The 15 Best Hot Pools in the South Island


New Zealand’s South Island, a land of breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled natural beauty, offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. Among its many attractions, the island is renowned for its hot pools that provide a soothing retreat amidst stunning surroundings. These hot pools and hot springs offer a unique way to unwind, rejuvenate and soak in the island’s beauty.

From the bustling adventure hub of Queenstown to the tranquil alpine landscapes of Lake Tekapo, the South Island’s hot pools are as diverse as they are numerous. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious spa experience, a rustic soak in a wood-fired tub, or a therapeutic dip in mineral-rich waters, there’s a hot pool that’s perfect for you.

These hot pools are not just about relaxation; they are about experiencing New Zealand’s unique geothermal activity and connecting with nature. What better way to see the sights than by checking out these outdoor hot pools in the mountains.

1. Onsen Hot Pools & Day Spa

Nestled on a cliffside overlooking the magnificent Shotover River, Onsen Hot Pools offers a unique outdoor hot tub experience. The cedar hot tubs filled with pure mountain water offer a tranquil space to relax and soak in the breathtaking alpine views. The serene environment, combined with the soothing warmth of the hot tubs, provides a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of busy Queenstown. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a day of adventure or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Onsen Hot Pools & Day Spa is a must-visit destination. Each booking is for a private hot tub session. Book Onsen Hot Pools here.

2. Tekapo Springs Hot Pools

Situated in the heart of the Mackenzie Region, Tekapo Springs has three perfectly positioned tiered hot pools, each with stunning views of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps. The pools are filled with soothing alkaline water, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. The facility also offers a variety of other amenities, including a day spa, ice skating rink, and tube park, making it a perfect destination for a day of fun for couples or families. Whether you’re soaking in the hot pools, enjoying a spa treatment, or simply taking in the stunning views, Tekapo Springs offers a unique and memorable experience. Book Tekapo Springs here.

3. Hot Tubs Ōmarama

Set against the backdrop of the Southern Alps, Hot Tubs Ōmarama offers private outdoor cedar hot tubs filled with fresh mountain water. The tubs are heated with a wood fire, providing a unique and authentic hot tub experience. Stay cosy in the warmth of your private hot tub and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Whether you’re staying in the area for a while or just passing through, Hot Tubs Ōmarama offers a unique and unforgettable experience. A must on any South Island road trip!

Credit: Omarama Hot Tubs

4. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

This award-winning thermal resort offers a variety of pools, including thermal, mineral, sulphur and freshwater pools. With stunning mountain views and exceptional facilities, it’s the perfect place for relaxation and family fun. The resort also offers a range of spa treatments, including massages, facials, and body treatments, making it a perfect destination for a day of relaxation and pampering. Whether you’re soaking in the hot pools, enjoying a spa treatment, or exploring the beautiful surroundings, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa is one of the best spots for a unique and unforgettable experience. Book Hamner Springs on here.

5. Maruia Hot Springs

Nestled along the scenic Lewis Pass, Maruia Hot Springs is a wellness retreat that offers a unique blend of relaxation and rejuvenation. The hot springs overlook the picturesque Maruia River and the Southern Alps, providing a tranquil environment to unwind. The mineral-rich waters of the hot springs, combined with the serene natural surroundings, create a soothing atmosphere that promotes well-being. Soak in the hot springs, enjoy a wellness treatment or class, or explore the beautiful bush walks. Maruia Hot Springs is one of the best hot pools experience in the South Island.

6. Opuke Thermal Pools and Spa

This luxurious spa retreat is set amidst the foothills of the Southern Alps. Opuke offers tranquil pools and solar-powered hot tubs with water sourced from the mountains. The serene environment, combined with the soothing warmth of the hot tubs, provides the perfect retreat in an alpine setting. The ‘swim up’ bar and wellness treatments add to the indulgent experience, making these hot pools in Methven a must-visit. Book Opuke Thermal Pools here.

7. Kamana Soak at Kamana Lakehouse

Pair exclusivity with uninterrupted views, and you have the Kamana Hot Tubs in Queenstown. Kamana Lakehouse is a beautiful hotel perched on a hill overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, and these cedar lined hot tubs are solely available to guests staying at the hotel. Book a hot tub session to wrap up the perfect day in Queenstown, as you watch the sunset over the lake. Book your stay at Kamana Lakehouse here.

