Hells Gate pools are under construction so there is only 1 sulphur pool. Usually there are 3. We thought this place is way overpriced. Make sure construction is done if you're going to go!
We got a deal through GrabOne ($45/person instead of $75).
We arrived, checked in & were sent up to where our "spa attendant" would take care of us. She told us our time in the mud baths was limited to 20 minutes, but we could spend as much time as we wanted in the hot springs. That was it. This is important to note.
The mud baths were awesome. It's a bit more like muddy water than the thick mud I was afraid of. The showers on the outside of the building were A+. Fantastic water pressure.
We showered & headed over to the hot springs & my fiance accidentally splashed a little water getting into the hot springs & I could feel mascara mixed with water dripping into my eye. I tried to wipe it away.
Huge mistake. In wiping my mascara off, I got the water from my hands in my eyes. It felt like someone had set my eyes on fire. An older gentleman who worked there saw me & said, "Oh my god, your eyes!"
I got water from the water cooler & washed my eyes out. I got out & went to the outdoor shower & washed off. I jumped into the cold plunge pool & held my face under with my eyes open. All of these suggestions were made by the man working there. I was miserable. Finally I gave up & went to shower again & get some eye drops from the office.
I put a whole tube of eye drops in each eye. Nothing. My eyes are pouring tears & my nose is dripping.
We get to the Redwoods Tree Walk & the girl behind the counter asks what's the matter. I tell her, "We just went to Hell's Gate. It would really be worth the 5 seconds it would take them to tell you, 'Hey, just make sure you don't get the hot springs water in your eyes.'"
"They didn't take you through the health and safety briefing? I used to work there & there was a whole list of safety things we had to go through with you."
"Nope. They just said don't stay in the mud pools more than 20 mins."
"Oh wow. That's bad. Yeah, there's a whole protocol they're supposed to take you through."
A fantastic, free guided walk explained the geographical features and cultural significance of the other worldly, wonderful collection of volcanic curiosities.
This was a very interactive walk through a thermal activity area. Not as tourist orientated as some of the more commercial areas.
A beautiful walk around the hot bath (you do not bath in these ones!!!). Up to 140 degrees. And smoke coming out from them everywhere. Guy was an amazing guide - we even saw a waterfall close to and learnt a lot about this phenomonen. To finish: bath.
We did only the spa, we enjoyed the mud pool and the hot pools very much.
Absolutely loved this place. We arrived just as a guide was heading off with some others and we were invited to tack on the end of the tour. Our guide was fantastic. Yes it smells, but people if you have come to Rotorua, shouldn't you expect that!! (It actually wasn't as bad a some people make out.) What did you come here for if not to experience the wonders of this natural habitat. That includes the smell. I learnt so much about this area from this short walk around the park with a guide. I would recommend this place to anyone really interested in how and why this place actually exists. Truly amazing.
Stinky as hell! Really nice to see those hot pools for the first time, but the smell was nasty and the entrance price was way too high.
Great thermal area to be able to explore at your own pace. The mud baths and thermal spa is a must-do activity. The mud baths are not quite what we expected, muddy water with mud in a pot available to smear over yourselves, but fun to do all the same. The thermal spa pretty hot. Well run and organised, and friendly staff.
All in all a good day.
Too expensive and nothing special.
You have different packages. Walk to see the sulphur waters and mud spa. Honestly for the price, having a look at the sulphur water is enough.
Expensive. Circle around hot springs interesting with describing what is going on. Personnel nice and smiley.
Great to see the volcanic area with mud pools, sulpuhur bath etc.
It was interesting.
Similar to Nature Connection but self guided. Mud spa worth trying, beneficial to chronic skin conditions. Relaxed atmosphere.
Very expensive and not interesting.
A lot of thermal activity on a small piece of ground. Friendly staff. Information shee of walk was outdated. We did not use spa facilities.
Paid for the walk around - a bit pricey, four year old was bored half way around.
Stroller friendly, would recommend Wai-o-Tapu over this if funds were limited.
First paid activity we did in New Zealand. Never seen anything like it, staff looked after us and we even carved our own wooden plaques. Slightly expensive considering some thermal parks are free.
Not amazing but especially active thermal park.
Thermal Springs - very interesting but a little pricey ($63 for two). Expensive.
Good experience - not cheap - well described in leaflets.
(without spa) Too expensive.
Only boring mud pools, that you can see in 'Craters of the Moon' for free.
Mark de Boer
Excellent attraction, like walking into another world/universe.
The included tour was fantastic! Very funny as well.
Expensive but they gave us a concession. Best Mud Bath - have never felt better. My body felt really great for days afterwards.
Very interesting but would go for a guided tour next time. A bit more information would be fine.
Good but poor value.
Unfortunately a very poor expenditure of $105 !!! per person for private mud bath, thermal pool soak and walk around the park. If you book it at Rotorua i-site you get $85 package for $75, but no idea what the extra $30 buys (use their towel and toweling robe, perhaps?) Very disappointed. If memory serves me right the park itself hasn't really changed in 30-years, although the service buildings have been upgraded.
