating: 4/10   13th November 2009
- I went there last weekend and had a great time. It's easy to find with the directions posted here. There is no entry charges (or any other arrangements). There is a creek and a pond with a small waterfall. I went in the morning when there was just another local guy in there. He was in there naked, so I also jumped in without swimshorts. He left shortly afterwards, so I had the place to myself. Wonderful experience - highly recommendable.
BP - Auckland, NZ
Rating: 10/10   3rd November 2009
- I loved it, the fact that it was out in nature and freeeeeeeeee.
Rita James - Auckland/New Zealand
Rating: 10/10   8th September 2009
- Bought a few of my aussie mates along last weekend, could not get it any better! Water temp was perfect, scenary beautiful. nice place to sink a couple of beers.Will defintely be coming back with the mrs :) Recommend to all!
Latez - Auckland, NZ
Rating: 10/10   19th May 2009
- My partner and I were on holiday and were travelling on a whim, we were heading to Taupo and I was looking for some water to bless a taonga I had just got my partner and I told him to take the next random turnoff in hope that I would find water low and behold we came across this place. We are now looking to get married there. Absolutely beautiful.
KT - Sydney
Rating: 10/10   19th May 2009
- Please be careful, our friends had broken glass in the car and stolen some goods , it was day time.
Tanya - Auckland
Rating: 8/10   4th March 2009
- this creek was lovly but too cold inplaces. grate seenery and nice water. exelantae! i vood com here a gan for sure.
freeda yeotar - germany
Rating: 10/10   24th February 2009
- awesome place and yes there are a few thefts but as above leaving valuables in view is screaming at theifs to steal , dont go their that often even tho only 20 mins away but there is another one in waikite called hot water creek same thing, leave from the ngakuru reserve and travel by boat , best place take alcohol and sit and relax LOVE IT,
:)plus u get drunk quick bcoz of the heat
kyle - wiakite valley
Rating: 9/10   20th February 2009
- This place would be perfect if it were not for all the rubbish and broken bottles that are strewn around. be very careful of where you tread.
Chris - NP / New Zealand
Rating: 6/10   27th January 2009
- i went there the other day after last times failed attempt to find it (turns out we were 300m away from turn off) such a awesome place so relaxing will deffently go back next time im around only problem was it was to hot when we went!!
laura - wellington
Rating: 9/10   23rd January 2009
- absolutely out of this world
cristina - auckland
Rating: 10/10   21st January 2009
- It's incredible! Perfect!! :) Don't miss it!
Rafael Audy Glanzner - Brazil
Rating: 10/10   12th November 2008
- incredible magical place
keep our secret!
xavi - barcelona spain
Rating: 10/10   1st November 2008
Rating: 10/10   12th September 2008
- Went to Rotorua for a day with a work mate and met a friend there, after spending a number of hours flattening off the wheels on the luge carts (by trying to do the longest skid and leave the best black marks) we headed down to the creek to soak for a couple of hours. The temperature was 35.9 degrees celsius which was just right. Looking forward to the next trip... :-)
Lester Brook - Wellington
Rating: 10/10   12th September 2008
- i am a kiwi living in the uk but been to this place many times and miss it terribly. (tourists make it so easy) leaving unlocked cars or locked with handbags etc right in view. course theyre gonna get stolen. dont let it put you off though.
deborah - uk
Rating: 10/10   24th July 2008
- havnt been here for years but use to go down there everynight with workmates after a hard nights work at tamaki tours:) use to steel all the candals and light them round the sides of the pool was such magic:) I do intend to go back:)
rachel - nz
Rating: 10/10   16th July 2008
- was there just a few days ago and it was amazing - full moon, skinny dip, midnight soak. nothing is better!
lauren - canada
Rating: 10/10   21st June 2008
- I lived in Rotorua as a young boy and our parents took us there often.Fantastic place at night or winter when it is cold
I have been back to soak over the last 30-40 years and always felt it is a special place.Inspite of the vehicle break ins and the dangers of meningitis it is still well worth a visit.
I have traveled alot around the world and all I can say is Its True You Never Know what You Have Until It is Gone .
Now living In Perth and there is no such place as Kerosine Creek
Mike Russell - Perth West Australia
Rating: 10/10   11th June 2008
- Last went here 30 odd years ago,we visited this month on a Saturday nice afternoon.......nothing much has changed,nice spot,few others there.....tell no one :-)
brian - new zealand
Rating: 8/10   22nd December 2007
- Great Place. Plenty of lovely ladies around.
Marshall - Adelaide
Rating: 10/10   20th December 2007
- Was there after an 80km tramp. was amazing therapy for aching muscles!
Well worth a visit!
Gunther Adam - Auckland
27th November 2007
- I have visited your site 670-times
Visitor585 - Visitor585
18th November 2007
- These Pools are as close to, "Back to Nature" as you will ever find. An Amazing Spot. But beware of theives and keep your head above water!!!
Stu - Whangaparaoa
Rating: 10/10   12th November 2007
- Was taken there by our friendly Rototrua billeters whilst on a school boy hockey trip 1971 . Great memories , jumped in in our undies and had a great time . Very special place . Never been there since but will make the effort if Iever get close again .
