The Bridge (aka The Secret Spot, aka HotnCold), Waiotapu Stream
Waiotapu Stream, 50km south of Rotorua (halfway to Taupo)
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Great! Pick your spot and relax, nude or with shorts on! Hotter than kerosene creek! Great place for a a-natural bath. ENJOY [gareth, waikato.N.Z]
Travel about 40km south of Rotorua and look out for the signpost marked 'Waiotapu Thermal Park' on the left. This is the first entrance, there is another about 500 meters further down the road. Take the second entrance. 500 metres down this tiny winding road you'll come a across a small bridge. You have arrived. You will need to make your way down the bank into the steamy stream. If its your first time and its dark you may have a bit of trouble... however its likely you won't be the only one there so just follow the voices...
Map showing location of The Bridge (aka The Secret Spot, aka HotnCold), Waiotapu Stream.
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I lived in Rotorua for a long time and made a trip to 'The Bridge' aka 'The Secret Spot' with friends often. One of my favourites for sure. I sure do like the free ones... It's getting a little crowded over the last couple of years but visitors are a friendly bunch :). I made a rule many years ago: not to visit it during the day because stuff floats past you sometimes in the night and I'd rather not know what it is...
35 Bather Reviews
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- I hope not too many people will know about it!!
Rating: 9/10   19th June 2013
- The local iwi (Ngati Tahu/Ngati Whaoa) with the help of Department Of Conservation have put in wooden steps and fences. They have also done some planting around the pools.
The reason for the upgrade is (A) to protect the rare species of plants that are found only around some NZ geothermal spots and (B) to attempt to make the area a place that people want to respect.
Unfortunately the Secret Spot is no longer secret due to it's world wide publicity from Lonely Planet Guide to websites like this one. The huge interest in this location has meant a lot of people visit here, and sadly there are some who haven't respected it or the plant life.
In time, if people look after the place, it will hopefully reguvinate and become the beautiful place it once was.
Rating: 9/10   23rd May 2013
- Used to visit here quite often in my youth. The last time i Went was while I was home visiting family in 2010. Went at night time was quite a lot of locals there enjoying a few drinks, all so friendly and keen for a chat (actually ran into a few of them a couple nights later at a bar in Rotorua) it's something you will not find in Oz and I miss it a lot. And sorry too ruin it but I tell all my Aussie friends that go to Rotorua too go there and experience it. Was pretty clean when we went and we made sure too take all our rubbish with us, if only everyone could do it.
Tabby - Brisbane formally of Rotorua
Rating: 9/10   10th March 2013
- Went past here yesterday again and took an hour long soak, after visiting quite a number of natural hot pools this is my favourite.
Pros: The hot water upstream mixes perfectly with the cool water from the river so you can constantly adjust to your desired temperature. The flow of the river is great as it takes so much of the silt and algae away.
Cons: Sadly there is often rubbish left here and we had to clear 10 bottles when we left. Not too private due to bridge overlooking. Rotorua District Council were there moving some rocks upstream as someone had burnt their feet so recommend not entering via the steps on the North side of the bridge for safety.
Alex - Brighton, UK
Rating: 10/10   1st February 2013
- If you want to relieve yourself of stress then sitting back in this waiotapu stream is just the medicine. The further up towards the bridge you go, the hotter the water gets. This place is like hydrotherapy. Cleans the pores of your skin, and soothes aching muscles. I went there with my girlfriend. We walked down the steps and four other nice pretty young girls were there, they looked like swedish or german tourists, as they were giggling and chatting in their language. They had taken off their bikinis or bathing suits and were just sitting in the water or floating on their backs naked in the stream. A lovely sight, seeing all those bare legs. So not being prudish, we decided to go au natural as well to fit in. My girlfriend and i, slipped off our gear, and hung our panties on a tree nearby and joined these lovely sexy girls. And we had some lovely conversation about our backgrounds. Some tour buses drove past over the bridge and we waved up smiling at them. Lesson: Dont be shy about going in the lovely warm water in the nude, guys and girls! It really is a stress reliever especially going au natural, and you will make the passers by happy too with some eye candy to look upon. They aren't perving, they are admiring your courage that you went in the raw, and admiring your human beauty, and will remember what they saw in the weeks that follow.