Not very good value for mudbath and entry. Seems very commercialised and overrated.
Fantastic experience. Amazing thermal park, very friendly staff and guides, the most relaxing spa we have visited. Mud bath highly recommended!
We were really disappointed with this thermal park - the leaflet made it sound fully action but it is tame!! Save you $30 (yes that's right, $30 per person!) and go to Craters of the Moon near Huka Falls for $5.
Started with a walk around the lovely unspoilt thermal area, then had a mud bath, spa and massage which where absolutely wonderful. Very relaxing. Staff extremely helpful and friendly and knowledgable. Would definitely recommend.
Worthwhile day out - don't wear good clothes, a lasting smell.
Nice staff, worth a visit if you have not seen 'volcanic activities before'. Too expensive.
A little overpriced. Thermal area was good. The spa was a little too expensive. Only allowed 20 minutes in mud bath. Sulphur pool very small.
Peter & Angela Brown
Very good - lovely staff. Good value. Fascinating insight into volcanic activity.
OK, a little bit expensive.
Maori owned thermal springs - uncrowded uncommercialised, go and see it as it is.
Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.
An amazing spectacle watching the forces of nature at work.
Unguided walk through mud pools and little hot pools, was interesting, but a little bit expensive.
Good alternative to downtown Rotorua thermal areas which are quite expensive.
It was not too interesting but they do their best.
We only try the spa because of less time, our silver was discoloured by the water, it was told on the wall but we did not see it:(
Come free as a deal with Tamaki evening. Very very quiet, so a good walking route (guide lacked any indepth knowledge), with information boards. Free foot mud bath and woodcarving. Can pay for a full mud bath - I did not think worth it and time limited if on their bus.
Impressive landscape. Unique! Friendly staff, shuttle to and from Rotorua, relaxing mud and sulphur bath, free wood carving.
OK. Missed a little more information on the self guided walk.
We only went for the Hells Gate as we did not want to try the mud spa. We thought the whole place looked very tired and run down and in need to new signage. The wooden barriers around certain areas were rotting and unsafe. We leant on one piece to take a picture and the wood gave way, luckily we recovered our balance quickly and no harm was done.
There was very little choice of food in the small cafe, but the food we did have was of good quality, however the cafe closed at 2.30pm and the place was open until 8pm!
The thermal areas were interesting but the price was very high.
Alan & Lorna
Advised to do as well as Wai-O-Tapu but was expensive and not worth it - mud pools covered by Wai-O-Tapu.
I gave it a 7 because the walk and thermal sites are impressive but I wasn't impressed with the price - $75 for a family of 4 was too expensive I thought but we paid because we'd gone all the way up there and everyone wanted to go in and have a look around.
The weather became really bad when we were half way around and there was one shelter throughout the whole walk - they can't help the weather but it'd be nice if they're reading this if they put up a few more shelters - it's very exposed once you leave the gift shop and cafe area.
We went for the combo - @ ND$230 for the 2 of us. We felt that the area was not well maintained - I understand that the sulphur deteriates things quickly but with what we paid, I expected better maintainence.
The signage was poor (I have pretty good eyesight but had dificulty reading a lot of the signs).
Opting for the Private mud bath was OK but a freezing cold shower - come on guys - it was WINTER! even lukewarm would have been acceptable.
Staff were nice though :)
This place is amazing and worth every penny.
A very strange place to visit - actually horrible and ugly but nevertheless fascinating.
Wonderful and impressive
Interesting and the mud baths are definitely worth a dip.
Pricy and overrated. Badly maintained (signs and pathway). Other thermal areas, such as Orakei Korako are better value and have much more interest.
The mud pool was nice but I expetced more for that price....
Didn't like the coldwater shower..
We did the combo so it was lovely that we could entree the parc for an extra 10 dollars. It was a nice day, don't get me wrong, just only a bit to expensive.
Exactly what was described -weather unavoidable but still a good experience.
Very expensive compared to what you get.
Ok, maybe it was the time of year without a lot of rain, features were sort of dry.
Interesting thermal area, but felt in was VERY EXPENSIVE. Overall there is a wide choice of thermal/volcanic opportunities including some free @ Rotorua + the commercial options are pushed more
Too expensive for what you get. Boring always the same.
Mud and suphur baths. REally different to anything we had experinced. Although very memorable, the explanations of what the baths do healthwise or the detail of geological theremal information cold have been more indepth.
First main attraction visited, Very impressive as not seen ''thermal'' stuff before.
High entrance fee for nice views, but little attractions.
Amazing. We have never seen such a natural event before.
The walk is great and the hot springs very interesting.
Not what we expected of a spa. The geothermal walk was a must for the area, but the atmosphere at the mud & sulphur spa left a lot to be desired! For the price we expected a more relaxed atmosphere & a warmer shower not being hosed down with freezing water... how do u relax with that! We wouldn't recommend your venue as a spa.
All in all an interesting walk and lovely spa - plus very helpful and friendly staff!
Fun to relax in a mud pool but extremely overpriced in my opinion for facilities available.
