Welcome Flat Hot Pools

Welcome Flat Hot Pools
West Coast
Copland River, Westland National Park

Four pools of varying temperatures dug from a mud fan. Welcome Flat Hot Pools have one of the best views in the country, being settled in a valley surrounded by snow capped peaks and native forest. Best after the sandflies go to sleep. In November you can sit in the pools and watch avalanches cascading down the opposite face.The pools are a couple of minutes walk from the DoC hut and campsite (Hut and Campsite must be booked via the doc website before heading to the hut. There is a ranger at this hut and they will refuse to allow a person to sleep at the hut or campsite without a booking and have been known to turn people away). Even closer is a rock bivvy where camping is also possible. The bivvy is considered a campsite and DoC charges apply. [Gabrielle , NZ]


You can't drive to it. The nearest road is approximately seven hours walk away. Turn off the main West Coast road about 20km south of Fox Glacier at the Copland Track sign, the carpark is about 200m from the main road. Follow the track markers up the valley. The track can be difficult and dangerous in bad weather - people have drowned trying to cross flooded streams. On a good day it's not too bad, but still quite a hike. Don't attempt it without good clothing and extra food should you get trapped by heavy rain. Weather forecasts aren't to be relied on. [Sam Buchanan, ]

Interactive Map
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Bather Reviews
Visited Welcome Flats many times in the 80s. Crossed over Copeland Pass (east to west) a few times but most of my visits to the hot pools were in from the West Coast to stay a couple of nights, then out. Sometimes in a group, sometimes just a couple of us. Flew in there by chopper once too which was pretty cool. It was the old smaller hut back then and someone had written the words from a Bob Dylan song on the door which read “Come in she said, I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.
Rating: 10/10
Ray - Perth
05th June 2020
Great memory of 1972 ....oh to be young again...on my way to cross the Copeland Pass , ice axe and crampons at the ready. Skinny dipping at night in the hot pools surrounded by mountains with a full moon and scudding clouds.....wow never to be forgotten.......happy days.
Rating: 10/10
Peter Edgington - UK/Australia
24th June 2018
Its a 18.5km walk in, and since the hut is popular its a busy place, however the pools do have amazing views when the weather is clear (rare) - the mudy bottoms are comfortable, 4 of the 5 pools are quite shallow so you get a sore neck eventually, the other is quite hot but deeper. Up the valley further is a lot of great views worth a look at Douglas rock hut
Rating: 10/10
andrewwatson - NZ
12th June 2014
It was September 1995, still cold with the possibility of avalanches. The walk was hard going for an inexperienced tramper like me, plus we missed the track in an avalanche Shute and had to creep around an outcrop to get up and out. But even so it was a lot of fun ans I had a terrific sense of accomplishment from it. The pool was bit muddy but lovely and warm. The champagne pool with the bubbles was full of not unpleasant sensations!! My partners said " wouldn't it be wonderful if there was an avalanche now" and five minutes later a massive avalanche roared down the steep mountainside opposite from us. Totally awe inspiring! I loved it - the only day long tramp with a luxurious hot bath to soak in before bed! Will go back this September.
Rating: 9/10
Kate - Alexandra
05th April 2013
excellent well worth the hike, effort and enjoyment
Rating: -/10
tania auld - nz
03th March 2012
new bridges over all streams so not rusty or on last legs. couple of avalanche roots to cross over but nothing major. amazing springs. booking essential for hut now.
Rating: -/10
matt rudd - nz
17th February 2012
NZ's best kept secret
Rating: 9/10
Stu Harris -
24th November 2011
Best experienced in winter. Great views of the Sierra Range that are similar to the better known Remarkables. Would have got a ten but for the fine silt on the bottom of the pools. (I don't know about the therapuetic properties of the silt but know it is invasive)
Rating: 9/10
Trevor Kaniere - Kehutahi
01th March 2011
Amazing pools, very natural and the scenery is fantastic. Loved the slime at the bottom of pools. Worth the tramp and staying a few days, we only stayed one night which was a shame, cant wait to go back. Best during off season when surrounded by snow and not crowded pool.
Rating: 10/10
Natalie - New Zealand
04th November 2009
Went in 1979; fantastic spot, avalanches cascading while soaking in hot pools. The walk was challenging but stunning; have thought of our time there on many occasions. Would love to go back , but maybe it shatter the memory. We were only 3 there for many days as weather prevented us from hiking out. I can still remember the freezing cold stream we had to crisscross. But it was great.
Rating: 10/10
linda Warner Smith - canada/uk
27th September 2009
one pool is deeper than the others and less slimy. Other pools are muddy and slimy but views are great. This place gets very busy, I managed to have the place to myself courtesy of a severe weather warning which never amounted to anything. The walk is long and rough is places so be prepared.
Rating: -/10
mark -
12th June 2009
Grubby and slimy. Lovely surroundings but the pool is overcrowded and dirty. However, my friends all liked it.
Rating: 3/10
Mary - New Zealand
25th May 2009
It was Magnificant loved every min of it
Rating: 10/10
Shona - Rakaia
26th August 2008
Hiked in with the University Tramping club Easter 1985 (I think). Had a wonderful night in the pools. Suffered the next day though as being University aged we had a bit of alcohol with us & I didn't drink any water with it. I was very dehydrated. So beware of mixing alcohol with Hot pooling.
Rating: 10/10
Rob - Dunedin
23th May 2008
amazing, after a long walk amoungst prehistoric scenery you going to feel like a nice hot bath, and what do you get? the greatist bath in the world amoungst snowy mountain peaks and lush rainforest. 10/10.
Rating: 10/10
hamish currie - taranaki NZ
03th April 2008
It is a long, but very beautiful walk in. Fantastic views from the pools. I was there in Sept 1985 aad have allways wanted to go back for a few days.
Rating: 10/10
Trev - Shepparton Australia
18th January 2008
The best pool in the South Island.
Rating: 10/10
Helen Simonsen - NZ
12th December 2007
Visited these pools when I was visiting back in the mid 90's. Stunning scenery and ell worth the very long, but utterly gorgeous, walk. Beware the sandflies!
Rating: 9/10
Cass - Australia
21th August 2007
awesome...worth the walk, even in winter for all 9 kids and 6 adults. Cured all our aches and pains of walking up soaking in those pools.
Rating: 10/10
Daniel (aged 11yrs) - nelson, NZ
30th July 2007
I first used the pools in winter 1967 after getting lost walking up the river. I was exhausted and very sore but after an hour in a very hot pool I was fully restored. I tried to get there again in 1982 but a big flood prevented me but I hold out hope of returning some day.
Rating: -/10
Jeff Cutting - Canberra - Australia
24th May 2007
had a great time up there, spent over 36 hours in the pools over the 2 days we were there.....and hiked the whole way out naked as it was naked hiking day, or so our new zealand friend told us. but a beautiful hike with amazing scenery. highly recommended if you can handle the walk in!!!!
Rating: 10/10
emerson - boseman/montana
15th March 2006

Rating: 10/10
- Wellington, NZ
11th February 2006
Absolutely amazing hotpools. The walk in is amazing, only to be surpassed by the hotpools themselves. One of my favourite places in NZ.
Rating: 10/10
Isaac - Newman, WA, Australia
03th January 2006
The walk in is a bit of a long hike but well worth it when you get to soak in the pool and the surroundings. Each pool is a slightly different temperature and it is possible to sit with a small stream running onto your back. Wish it was easier to get to as would be there a lot more.
Rating: 8/10
Carrie - Christchurch
06th December 2005

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Andrew Watson
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