Jason - N.Z
Rating: 9/10   30th January 2013
- I went there with my girl friends for summer, for a break after finishing our school end of year. We decided to go for a dip in our birthday suits. Naked. We loved it, soaked up the lovely warm water. Very sexy experience. Definitely recommending a favorite spot to chill out for us girls.
paola - N.Z
Rating: 9/10   24th January 2013
- We go hear semi-regularly. Recently the council have built wooden railings and steps down into the water. Im not sure if this was to prevent people walking along the banks or to commercialize it so much that it drives out the skinny dippers? Where it use to be a fairly secret spot, is now blatantly obvious with all the wooden railings and steps that every car that goes past stops, if not for a swim, a perv!
If you enjoy bathing au natural go in the late afternoon once Wai-O-Tapu Centre is closed.
Peter Woods - Rotorua
Rating: 7/10   30th December 2012
- This a magical spot with fantails dancing in the trees, moss-covered walls, tree roots above your head (a small "cave" has been eroded by locals spreading the mineral clay on their skin), and a natural mixing tap for whatever temperature you like (2 temps andd rivers!), and close to road. Of course, do not trash it with left-over bottles/etc. There was little to be seen actually. Please keep it that way. Been many times. Earth's best.
Jack T - Cambridge, NZ
Rating: 10/10   3rd September 2012
- A nice spot to relax on the journey between Taupo & Rotorua. Not as nice as Kerosene Creek a bit further north, but this is closer to the road & safer. Iíve enjoyed soaking in the streams naturally with others, both nude & clothed. Itís always nicer being natural, but there are often some people either in clothes or togs. No-one seems to mind whatever others are comfortable with.
Prost - New Zealand
Rating: 8/10   20th July 2012
- Awesome!!!,if temp gets too hot (and it does) just move towards the cold river,it was super easy to find,about 100m from the waiotapu thermal valley visitors centre,and for all the so called rubbish pffft,2 bottles left sitting around and the odd small candle,you could find that rubbish anywhere.
Rating: 9/10   1st April 2012
- What an amazing place!
Bernie - New Zealand
Rating: 10/10   7th February 2012
- Someone mentioned about going nude of keeping shorts on. My advise is that you keep your shorts on as there are often other people including Children present. It is also very close to the road. I have been there once and I may go again some day
Hayd - NZ
Rating: 10/10   13th January 2011
- perfect with candles,bottle of wine and nice company
Rating: 10/10   10th October 2010
- I have a love-hate relationship with the Secret Spot...
Love remembering what it was - Hate what it has become.
This was a fantastic little spot - tidy, discreet & untouched.
Then it appeared in a popular travellers book - it's now covered in rubbish & the sheer damage from all of the visitors digging out the mud from the bank and trampling the bush really saddens me.
I do have some magic memories of some awesome nights in the springs - the night when it snowed on us at 2am...
Rating: 1/10   13th September 2010
- Really nice for a soak - especially if you have been tramping. Although it is obvious there are parties here sometimes I haven't found any broken glass yet, a really nice spot.
Rating: 8/10   21st July 2010
- Brilliant. Locals call it simply Hot and Cold, or Hot-cold. Love that. The pool is the confluence of a really hot stream and a cold stream, so you can pick your temperature. Or alternate between REALLY hot then cold.
Don't waste your time with Kerosine Creek, this pool dominates and is more secure for your car.
Would easily fit 30 people, average of maybe 2 feet deep. Pool is only ten metres from the road (and bridge).
Ben - New Zealand
Rating: 10/10   16th January 2010
- Visited on a week day, very busy, but not too crowded.
David Cox - Chch
Rating: 7/10   15th January 2010
- Not crowded! Super spot!
Cornela - Berlin/Germany
Rating: 10/10   7th January 2010
- best spot of all
peter - reporoa nz
Rating: 10/10   21st July 2009
- Beautiful spot. Ruined by empty beer cans and general litter.