We enjoyed our walk about the geothermal area, beautiful in its own right, and the mud spa was definitely an experience. It was something we had never done, and it was interesting. It made our skin very soft. Only don't get it in your eyes! My daughter got alittle in her eye and it bothered her for the rest of the day. Fun! and relaxing esp the sulfer bath afterwards.
Natural beauty is good however the layout and presentation old fashioned and basic. The same counts for the mud bath and spa. Room for improvement, these people have to invest. Does yet not fully meet expectation.
Tourist brochure in dutch! People are very kind.
Quite interesting but too expensive.
Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa responds:
Thank you Joel for your feed back about Hells Gate. It is always welcome and we are glad that you found our geothermal park interesting.
Interesting place but quite expensive for what it is.
Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa responds:
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate you taking the time to review our small park and wish you the best for your trip through Aotearoa!
What a great way to end the day than to sit in a smelly pool of MUD. Gotta do it if you go to Rotorua! Totally Rad!
Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa responds:
Thank you Boxa for visiting us at Hells Gate. The whanau always love hosting kiwis and really appreciate you taking the time to add your thought to rankers to. TUMEKE!!
It was a cold and wet day when we visited Rotorua so my friends and I decided to find a hot spa somewhere. We came across Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa! Brilliant! Had traditional Maori massage and was forced to get in a Mud Bath!!! Thought that I would hate it but it was awesome! Staff was cool and down to earth. Highly recommended A+++
Did not live up to publicity. Really quite lame. Not good value for money.
Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa responds:
We apologize that your experience was not what you expected.Please feel free to email us your thoughts so we can make appropriate changes and ensure these disapointments don't continue.
Great fun but cold showers at the end were not welcomed!
Mud baths were fun, and the boiling mud was very strange. I would save my money for a more active day out.
Very helpful and friendly staff. Dissapointed with mud bath expected there to be more mud, and more authentic. Quite expensive.
We went for a mud bath and walk. It was very interesting and smelly. The mud bath was actually nice, plus the weather was bad which made it nicer. Also had a bath in a sulpher pool which was very hot.
Just make sure you don't put on your jewellery for at least 2 days afterwards, because they will stain. If that happens you could just polish them and it will be ok, but still.
Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa responds:
thank you Sofie for visiting. The sulphur wash abosrbed in to your system so it come out slowly over a few days. We do warn people not to wear jewellery afterwards, I will remind staff to make sure this is a must. Thank you again for visiting.
Our first look at thermal activity. So it was amazing. Small site and not particulary developed.
Good experience, poor value for money ($85 dollars)
Helpful staff + very interesting. Good map. Mud baths were relaxing.
The mud bath is so watery that its not a mud bath.
Really interesting mud pools, fun and relaxing mud pool and spa.
Arrived just in time for a free guided tour taken by the manager whose enthusiasm was very catching & made for an amazingly interesting & informative experience.
Pretty expensive but very nice park to see. Fun at the end to make your own souvenir.
Far too expensive. You see the same by walking through the town park in Rotorua.
Well presented sights & smells!
Rather cheap for what you get - a tour plus time in the relaxing mud baths. Worth a visit.
Could do an intro session at start or mp3 audio guide.
$30 is to much for a one hour walk.
Not worth spending $30 to visit nor $75 for the spa.
Good information in (Dutch) guidemap - worthwhile.
Nice to get an impression of the Maori culture.
Volcanic area walk.
Definitely worth seeing. At the end we made maori carvings on piece of wood.
Interesting area but extremely overpriced. $25pp is way too much. $10pp would be more appropriate.
Very interesting walk with info, but very pricey for just a walk!
Interesting experience sitting in the mud.
Bliss! - You get treated so well and the massages are really relaxing.
The nature reserve was fantastic. I felt like we were on another planet. The mud bath was fun but it should have been more of a 'spa' experience for what we paid.
my skin has never been so soft! yep, it smells but you get used to it! the walk is great and the mud is fun. the spa pool is nice in the end.(kaitiaki rafting base is right next door! the best thing after going rafting!) awesome day!
A little disappointing! I'm glad we saved this visit for the last day of our NZ trip. The thermal area was okay, except for the questionable "natural" mud volcano. The mud bath and soak was not what we expected, and our spa host was down right rude. I have to agree with other posts; it was too much money for what you get. There are better places to spend your time in Rotorua.
Very disapointing for the price you pay. None of the activities (like wood carving) were avalible when we got there.
Too much money for what it is.
Stinky! Interesting, and good that they drive you to the place. Got Hells Gate free with the Tamaki tour.
The mud bath and massage was ecstasy.
cool, but smelly. Loved the woodcarving on the end.
Mud baths were awesome.
It was interesting, but it stank.
Wouldn't necessarily do it again.
Special offer with rafting so got it for $10. Would not pay $25 to visit it. You can see something similar when walking past the Rotorua camp ground
OK. Not as good as Wai o Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Mud bath / massage.
Not so nice, $25pp is too much, because 30km outside of Rotorua is the nicest Geyser park...
Worth the money. Did the mud bath.