Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park

Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park
Okauia Springs Road, Matamata
Phone: (07) 888 8198
**Please mention nzhotpools.co.nz when you call**

This is our favourite pool and camping ground we have discovered in our fine country! After reading all the reviews below, I can only assume that some people would prefer a big generic public pool with no character (and lots of lifeguards). The reason we loved this pool was for its retro quirkiness, the freedom to relax without lots of people, and of course the most amazing private pool ever. We have uploaded some photos of the whole complex, taken specifically because we found this place so artistically retro. If you want modern, first class facilities go to Hanmer Springs, but if you want a cheap, fun camping ground combined with lovely private pools, (not to mention a mighty fine lolly selection) I recommend a visit. [Fiona, Auckland]


Drive to the South end of Matamata and at the last roundabout at the end of Broadway beside the Gull service station, turn left on to Tower Road. Follow this road out pass the Historic Firth Tower and turn right at the next road onto Okauia Springs road, follow this road and just past the Matamata golf course turn left into the Opal Hot Springs [Susan Kay, Auckland]

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My Experience
I visited this hotpool sometime in March 2005. I only swum in the three outdoor pools, one of which has swimming lanes and was very cold. The other two weren't much warmer really. Quite disappointed. They have indoor private spas too but I didn't see them. They also have an outdoor private pool with mysterious dark water, but I was too cheap to pay extra to swim in it.
Bather Reviews
A hotpools complex with plenty on offer. Four pools that are part of a holiday park and can be accessed independently. The 3 thermal pool range in temperature from 37-40 degrees. The complex has a well maintained retro feel. There are private pools available. Looking forward to visiting again and spreading the word about this hidden gem. A rural setting and close to Matamata.
Rating: 9/10
Sheryldeen McCollum - Hamilton
07th May 2017
Place feels a bit dated and needs some TLC. Main pool had some foliage in it from the bamboo alongside the pool. The 1.2m Geothermal pool needs a fresh coat of plaster as the water has eaten away at it over time, ground in it is a little rough. The Hotter pool is a bit too shallow but nice and warm. Access to the pools will be tricky if you have a disability as there are some steps and steep path. Water itself is nice and warm, can't smell anything like sulphur. Signs around the pool do note it is filtered. Overall the place would be great if a bit of money was spent on the place.
Rating: 6/10
Carl - Lower Hutt
15th March 2017
When I arrived I asked what time they close. I was told 9pm. I asked would we have 5 min to ba able to change. No problem was the answer even if we stayed longer it would not be a problem. There is a clock however not enough light to see it from the other side of the pool late at night. Then suddenly the lights went off. I ended up hurting myself in the dark as a result I have a light concussion and whiplash. Saddest thing is not even a sorry from the owner as we should know what the time is. I had overseas guest with me and they are both fire officers. They thought it was rather strange the pool was not checked if it was empty. We have been visiting there for 40 years although not regularly lately however this attitude I have never experienced before. The middle pool needs some maintenence also.
Rating: 2/10
Marjo - Lichfield New Zealand
15th February 2017
I used to go to opal hot springs all the time as a kid and teenager with family and friends - i spent quite a few holidays in the holiday park too. I have the most wonderful memories of it! The pools have never been flash but the place had character and a really lovly family feel. Im now in my mid twenties and took my partner there for a day out over east. The place was so dirty and run down i couldnt believe it. All the vegetation was overgrown, these was stacks of wood and garbage lying about the place, the pools were very dirty and the toilets and change rooms were so bad i had to 'hold it in'. The worst part was that the garbage bins were overflowing and there were flies everywhere. We left after about 15 minutes when we saw that our towel bag (which was sitting on the spectator seating) was covered in no less than about 20 flys. This place is a health risk, very disapointed, would not recommend.
Rating: 1/10
lisa - auckland
27th April 2014
yet again superb service lovely weekend and the condition of the grounds and pools seem to be getting better and better i love this place this time we took three kids with us and they also absolutley loved it on a lighter note the other guest were very tolerable of three very excited kids and were happy to have a natter or offer advice on where to get a good meal this hot pools is only getting better and better for us thanks guys we will be back really soon
Rating: 10/10
clint and mel mcisaac - auckland
1st December 2013
I used to have a caravan here and spent most weekends here. But was shocked to see the deterioration of the pools. The pools are filthy. Scum around all the pools. The big main pool had all sorts in the bottom of it. My 3 year old grandson would not even use the pool toilets. What a shock. Pity as they used to be great pools. Won't ever go back.
Rating: 8/10
Carol - Hamilton
16th August 2013
It was epic as, best stay ever loved the free candy. Very good for price. The owners are kik bak as. Defientiley going bak. Also their son Kendall is really helpful and very kind 2 me.
