Take the waters in Te Aroha
Te Aroha is less than an hour away from Cambridge and we often drive through en-route to Thames, Waihi or the Coromandel.
Although we have not stayed there overnight (yet) I thought I would feature Te Aroha in my post today because it’s a pretty little place and I like it!
It nestles at the bottom of bush clad Mt. Te Aroha, which at 952 metres is the highest point in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park and offers lots of walking or mountain bike tracks.
Te Aroha is also famous for its hot spring waters and is home to the world’s only natural hot soda water geyser.
A domain was established around the springs of the town and it is now New Zealand’s only complete Edwardian domain. Its rolling lawns and formal gardens helped attract visitors to Te Aroha to Take the waters.
The curing values of the spring water attracted many and the Cadman bathhouse was built in 1898 especially for tourists. The building is now used for Te Aroha museum.
If you wish to enjoy the waters of Te Aroha then you can still partake, in many ways.
A modern replica of the spa building has been built and operates private spa baths and other treatments.
Or if you fancy something a little livelier the Leisure Pools have a heated 20m outdoor pool, toddler pool, spa pool and BBQ.
We have visited the leisure pools and can vouch that the water is heated to a very pleasant 31 degrees!
(It’s also a really cool – well actually, warm! – place to swim when it’s raining!)
Also set amongst the trees in the domain is a free hot foot pool.
Its natural hot soda waters are around 36 degrees and it’s very relaxing to soak your feet for a while after walking around the town.
At the time of one of our many visits to Te Aroha I was recovering from a ripped calf muscle and after hobbling around the domain on crutches I was ready to sit and dip my feet into the hot soothing waters. I swear to you dear readers that after 10 minutes soaking in the slightly fizzy warm water, my leg injury, for which I’d been on strong painkillers and daily physio treatments, felt miraculously improved. I wasn’t quite up to running yet (hell… I’m never up to running!) and still used my crutches to get back up the hill to the car but I didn’t have the searing pains that had been my constant companion since the injury. I could quite easily have been persuaded to move to Te Aroha that day!
Before you leave the domain don’t forget to visit the Mokena geyser.
Spouting crystal clear hot soda water 4m into the air approximately every 40 minutes it is named after the Maori chief, Mokena Te Hau who once owned the Domain land.
Nearby, an octagonal pavilion covers the No. 8 drinking fountain where you can sample water direct from the soda spring.
A sign told us to try the cool refreshing soda water and immediately feel better from the benevolent waters.
It was disgusting (sorry Te Aroha folks – but that’s my opinion!)
Personally I think I’ll stick to swimming or bathing my feet in it.