8. Waiho Hot Pools

If you’re looking for the best hot pools in the South Island, Waiho Hot Pools is a top contender. Tucked away in the iconic West Coast bush, Waiho Hot Pools are located in the glacier township of Franz Josef. These South Island hot tubs are idyllic wood-fired private pools. The fern-lined paths and lanterns add to the serene rainforest atmosphere, making it a memorable South Island experience. The hot tubs offer a tranquil space to relax and soak in the beauty of the rainforest.

9. Welcome Flat Hot Pools

One of the only free hot pools on the South Island, Welcome Flat Hot Pools are located along the Copland Track. The seven-hour trek to the pools is rewarded with stunning views of snowcapped mountains and a unique hot pool experience. These natural pools are a great addition to a West Coast trip.

10. Fiordland Eco Retreat

This eco-friendly retreat offers a private hot tub experience with panoramic views. Lake Te Anau and the Fiordland mountains are the perfect view for this South Island private hot tub. Fiordland Eco Retreat is a unique accommodation option that allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Fiordland while enjoying a relaxing soak. Explore the national park by day, and wind down with a soak in this fantastic hot tub at night. Book your stay at Fiordland Eco Retreat here.

11. Driftaway Queenstown Hot Tubs

Driftaway is Queenstown’s newest holiday park, with great campsites, motorhome parks and self-contained villas. The crowning jewel of this Queenstown accommodation is their private hot tubs that overlook Lake Wakatipu. One hour sessions can be booked by in-house guests or members of the public. Enjoy one of the best hot pools experiences in the South Island at this conveniently located holiday park.

12. Fiordland Lodge

Experience the serenity of Fiordland at this luxurious lodge, nestled amidst New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes. After a day of exploring the untouched wilderness, retreat to the lodge’s hot tub. Here, you can soak in the warmth of the water, letting the day’s adventures melt away. As you relax, take in the panoramic views of Lake Te Anau and the majestic Fiordland National Park. The tranquil setting, combined with the soothing hot tub experience, makes Fiordland Lodge a must-visit destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in the heart of nature. Book your stay at Fiordland Lodge here.

13. Hot Tub on the Hillside

Immerse yourself in tranquillity at Hot Tub on the Hillside in Queenstown. This unique experience offers a private ‘Kiwitub’, heated to a perfect 39 degrees celsius. The tub is spacious enough for a tall person to stretch out and submerge up to their shoulders. As you soak, you’ll be captivated by the serene views stretching towards Coronet Peak. The tub is meticulously cleaned and filled with fresh water for each booking, ensuring a pristine and relaxing soak. On a chilly day, the warm embrace of the tub is pure magic. It’s an idyllic retreat for those seeking peace and rejuvenation.

Spending some time up north? Check out our list of the Best Hot Pools in The North Island here.

14. River Rock Estate Hot Pools

River Rock Estate, located in Central Otago, offers a unique and intimate hot pool experience. With seven private hot pools to choose from, each set in a unique environment ranging from grain silos to stables-style buildings and rocky outcrops, guests are treated to a truly unique experience. The hot pools are set amidst an olive grove, stone and rocky outcrops with native plantings, all offering views of the surrounding mountains and vineyard. The water temperatures range from 34 to 40 degrees Celsius, providing a soothing and relaxing experience. The complex is only suitable for adults, ensuring a peaceful and serene environment. Whether you choose an indoor soaking bath, an outdoor tub, or the luxurious indoor swim spa/plunge pool, you’re guaranteed a memorable and rejuvenating experience.

15. He Puna Taimoana (New Brighton Hot Pools)

Located beside the sandy beaches of New Brighton in Christchurch, He Puna Taimoana, also known as the New Brighton Hot Pools, offers a luxurious and rejuvenating experience. The complex features five hot pools with stunning ocean views, a plunge pool, a steam room, and a sauna. The hot pools, heated using energy-efficient, ground-sourced heat pumps, range in temperature to cater to your needs, from a 39-degree pool for muscle relaxation to a family-friendly 36-degree pool. The plunge pool, at around 10 degrees, is perfect for hot/cold therapy. The facility is conveniently connected to the charming Saturdays cafe, allowing you to enjoy a meal or a hot cuppa before or after your soak. For a truly luxurious experience, book the Sunrise Soak, available in winter, where you can greet the day with a relaxing soak as you watch the sunrise. The facility also offers adults-only late-night sessions on Fridays.

Cover Image: Fiordland Lodge

Editor’s note: New Zealand Guide writers select and write about the things we love in New Zealand, and we know our readers will love too. New Zealand Guide has affiliate partnerships, so may we get revenue from your purchase.


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