Rating: 10/10
Mathew Johnson -
19th March 2012
quite disapointed really the spa was in a state of disrapear although rustic in looks but a simple spruce up and a lick of paint wouldnt go a miss. We booked a private spa for two hours were basicly kicked out after an hour an a half was told my time keeping was wrong, I have never had any problems with reading time before, was rudely treated from begining to end. the only positive about the whole experince was being charged half of the price of my surposed going over our time and the
Rating: 1/10
greg morrison - new zealand
24th May 2009
Visited on the weekend. . Having read the reports on this site I asked if I could see the pools first. Very clean and the changing rooms were spotless. Mineral water always stains brown and this was the stain that was viewed on the rim of the pool. The mineral water is simply a darker colour. Sure it could do with a coat of paint but the entry fee is every modest and it is clean. I enjoyed my visit
Rating: 7/10
Jacqui - Auckland
11th November 2008
Ten out of ten for the private pool - I dont even bother going in the larger pool at all. The woman owner is rude. She seemed to think we had booked earlier than we had and almost growled at us because we were late - despite the fact we were there ten minutes before we had booked in? Def make the trip, but stick with the private pool at the bottom - take some wine and cheese. Bliss! It is gorgeous.
Rating: 7/10
natalie - Hamilton
19th August 2008
The most beautiful place to relax. Totally tranquil. So affordable! Ramaroa private pool is heaven and addictive. The owners are very friendly peaceful people, who are unobtrusive masters at sharing their slice of heaven and ensuring you are getting all that you want. Well worth the drive from Hamilton to cure my troubled back aches. Better than any physio or back treatment I've ever had. It really works overnight.
Rating: 10/10
Sharleyne - Hamilton
11th July 2007
For families opal springs would be hard to beat. The big pool has a slide into the pool which my school-aged boys loved. I sat in the hot shallow pool with my toddler and watched the boys in comfort. The owners are friendly and very accomodating. We stayed in the motel units which were comfortable - when the kids weren't in the pools they were on their bikes riding around the camp. The ramaroa pool is great for a secluded soak away from the masses - very romatic by candle light at night
Rating: 8/10
Denise - Auckland
26th November 2006
I went there last week. I went to their private pools. I won't say that they are the best but it is some sort of cool.
Rating: 3/10
Zoe - New Zealand
9th July 2006
My family make the short trip to opal hot springs around twice a year and absolutely love it . These pools cater for pretty much everyone in my family the big out door pools for my kids and the romantic outdoor private pools for my husband and I. Not to mention the great over night cabins from backpackers to the full on weekly stays with the cheapest rates around for miles. Needless to say my family and I recommend it to everyone . Happy camping and swimming ( friendly staff that bend over backwards for you too)
Rating: 9/10
Tash - New Zealand
14th June 2006
I really enjoyed these hotpools. They are value for money and one of the cheapest Ive been too. I really enjoyed the private pool the most. Very nice atmosphere with lush green vegetation to great as you make your way down the grove to a hidden pool that reminds me of ancient roman ruins. I really dont know what racheal was talking about. I find them better than the Te Aroha pools and the Waingaro ones. As the Te Aroha are too small and expensive with only a short time period to use them, while the Waingaro ones lack showers, privacy, and is set up for rugby heads and pool parties... not an atmosphere I like when I want to relax.
Rating: 7/10
Catherine - Hamilton
30th March 2006
While the private outdoor pool was nice it wasn't worth the drive from Hamilton.
Rating: 5/10
Rachel - Hamilton
28th March 2006
The large pool was a bit too cold for a winters evening swim. 2 really nice hot pools, one quite deep and one quite shallow.
Rating: 8/10
Alice Aged 11yrs - Matamata
24th July 2005
Had a great nights camping here, facilities were all there available - not the flashest but classic old school camp ground with character, the same as I remember it 30 years ago. The prices are inline with the facilities and all toilets/showers/kitchen areas were always clean. Pool was relaxing, they did have a big storm the previous night but with a bit of TLC most of the mess was cleaned up "no drama". The owner George even took time out of his busy schedule to take our girls for ride on his TukTuk bike (tricycle with carriage).Which they loved. Owner was a friendly guy and always showed an interest at what was going on around the campground. The little shop had lots of goodies you could buy also.Would recommend to anyone who is looking for a cheap holiday for their family with pool facilities and without the large expense of the Top 10 holiday parks.
