A few hours at The Lost Spring and we were transported to a place of peace. The mineral-rich Whitianga hot pools are a paradise on New Zealand’s Coromandel peninsula.
If you are wondering why we would need to escape the natural paradise that already surrounded us, that’s simple. Sometimes it needs to just be about us … about pampering ourselves, about being attended to, and about pure relaxation.
If we are not too greedy, we want that surrounded by a tropical paradise.
And that is what separates the Lost Spring from many other spas we have been to. It’s the total package. Thermal pools, waterfalls, tropical foliage, palm trees, and speciality drinks with little umbrellas. It is plush robes, hot pools, massage, and culinary delights.
Let us take you on a virtual tour of this adults-only paradise until you can get here yourself.
But first …
Let the region tempt you …
Whitianga hot pools
There is nothing quite like soaking my cares away in water naturally enriched with over 400 minerals. In fact, the water here emerges from 667 metres below the ground through a small crack in the bedrock after more than 16,000 years underground. Sterile, the thermal water is crystal clear and naturally good for you.
We casually moved through the topical surroundings, enjoying geothermal pools ranging in temperature from 32ºC to 41ºC (89°F – 106°F).
A tropical utopia, we enjoyed a waterfall, cave, bridges, hibiscus flowers, and exotic drinks.
While some areas of the therapeutic hot pools seemed well-populated, there are so many nooks and crannies that we could always find a peaceful escape, be it in the crystal and amethyst cave, the crater lake, or the bathtub terraces.
Whitianga hot pools brief history
Lost Spring Whitianga was created from nothing but a dream of its owner Alan Hopping, who made it a life mission to find the lost spring of Taputapuatea. In fact, he spent over 20 years (and seven million dollars) trying to find it. And in the end, he succeeded and created a hand-built paradise for all of us to enjoy.
Local legend tells us of a lost mineral-rich volcanic spring known to have healing properties. In fact, over 100 years ago Mother Brown used to bathe her five children in such a stream, but that disappeared about 90 years ago.
The Tapa, also called Mother Brown Creek, is fed by the spring of Taputapuatea (“tapu” meaning sacred and “atea” far away).
The detailed story is much more complex and involves three failed attempts before success, but in the end, the Lost Spring opened to the public in 2008.
What’s most impressive is the attention to every detail.
The Lost Spring day spa and restaurant
In addition to the Whitianga hot pools, Lost Spring has a day spa and a restaurant.
Had we planned ahead and made a booking, we would have indulged in some of the spa services. Although, I would have had a tough time choosing between relaxing with a hot stone massage or being invigorated first by an island wrap and then enjoying a full-body massage.
In reality, it didn’t matter as just from my time in the pools, I left a new woman, relaxed and happy. And I was pleased my package included the plush spa robes.
Lost Spring Day Spa services cover the full spectrum from relaxing body treatment to cosmetic enhancement like a spray tan or a brow tint. The options range from 30 minutes to all day.
Check out the menu of decadent spa services.
To complete the experience, enjoy a meal, or snack, or an exotic bar drink in the restaurant or out at the pools.
Need to know before visiting these Whitianga hot pools
- Do not submerge your head in the hot springs.
- The pools are currently open Friday to Sunday, while the restaurant and day spa are open Thursday to Sunday.
- Lost Spring is an adult oasis, and children under 14 are not permitted in the pool areas, while those from 14 to 18 must be accompanied by an adult, ideally with a 1:1 child/adult ratio.
- Bookings are recommended for the pools and essential for the day spa and restaurant. Email ([email protected]) or call (07 866 0456) to book.
- If you shower after the pools, remember just to do a quick rinse, as you want all those natural minerals to do their magic on your skin.
- See more reviews or bundle it into a larger adventure at Trip Advisor.
Where are the hot pools?
