As we head into a new year, we're revisiting some of 2016's most popular Travel stories. This was one of them .....
New Zealand is full of these wondrous warm spots and many of them are free. Here are some of the best to check out around the country.
This thermal stream is a great spot to stop and relax on the drive to Taupo - it's located around 50km south of Rotorua, near the Waiotapu Thermal Park. One end of the stream is cool, while the other is hot - pick a space in between to choose your ideal temperature.
The Rotovegas region is so geothermally gifted, it's only fair to include two from this area. Not far from The Bridge is Kerosene Creek - where hot water bubbles into the cool creek from underneath. This spot features a beautiful 2m waterfall for bathers to sit under and enjoy the ultimate spa treatment.
It's a long and sometimes dangerous hike to get to these pools, located on the Copland River near Fox Glacier. The seven-hour walk can be difficult in bad weather and shouldn't be attempted without good clothing and food supplies. But it's worth the trek - you'll be rewarded with four hot pools surrounded by some of the best views in the country - snowy mountain peaks and dense native forest.
Another hot spot off the beaten track, you'll need to catch a ferry or a plane from Auckland over to Great Barrier Island to tick this one off the list. Take the popular walking track from Whangaparapara Rd and you'll end up at the Kaitoke stream, where four natural hot pools sit in a fork in the creek. It's a great place to commune with nature.
Everyone knows this DIY hot spring spot on the Coromandel Peninsula, so bring a spade and get digging. It's a beautiful beach with geothermal water rising from under the sand - with this combination, it's not surprising it's one of the most famous hot springs in the country.