The water is lovely and warm - hotter as you move up stream, then you get the burst of the chilly water... GREAT!!
Don't take your best towel or wear your favorite togs as they'll 'smell' abit!!
Beer cans and wine bottles in the bottom of the muddy water with bear feet is not so good.
Perhaps the council could provide rubbish bins?
Also, Why do people feed the rats living in the bank?
Otherwise a nice place to go!!
Rating: 5/10   7th July 2009
- I live 10 mins from these. Locals call this "hot and cold" They have been damaged by careless patrons destroying the bank and the "enclosed feel"
Tracey - New Zealand
Rating: 5/10   1st March 2009
- I know this place as "Secret Spot", but the secret's obviously well out. Nice to come with candles at night. I see what DOC is trying to do with boardwalks, hope they manage to retain its special feel.
Ingrid - Rotorua
29th October 2008
- When I was there at Easter this year the a DOC sign with the Following text had appeared:
In recent years the Twin Streams area of Waiotapu has seen a marked increase in reputation both nationally and internationally. The increase in reputation has directly resulted in an increase in visitors and there impacts. This has had a dramatic effect on the environment. The biggest problems are erosion, destruction of flora, fire risk and litter.
To help manage these impacts, the Department of Conservation is planning on creating a series of boardwalks and platforms and to replant the stream bank during the coming year.
We need your help to preserve this area but also enable people to visit this wonderful place. Please stay on the tracks, don't break any vegetation and please don't extract mud.
We are sorry for the inconvienience this may cause.
For more information pleasecontact the Department of Conservation, email@example.com"
It is officially no longer a secret spot anymore.
While the area has noticeably deteriorated. I hope they don't do anything crazy like banning bathing.
Philip - Wellington
Rating: 8/10   20th April 2008
- Best Place of my holiday, Hot water out of 1 stream and cold out of the other. Place was clean with easy walk 40 meters from the car, will def go back again 1 day
Maka - Gold Coast Australia
Rating: 10/10   3rd January 2008
- Visited Secret Spot with intention of bathing on Wednesday afternoon (8/08/07). The place has been ruined, really dissapointing, there was rubbish everywhere - all through the bush surrounding the pool and beer bottle lids round the edges. Great if you want cut feet! We went to Waikite instead.
12th August 2007
Rating: 10/10   8th July 2007
Rating: 10/10   7th June 2007
- My favorite swim spot. Has been contaminated by rubbish and damage to banks by idiots. 90% of time its nude bathing for me.
kiwi - nz
Rating: 8/10   17th February 2007
- Hot and cold is a neat place to go especially to go down wit ya mates and hav some drinks. Theres just some eggs hu try and ruin this luxury we have by leavin thea rubbish around.
Amy - Reporoa
31st October 2006
- I love this spot- Anytime I'm near I'll make the effort. Had to clean up a bit of rubbish and stuff last time though- wish people would show respect!
Olivia - NZ
Rating: 10/10   17th August 2006
- Primo spot, can pick your temperature where the streams converge. Had a hilarious encounter with some local boys teasing a US tourist about the rats... and one appeared on cue - in the middle of the day! Always worth a stop on the way past.
Andrea - Mt Maunganui
Rating: 8/10   13th August 2006
- Carlton football club has been visiting this spot for the past 5-6 years on our annual football trip from Auckland. it is one of the highlights of our weekend. would recommend it to anyone but keep your head out of the water as a couple of guys have been sick in the past. Locals are very friendly.
Steven Fair - NZ
5th October 2005
- Brilliant soak after hunting/fishing many years ago. Revisited last in 1999, still great!
mike - Perth WA. Formally Rotorua/Taupo/Waikite
Rating: 7/10   16th August 2005
- I love this spot and I grew up hanging out at what we called Hot and Cold - But its a local Secret Spot and Kerosene Creek is easily accesible for tourists, this one should not be for anyone else but the locals thats why its a Secret.
Sarah - Australia/ Rotorua Originally
Rating: 10/10   12th August 2005
- glad you dont give all the directions so it is still a secet spot. been enjoying this spot since late 1960
Rating: 7/10   11th August 2005
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