New Zealand is famous for many things, especially its volcanic activity thanks to its position on the Pacific Rim of Fire. Although a volcano is a real pain if you happen to be in the area when it starts spewing out lava, one benefit of all this underground geothermal activity is readily available, naturally warmed spring water. Hot springs all over the country provide unique respites for weary travellers.

Whether you prefer your dip to be a luxury experience or a rather more rustic outing in nature, New Zealand has the hot spring for you. With our variety of car hire in Auckland you can get out of the city in an instant so why not plan your Auckland road trip to include a different kind of rest stop? Here are some awesome hot spring destinations within a few hours of Auckland CBD. 

1. Rotorua

Perhaps the most famous of all NZ's hot spring locations thanks to the strong smell of sulphur that greets you on arrival, Rotorua features on the itinerary of almost every North Island visitor and features on loads of Auckland road trips.

If you're after the luxury version of a hot spring, in Rotorua you can take your pick. Options include the Polynesian Spa on the lake edge with 28 pools and a range of treatments. Alternatively, Hells Gate offers a mud bath and spa where you can – you guessed it – cake yourself in geothermal mud, but there are several other options available too.

For the natural experience check out 'The Bridge', 30 kilometres south of Rotorua, where hot and cold water meet and you can choose the spa temperature you prefer. A mere six kilometres further on you can find Kerosene Creek which has a waterfall for a natural back massage.

2. Taupo

Not too far from Rotorua and for many the next stop on the adventure, Taupo sits on the edge of the lake of the same name. Edging into the luxury category on the basis of the wealth of treatments available, Taupo Debretts Spa Resort not only provide warming hot pools, but throws in fantastic mountain views too.There's accommodation across of a range of budgets and entertainment for the children too, making this an option for the whole family.

Taupo's natural option is quite literally just down the road at Spa Thermal Park, you can even walk to it from the centre of town. Otumuheke Stream is a hot water flow which cools as it heads towards the river. Once again, you can pick your optimum temperature and bathe hot, cold, or somewhere in between.

3. Hot Water Beach

This is the spa you make for yourself. Tucked into the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach attracts hundreds of tourists waving their spade in search of their perfect beach front spring. The geothermal activity here means that you can dig yourself a sandy hole and watch it fill with naturally hot water. You can make your spa big enough for friends or create your own little hot spring just your size. Watch out though, the water can reach 64 degrees Celsius. Don't forget to check the tides as you need to be here within two hours of low tide to take advantage.

To get your hot springs Auckland road trips underway, check out our car hire New Zealand options. We offer car hire direct from Auckland Airport so you can jump in and drive off within minutes of your arrival.