Best Hot Springs in the South Island of New Zealand

Luxury Ahuriri Valley at The Lindis

Thanks to our location on the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, New Zealand is the land of geothermal hot springs. Although there are more naturally heated hot pools are located on the North Island, what they lack in numbers is made up for in the beauty of the surroundings of the hot springs in the South Island of New Zealand.

Omarama Hot Springs

Where the hot water doesn’t naturally bubble up to the surface, you’ll still stumble upon plenty of soaking tubs. No matter where your New Zealand itinerary takes you, you’ll find a place to soothe sore muscles after an exciting activity. Keep reading for the best hot springs in the South Island of New Zealand as well as hot tubs. 


Onsen, Queenstown

The Japanese-inspired hot tubs in Queenstown are some of the most popular hot tubs in New Zealand. Perched on a cliff, you can watch the red Shotover Jet boats spinning on the Shotover River far below you while sipping your complimentary glass of wine, beer or juice. Visit at night and you’ll be watching the twinkly light of the stars above.

Choose between a 60-minute soaking session in the famous private indoor cedar tubs (open one wall for the view or keep it closed for more privacy) and the semi-private outdoor tubs. Up to four people of the same group can share a tub and kids are also welcome (during the day). Tip: Book your slot early to avoid disappointment.

Onsen hot pools in Queenstown

Kamana Lakehouse, Queenstown

Stay at the luxury Kamana Lakehouse hotel and you have your Onsen-type hot tubs right on-site! These private stainless steel soaking tubs are only bookable for hotel guests. The tubs at Kamana Soak have sweeping views over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable mountain range in the distance. 

Up to three adults can share a tub and one session is 60 minutes long. You’ll need to book your slot in advance, ideally when you make the hotel reservation. 

Omarama Hot Tubs, Omarama

A bit of a hidden gem, Omarama is a small town on State Highway 8, between Cromwell and Twizel on your way to Mt Cook. There are only a handful of motels, petrol stations, cafes, and a supermarket in town, the Omarama Clay Cliffs…and hot tubs! 

The private hot tubs are dotted along a small lake and look right into the mountains. You have the choice between a smaller tub or a larger one if you’re going with a group of friends. Get changed in your private changing room and then soak in the woodfire-heated pool for a whopping 90 minutes! Or make it two hours and spend some time in the sauna.

Tekapo Springs, Tekapo

What an amazing location for these hot pools! Tekapo Springs look over stunning turquoise Lake Tekapo, into the beautiful yellow-ish mountains (white in winter), and maybe even a hint of pink of the famous lupin flowers (in spring). 

Tekapo Springs have three hot pools, all named after local lakes and at different temperatures and two cooler pools. One of the pools is just for adults but otherwise, they welcome families. A sauna and a steam room (entry from 16 years) round off your relaxing day.

Tekapo Springs is not just for daytime soaks, though. Even more special is the Soak In The Stars experience. As Tekapo is a Dark Sky Reserve, the stars and Milky Way are especially bright and visible here. A guide will introduce you to Tekapo’s night sky and point out the most remarkable constellations. Then lie on floating hammocks or the warm water and take in the night sky from the pools.

Tekapo Springs

Ōpuke Thermal Pools, Methven 

Ōpuke Thermal Pools is different in many ways. For one, it’s located in Methven, a small town at the feet of Mt Cook and on a small detour if Christchurch is your destination. Number two, the Tranquility Pools in the adult-only section are the only licensed hot pools on the South Island. And number three, the pools are almost exclusively heated by solar panels! 

The hot pools at Ōpuke are divided into the Tranquility Pools and the Discovery Pools. The Discovery Pools are family-friendly and welcome everyone. Tranquillity Pools are only accessible from 18 years old due to the licensed swim-up bar. 

Methven is a great place to base yourself not only for the hot pools but also if you want to go ballooning over the Canterbury Plains!

Hanmer Springs

One of the oldest bathing resorts in New Zealand, Hanmer Springs doesn’t just have hot springs and pools, it has a whole waterpark! A myriad of hot pools are waiting for you, a lap pool with an attached lazy river, a lagoon pool, a family pool and…waterslides! 

The Hanmer Springs hot pools are probably the best pools to take the whole family as they cater to everyone! Enjoy the kids’ laughter as you swoosh down the Conical Thrill or Super Bowl in a double raft or thrust yourself into the dark abyss of the hyrdoslide!

For a bit more quiet relaxation, you can sign up for a spa treatment or loosen up tired muscles in one of the private saunas and steam suites. 

With 22 thermal pools, hydro slides and spa treatments, you and your family will happily spend the entire day at the Hanmer Springs pools!

Maruia Hot Springs, Lewis Pass

Maruia Hot Springs is all about being mindful and relaxing your body and mind. Tucked away into the mountains near Lewis Pass, you’ll have nothing near you but nature. 

One of the only ‘wellness resorts’ in New Zealand, you can stay at Maruia Hot Springs for one or a few nights, either in their peaceful rooms, a glamping pod or even in your own camper van on their campsite. All accommodation types include access to the hot pools at Maruia Hot Springs, the saunas and steam rooms as well as daily guided yoga, meditations and even guided mindful nature walks. 

Book yourself into spa treatments or a private hot pool for some extra privacy and relaxation. Round off the day with a delicious dinner at the resort-own restaurant.

Maruia Hot Springs

Waiho Hot Tubs, Franz Josef

After an exhausting day of heli-hiking on Franz Josef Glacier, there’s nothing better than soothing your aching muscles in a hot tub. The woodfire-heated stainless steel tubs are tucked into the forest, making you feel as if you’ve just stumbled upon a natural hot spring in the middle of nowhere. 

Filled with pristine mountain stream water and heated to 39°C | 102°F or adjusted to your personal liking, you’re soaking in the tub for about an hour. You can bring your own drinks and nibbles, fresh drinking water and fluffy towels are supplied.

Glacier Hot Pools, Franz Josef (currently closed)

Although still in Covid-hibernation for the time being, we didn’t want to hold back telling you about these hot springs. We’re hoping they will re-open eventually.

Glacier Hot Pools has three main pools, perfectly nestled underneath the lush green West Coast rainforest canopy. Pool temperatures range from 36 to 40°C | 96.8 to 104°F.

For more privacy, you can choose from three different private pools where you get to soak in with just your partner or your friends.

He Puna Taimoana Hot Pools, New Brighton (Christchurch)

Hot pools right at the beach? Yes, please! On days when the weather is just too iffy for a swim in the ocean, you can just opt for the hot pools. He Puna Taimoana Hot Pools are located on the sandy shores of New Brighton. This Christchurch suburb is easily accessible by bus and it only takes you 15 minutes to reach the beach.

Five hot pools with different temperatures are waiting for you, as well as a sauna and steam room. The sauna is especially amazing as the floor-to-ceiling window lets you look right out to the beach! 


With so many soaking tubs and hot springs in the South Island of New Zealand, you should always be able to find a place to relax in hot water, no matter where you are on your South Island itinerary. And if you’re looking for even more hot tubs, ask our team about hotels with their own private outdoor (spa) bath. Our specialists are happy to help you with any questions.



Alexandra Diethelm
Alexandra Diethelm
: 10 Nov 2022 (Last updated: 10 Nov 2022)

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