Rating: 8/10
Rob & Shelley Wood - HAMILTON NZ
19th April 2014
We stayed in the cabins (number 2) this week for 3 nights as far as accommodation and facilities go.....for the price not bad the bunk was super squeaky so put the mattress on the floor for my son to sleep on no big deal.the showers were shocking in that block but the ones by the kitchen were better,I guess a fair bit of upgrading is needed to be honest, in saying that we enjoyed the atmosphere of the place and found the service good. I guess the question is would we go back....definitely. As for the pools we didn't do the private pools I thought $10 per person for 30 mins was a bit steep and i am tight so we only used the outdoor ones, are they the best in the country?....no but they are still nice and we all enjoyed them.
Rating: 7/10
Colin and Stacy Sherman - New Plymouth
10th January 2014
Visited a few months ago. The private pool down by the river sounds good but the rest was disappointing to say the least. Ridiculously SHALLOW top pool (the only one that seemed close to the usual hot springs warmth), old bleak concrete block surrounds. Staff OK albeit somewhat matter-of-fact and ho-hum (having seen the facilities I now understand their lack of enthusiasm!). I think money better spent at the excellent Firth Tower museum nearby or at other pools such as Te Aroha's unless you were camping there and used the large cool pool for swim exercise or to occupy the kids.
Rating: -/10
Bren - Christchurch
17th November 2013
not overrated not pretencious but exactly what we needed drive down from auckland was beautiful or cabin was very clean and tidy as much as this place is very modest to look at.It must of been our best weekend away for a good number of years we really appreciated the lovely husband and wife team running the place they were so nice as were all the other guest yes its a little out dated yes some parts could use a little lick of paint but couldnt all of us.
Rating: 10/10
clint and melissa mcisaac - auckland nz
19th October 2013
@Carol Thank you for your feedback. Sorry you were disappointed with our pools. Unfortunately when you arrived we had suffered a major storm. We were in the processes of cleaning up, but had to leave the main pool open for a swim club booking which couldn't be cancelled. The next day we emptied and scrubbed the pool , (a process that takes 4 days). Everyone was advised at the time of payment of leaves in the pool.
Rating: -/10
Opal Hot Springs - Matamata
19th August 2013
Love this place for a mini break. Casual, relaxed and friendly. No fuss. Plenty of options to swim without crowds, easy access to all amenities and reasonably priced for a family break. Maybe starting to need a little spruce up in the amenity block and unfortunately there was a problem with a few flies this year. We were assured it was a one off and we have never experienced them before. The team seem to be friendly and motivated to help.
Rating: 8/10
Raewyn B - New Zealand
8th May 2013
what strikes me above all else is the down to earth owners and friendly service; warm, welcoming and easy going. Let us not forget the health benefits of the mineral pools, which are included in the price whether you are casual, semi-permanent or you enjoy a trailer park lifestyle and live here as a permanent resident. Continuation of building maintenance takes time and $$$$, so it is pleasing to see that apart from a face lift the park is clean, tidy and refreshing.
Rating: 7/10
S & S - cambridge
14th January 2013
I am aware that the new management has only been in control for slightly over twelve months but would that not be enough time to get cleaners who actualy know how to clean? Filth on the top of the walls that has obviously been there for years! Cobwebs in the bedroom and toilet, coffee rings on the table, dirty oven, walls and floors, mould on the ceiling and wardrobes, musty smell, large pieces of paint flaking off and the cups were very badly stained brown (easily removed). The toilet seat was almost completely off on one side (how could the cleaners not notice and simply tighten) along with a whole lot of other maintainance issues such as a hole in the wall from rot that I could mention. I do realised that if the camp has been neglected for many years that it is an ongoing job for the new owners to get things up to scratch but a lot of things could be done with little to no cost that would make all the difference. One thing that concerned me in the regards to safety was that the fire alarm was removed, although it was still in the room minus the battery but maybe more importantly the fire extinguisher had not been checked and recharged in 10 years! A major breech of the regulations. On the plus side, the owners are lovely, the grounds were well maintained and the linen and towels etc were all clean and fresh.
Rating: 7/10
Paula -
1st May 2012
Very friendly new owners. Definitely worth the money. Rachel and George are working really hard to bring this camp ground up to scatch since previous owners had let it slip back
Rating: 10/10
Lynden - nz
5th October 2011
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT Your new hosts are George and Rachel Helms We took over on the 21st feb 2011 This weekend we are taking out the bamboo from around the pool to stop the leaves going into the pool. We are planning to repaint all the buildings inside and out. Revamp the toilets and showers. We are very friendly and helpful and looking forward to seeing and looking after you. Ps new rule for the pool for children. If they say they have had a good swim they get a free lolly!
