Plunge into some of the deepest freshwater springs in New Zealand or tour a stream on a stand-up paddleboard at this collection of natural waters.
Just north of Lake Rotorua on the North Island is one of New Zealand’s star attractions, the Hamurana Springs, a collection of the deepest freshwater springs in the country. Surrounded by redwood forests and an abundance of native birds, the Hamurana Springs offer a breathtaking experience for any traveller. Hike along the walking trails that traverse the wildlife sanctuary surrounding the springs, swim in the cold water or tour the Hamurana stream on a stand-up paddleboard.
From the car park at Hamurana enjoy a 45-minute stroll around the wildlife sanctuary. Follow the walking trail to see towering redwood trees. While these trees are native to the Pacific region, they were only introduced to New Zealand in 1919. Not yet 100 years old, these towering giants are already 55 metres (180 feet) tall. Continue along the trail to reach a high bridge with stunning views across the springs.
Make your way to the water’s edge to experience the rejuvenating quality of the water. The main spring, Hangarua, is 15 metres (49 feet) deep. Its water has travelled for some 70 years through underground aquifers from the Mamaku Plateau to reach the pool. Submerge yourself in its cool and refreshing water, which is remarkably clear for its depth.
Explore the stream that runs from the springs aboard a stand-up paddleboard. Rotorua Paddle Tours offer 90-minute explorations of the crystal-clear water, providing information about the local flora and fauna as you paddle across the surface. Look for eels and rainbow trout on your journey.
Help Hangarua’s native re-vegetation process by purchasing a tree from the Nicara Lodge, located adjacent to the springs. Your purchase helps re-create the native environment that houses endangered local birds including the dabchick.
Hamurana Springs are located immediately north of Lake Rotorua, just a short drive from the city of Rotorua. Parking is available at the springs and admission is free. Sign up for paddle tours in Rotorua.