Evan - Auckland , NZ
18th October 2007
Rating: 10/10   17th August 2007
- Went there years ago when I lived in NZ. Great spot, but there are others nearby. Go to far end of track, turn right until you get to a small bridge, then follow track on left - K Creek runs below, and there are several other pools on this stretch, well hidden!
Paul - Gympie Queensland
Rating: 7/10   15th August 2007
- Not a bad spot, Creek was kinda cold though (due to the rain i suspect) Watch out for the little native munters who thought it'd be fun to throw firebombs onto the road.
Joe - H-town
Rating: 4/10   2nd July 2007
- I loved the atmosphere of the creek. There was so much to see. And even though it was misting, the temperature was perfect.
Jessica - USA
Rating: 10/10   19th June 2007
- quite simply the most beautiful place on earth!
Oskar - London, UK
Rating: 10/10   27th April 2007
- very kiwi!
Dayna - new zealand
Rating: 10/10   28th February 2007
- loved it, best kept secret gonna stop there on my way back its that good, private, clean, hot, and relaxing!!
Trent Robichaud - Canada
Rating: 9/10   19th February 2007
- the only reason this does not score 10 is because of the tourists who still leave their valuables in full view front seat of the car then get them pinched. Please put all your stuff in the BOOT! of your car. Thieves will soon get the idea and go away. Enjoy this place its a true wonder and the many times i have been still fantastic.
Deborah Mortimer - uk
Rating: 9/10   26th January 2007
- Magical and soothing. Ledges available for placing cool beers. Feel the heat from below.
VYK - USA
Rating: 10/10   7th January 2007
- incredible...something we just sort of ran into..and had to visit everyday we were there.
probably my favorite place in the world.
cassi - usa
Rating: 10/10   21st December 2006
- Best place around. I highly recommend it. I remember going there every time we would drive down to Wellington leaving Tauranga early in the morning. Slipping into the hot water helping revitalize you for the long trip ahead.
Anon - Hamilton
Rating: 10/10   15th December 2006
- It was kool until everyone found out about it!
Sam - Reporoa
31st October 2006
- A special friend took me there late one night when there was a full moon. We were fortunate enough to be the only ones there and lit the bank up with candles. One of the most magical places I have ever been to...and I have travelled most of the world.
Jen - Tauranga - NZ
Rating: 10/10   20th July 2006
- Our best-kept secret is out!!!!
Joan - NZ
Rating: 10/10   31st May 2006
- Fantastic - remember not to put your head under!
Chris - Auckland
Rating: 10/10   24th February 2006
- Many years ago my partner & I owned a B&B in Rotarua, at nights we would take our guest for a nights swim, with or with out swim wear, wonderful times and great memories, we miss the place very much, now up in Auckland. Well worth a visit to Karosene Creek if you are a visitor, to Rotorua.
Leigh Neighbour - Auckland
Rating: 8/10   11th February 2006
- Amazing find. Let that waterfall pound your back but keep your head out.
Fantastic in the rain...
Rowena Yalland - New Zealand
Rating: 8/10   23rd December 2005
- Kerosene creek has always been a favourite place of mine for years, My partner from down south i took him there to show him the beauty of the place, he has arthuritis in his hand and when he soaked in it he found that he was able to move his hand alot better and brend it more, i go to soak my back as i have back prob and the next day my back is soo good, I now call our healing pool. This place is a must for all aches and pains
scarlett k - Rotorua
Rating: 10/10   26th August 2005
- Went there, had a lovely bathe, then discovered parents honeymooned there 35 years ago!
leanne - NZ
Rating: 10/10   21st August 2005
- Didn't realise you could still go there. Many a night spent there years ago, one night we went, and were happy to discover 3 or 4 LOVELY naked young ladies bathing there, not at all shy. Nice memories...
Reuben - Gold Coast Australia
Rating: 10/10   12th August 2005
- Temperature of the creek varies greatly depending on rainfall. After a dry spell the water is perfect for a long hot soak but can be disappointing after heavy rain.
Peter Thompson - New Zealand
Rating: 8/10   11th August 2005
- To date three people have died from contracting amoebic meningitus from these pools. The waterfall has a powerful undertow. Get too close you go under.
Daniel Ford - Whangarei
11th August 2005
- always great for a late night swim many a late hour spent there
Rating: 10/10   11th August 2005
- very dangerous, people have died from "amoebic meningitis" and also cars get broken into and things get stolen!!!!!!!!
11th August 2005
- And I know the person who made the pool in the first place! It all began with one boss ordering one worker with one digger to make a hole!
anon - NZ
Rating: 10/10   11th August 2005
- The best hot running water in NZ poss the world. Rare to find a running hot water stream. Loved the jacuzzi pools and the setting. Great. Fabulous. Marvelous.... and I know what I'm talking about too
Grace Lee - Wales UK
Rating: 9/10   29th July 2005
- nice in the evening if you take your own candles to light the pools by placing them on then on the rocks
scott wilson - hamilton
Rating: 8/10   23rd July 2005
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Donated by Andrew Lu, Singapore. Taken Sept 2007
Donated by Andrew Lu, Singapore. Taken Sept 2007
Donated by Andrew Lu, Singapore. Taken Sept 2007
Donated by Leighton Walker Auckland, NZ
Donated by Chris and Joanne Reilly
Donated by Whare Akuhata, featuring Taumata and Taitimuroa Akuhata and Mum
Donated by Mark Craies, Ohui - Jakuzzi Pool