Rating: -/10
3rd March 2011
I have been visiting the opal for over 6 years now. This place is value for money. I like to play a round of golf and soak in the Ramaroa pool afterwards (book in advance).I stay in the motels when I visit. Contrary to some comments on here I cant find fault with Dave and Gwen. My car wouldnt start one morning and Dave got it going for me. I didnt ask for help he had spotted my dilemma whilst towing out a bogged caravan on his tractor. Im a fan. Ill keep going back. Ive booked a motel for February for a week and cant wait. Im meeting some friends from Canada there. Thumbs up Dave and Gwen .. dont change anything
Rating: 10/10
Mike Hall -
22nd December 2010
very very basic for the cost, if I knew I had to stand in a pool, I would have stayed home & used my own spa pool
Rating: 1/10
Lorraine -
9th May 2010
have stayed at this camp ground at least 1/2 doz times in the past 18mths because it was dog friendly. Recently the manager made an issue of the breed of my dog and seems to have become an overnight expert on which dogs are vicious by simply glancing through the car window, my dog sitting quietly in the back seat without showing any sign of interest in him as he stood by the open window and informed me that he wouldn't allow her breed into the camp is the reason I will never visit this place again even without my dog.She is well disiplined,always under control and kept well away from other campers at whatever camp grounds I stay in,she is not a barker and is not actualy a vicious breed.The owner needs be aware that any dog, even the most innocuous looking ones are capable of biting when they feel threatened.The 'dogs by prior arrangement' sign should be removed and the manager could take a good look at his lack of public relations skills,his misjugdement is an insult to me as a responsible dog owner
Rating: -/10
ian - nz
2nd March 2010
I have been going to opal springs for 40 years now, and have seen many changes over the years . I have read many reports here and saddened by some of them. This is an old campground that hasn't had a major revamp, the price charged reflects the camp condition, If you want to have security guards , staff in uniform, pool attendants then dont go here. This is not a $ 40 dollar a night camp ground, its a $12.00 with free pools thrown in. Parents look after their own kids, there are no nannys here to do it for you. The mineral pools are cleaned every 2nd night and the main pool is a tepid pool chlorinated and filtered. These pools have lots of plant, scrub, etc all around it and its a windy site, so leaves do get into the pool . Its not a pristine glow in the dark camp site and the price reflects this. I have had many really enjoyable evenings soaking in these pools, talking to the other campers. Its a friendly social evening ritual. I do notice a difference in those that camp and those that rent the cabins, a totally different breed of people. I have seen many arguments at this park over the years many petty but mostly caused by cabin renters forgetting that the campers go there for peace and quite and a fun friendly environment. The things some cabin renters do have shocked me to the core many times, and that they believe they own the place because they are there with a few family over a few years. I do enjoy this park, the price is right, and Dave and Gwen do the best they can but they cant please all the people all the time, so there will always be conflict. I have told many friends about this park and will continue to do so. Its a central area so once the tent caravan is set up, you can safely leave it and go away each day and visit many places within an hours drive.
Rating: 6/10
Don leitch - Auckland
18th March 2009
We ventured over there a few weeks ago after finding the Te Aroha pools closed due to someone pooping in them. The pools are clean and the surroundings plain but presentable. However, the water was far too cold. The small "hot" pool which according to the sign was 39°C, was probably more like 28°C. The middle pool was much colder than the sign suggested and the large pool may as well not even be heated - best description of it would be "tepid". I don't understand why people who own such establishments can't spend a bit more time and effort in their upkeep and presentation, and actually have the pools as hot as what the signs suggest!
Rating: 5/10
19th February 2009
What a grotty place, pools looked green, rubbish laying around pools also had some in pools, bits of stuff flowting in water, walls falling with rot into pools, worst of all you can see a scum line around the middle pool, no life guards or staff member to be seen anywere, This place is not for me and i will never go back. Yuck!!!!!
Rating: -/10
Peter - Hamilton
27th October 2008
I had my wedding here 1 year ago, & we had the most amazing experiance ever! the owners were very accomodating for us & our guests, who continue to rave about our wedding & what a great place it is to go. We had an incident with a wedding guest being assulted by another of our guests, however the owners waved away our apologies for the noise & said we cant control everyone. All the non-guests at the park came & enjoyed the night too. We still continue to go on & off & I will be taking friends from the UK there this weekend!