Whitianga is a lovely coastal community on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Getting there by car will take you north along a stunning coastal road from just about anywhere off the peninsula. The drive times are:
- Auckland to Whitianga: 2.5 hours
- Tauranga to Whitianga: 2.5 hours
- Rotorua to Whitianga: 3 hours
Located in a residential neighbourhood, the Lost Spring is down a driveway between two homes. Set your GPS for the address, and you’ll be fine.
The Lost Spring
121A Cook Drive, Whitianga
There appeared to be plenty of car parking when we visited.
More things to do in Whitianga
Lost Spring isn’t the only thing to do here. The two most frequently visited sites in Whitianga are Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. If you’re visiting, here are a few things to enjoy in addition to your spa.
- Take a drive around the Coromandel peninsula. And if you have allocated time, we recommend at least one additional night in the town of Coromandel and ride the Driving Creek Railway.
- Drive the narrow, windy 309 Road and see a Kauri grove, a waterfall, the Waterworks, and a pig farm.
- Dig a hole and soak your cares away at Hot Water Beach.
- Take a boat ride out to the stunning and iconic Cathedral Cove.
- Feast on some Asian fusion cuisine at the Blue Ginger restaurant.
- Sip on a coffee at any of the local cafes.
- Spend the day at the beach.
Save on your NZ trip with these resources
These are our go-to companies when we travel. We believe this list to be the best in each category. You can’t go wrong using them on your trip too.
- Flights: we use Expedia for the best and cheapest flight options.
- Accommodations: we use Booking.com (hotels) or BookABatch (self-contained).
- Cars (gas or electric): we use RentalCars to search for deals and dealer ratings.
- Campervans or Motorhomes: we use Campstar where Albom Adventures readers get a 3% discount
- Activity discounts: we check Bookme.com for discounts of up to 70% on activities.
- Private guides: we love the private guides at Tours by Locals
- Travel Insurance: our go-to is World Nomads*.
Check out our travel resources page for more companies that we use when you travel.
*World Nomads provides travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
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Are these Whitianga hot pools calling you?
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Disclaimer: We are frequently provided with complimentary entrances, tours, or sample items to aid in the writing of Albom Adventures. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly our own.
The Whitianga hot springs look and sound so heavenly! It reminds me a lot of onsens in Japan. I would want to check out the cave area, and I’m surprised that The Lost Spring spa opened so recently. Sounds like the long search paid off in the end!
I would love to get lost in Lost Springs! What a great way to get over jet lag. I would do this definitely visit with my husband or a girls weekend, if local. I can see why you had difficulty determining what treatment to select they all sound relaxing and therapeutic. So good for our well-being which is so important.
Looks and sounds divine.
L. Diane Wolfe
It’s so beautiful. All the tiny places and caves – it would be like a mini Disney World to me.
This looks absolutely idyllic. I love soaking in hot springs, but if there are spa services on hand too, count me in! I’ll have the full body massage please.
Looks lovely and just what I need right now. Been 20 years since I was last in New Zealand, would love to return. Didn’t make it here last time.
Excellent tips for visiting Whitianga hot pools – I especially like that there are quiet spots you can have to yourself.
Alex J. Cavanaugh
That does sound like a relaxing getaway. Good to know there are nooks and crannies where you can escape other people.
Wow! This looks amazing! Looks like a great way to spend a day.
The Lost Springs look like absolute paradise! It really does have everything you could want with waterfalls, thermal pools, drinks and no kids! Haha. What a perfect place to relax and unwind! I’d definitely like to visit some day.
Niiiice! I LOVE hot springs and onsens! So the Whitanga hot pools look just heavenly… and it is pretty nice that this is an oasis for adults. You must have been so relaxed after a day there.
Wellness Travel Diaries
The water looks amazing! It looks so relaxing and restful. Love your tip about not showering to long after. I forget that sometimes when I visit hot springs
This honestly looks like a total dream!! Would love to spend the day here pampering myself! Definitely saving for my bucket list!