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Tokaanu Thermal Pools & Park

Public $$ Soaking pools and free thermal walkway

Difficulty: Easy 15-minute walk
Bring: Swimsuit, eggs, socks, bucket
Tokaanu Thermal Pools & Park
NZGps: 38° 58' 3.5724" S 175° 45' 53.5212" E
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The Tokaanu Thermal Baths are a public hot spring soaking place without any kid-friendly attractions - just private soaking tubs and one social swimming-type pool. This place, just minutes NW of Turangi, is the perfect place to sooth tired muscles from toughdays tramping on Tongariro. The big pool is about $5 pp, while private tubs are $7 pp for 20 minutes.

Here's what few people know about Tokaanu: in the back of the public pools is a DOC Thermal Park which features a 15-minute thermal walkway touring steaming ponds and bubbling mud pits. Nice enough...but notice that gurgling steaming mini-geyser over to the left? Hmmm, when was the last time you boiled an egg in a geyser while you soaked in the same (but cooler) water? Right...never! Where else on this planet can you do this?

Thank the clever Maoris of the local Iwi for the chance, because they've cemented two people-sized tubs over by the creek and dug a trench over from the geyser. Perfectly engineered, only a trickle of hot water flows when the geyser sporadically spews, thus the tubs aren't boiling hot - and there's often a bucket to fetch cold water from the creek. Balance the HOT with some cold...the ahhh, a very unique free soak!

And, oh yeah, about the egg...a Maori man told me "Yeah mate, just hold some eggs down in that geyser for ten minutes and they'll be done sweet as!" Laughing, I drove back to the nearby Oasis store, bought eggs and returned. I put one in a clean sock, tied the sock to a stick, submerged the stick for ten minutes...

Best Egg Ever! I made all six - two at a time, while I soaked. I love this place...I love this island!

Please respect this sacred Maori land to the utmost. Needless to say, Leave No Trace.

Excerpt from "NZ Frenzy Guidebook" by Scott CookNZ Frenzy Guidebook

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