Rating: 10/10
Zanna - Pukekohe
22nd May 2008
We as owners would like to respond to comments made in this column, the sentiments expessed by some are quite amazing and completely opposite to the comments made to us personally from our many customers. these customers have helped us build the business up over the last several years and introduced many more new customers and friends, we can only presume some people are unhappy with being asked to comply with Holiday park rules including those covering pets. We also don't think people should take offence to inquires regarding stolen property, taken during the night from outside of some of the accommodation. We are not in the habit of accusing people, only asking if anything may have been heard. It is stated that this family have come here many times over the last 15 years, well, we have only been here for the last 3 1/2 years, their family names may have changed several times but are not known to us, where as all of our regulars know us by name and communicate regularly. Some people just like to think they can stay a few times and own the place, then get upset when asked to respect the facilities and follow the rules. We sometimes need to have the park looked after by temporary managers ( we also have family issues to deal with) and although they may not have our experience , they do have our support
Rating: -/10
dave -
13th May 2008
My family have been coming to these pools every year for about 15yr+, we have had the worst experience since the new owners have taken over, argumentative, treated my family with such disdain, we will never return, since the new owners have taken over the place has gone to the dogs, cabins are not clean regularly, had left over food and rubbish on the floor in our cabin from the last tenants, the beds are falling to peices and cups and plates are brown, were orginally white, some idiot local kids trashed the golf course and stole the fire extingushers from opal, we were blamed for it, for goodness sakes, we are all 30+ yrs, one of us is an Abuse counsellor (50yrs) some of us run other peoples companies, and another is a nationally reknowned Musician, as if we would lower ourselves to childish antics, I told the owner we have been coming here for years for our fathers company golf tournament, so we know how to respect the place, her reply was: Which tournament, What golf course, I have never seen you here before!! As if she is FBI or something. One of the other residents was so disgusted with the way we were treated, she packed her family up and left one day early, she heard the new owner gossiping about our family with other residents. I found Gwen completely without customer service skills and she is well and truelly in the wrong line of work, We have x5 sets of families that we book for, totalling 22 ppl,(we have some little additions now), they are missing out on some big money from us now, I agree totally with Teresa Julian's comments, exactly how we see the new owners. We have blacklisted this park to everyone we know with a huge email being sent all over new zealand. **Some text removed by admin**
Rating: -/10
faye wong - auckland
7th April 2008
Never coming back again, Gwen (the owner) is a nasty person with no confict resolution skills, seemed to be quite judgemental, treated us as though we had germs, spoke down to my wife and scared our little fellas 7 & 5, one of whom is so shy and quiet it's hard for us to get him to speak out, he cried and cried because she was so nasty to us, I hope she reaps what she sows, never again. Cheap and nasty beds, ended up sleeping on floor!! Dirty cabins, pools disgusting.
Rating: -/10
jarrod wong - auckland
7th April 2008
The place has good facilities but the new managers have no people skills at all. My son was punched in the face after one of their permanant residences was asked to stop sexually hasseling two girls aged 14 and 15. The managers then called the police on the boys rather than deal with a permant rewsident who is a public menace. These managers have no conflict resolution skills and are argumentative. They resort to calling the police rather than facing their own short comings in dealing with the public. I would not advise anybody who wishes to relax to patronise this place. I have stay here on many occasions but never again.
Rating: -/10
Teresa Julian - Hamilton
10th March 2008
I had a fun holiday camping at Opal Hotsprings with my children. They loved the big pool and I loved the two natural outdoor public pools. The temperature of the big pool was a little cool for my liking, but it was an awful lot better than cold bathing! I liked the fact that two of the pools weren't chlorinated. The private Ramaroa pool was booking for the experience.
Rating: 6/10
Diana - Auckland
24th April 2007
We have been coming to Opal springs now for many years - first tenting, then caravaning and now motor homing. We have been at the camp in the middle of winter and boy are those warm pools welcome at that time of the year! Our two children learned to swim in the warm waters (they do not enjoy the cold!) When Ramaroa pool was "re-vamped" many years ago, we were the first to partake in the beautiful surroundings - so peaceful and quiet and the beautiful clear water straight out of the spring.. We still enjoy soaking in Ramaroa Pool, but not in the middle of a hot summers day - best time is in the evening - and even better is on a cold winters night when there is a frost on the ground!!
Rating: -/10
eleanor and roy - wellington
28th January 2007
This is a very special place, the Ramaroa pool, a completely private pool set in rustic ruins of the original pools. We make a trip probably once a month, on our own or with friends & family. Reasonable at $8 for a half hour but often I book two spots. Has a different character day to night, day you can see the the water is perfectly clear, the setting is very rustic and surroundings bushlike. At night its feels like you're in a different world, very peaceful and relaxing, a torch and candles are a good idea for extra lighting. There is also private spas/pools and the large pool area but these are nice/average. Book ahead for Ramaroa, esp weekends & holidays.
Rating: 9/10
Wendy - Te Awamutu
5th September 2006

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6.9 / 10

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