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Top 5 swimming holes in New Zealand

Top swimming holes in New Zealand

Take your holiday to the next level by checking out the top five swimming holes in New Zealand, all of which cost nothing to visit.

Waikato River

Ringing in at number five is an adrenaline-packed ride on a section of the country’s longest river, the mighty Waikato. Grab an inner tube, boogie board, or polystyrene board, and start off on the lakeside of the Tongariro Street bridge. Head north out of Taupō and around the bend to Cherry Islandinlet, then prepare for a fun-filled adventure that you’ll never forget.

Owharoa Falls

Not a bad spot for a dip.
Not a bad spot for a dip.

Sitting pretty at number four is Owharoa Falls in the Karangahake Gorge. Nestled between Paeroa and Waihi, the Karangahake Gorge is also part of the Hauraki Rail Trail, so it’s possible to ride your bike to the spectacular Owharoa Falls. However, if you’re driving, turn right off State Highway 2 into Waitewhata Road and park your rental car near the sign to the Falls Retreat Bistro. From there, it’s a short walk through the bush to the falls and swimming hole.

Maraetotara Falls

At number three, we have a hidden gem that will not disappoint. Maraetotara Falls is around a 40-minute drive from Napier / Ahuriri, situated between Havelock North and Waimarama. Take the plunge and dive off the falls into the cool pool below, or swing out into the clearing from the rope swing. The Maraetotara Historic Walk goes to the waterfall base. If you have time, continue the walk to discover the old Havelock North power station.

Rere Rockslide

Sliding into second place is a great little secret. The Rere Rockslide is a natural rock slide located approximately 50 kilometres northwest of Gisborne / Tūranga Nui a Kiwa, and it has to be the coolest way to spend your day in summer. Be sure to bring your inner tubes and boogie boards.

Kerosene Creek

Taking out first place, we have Kerosene Creek, also known as HotnCold. Naturally heated water, cascading falls, and thousands of bubbles is what you’ll find here. You’ll need to drive about thirty kilometres south from Rotorua towards Taupō, then turn into Old Waiotapu Road. Follow the road for about two kilometres to the carpark, then proceed on foot along the track into the bush. Note: While it is fine to park your rental car on the roadside to go to Kerosene Creek, do be sensible about your valuables. If you’re not taking them with you, hide them out of sight or lock them in the boot.