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Kerosene Creek Hot Pools Walk

Home  »  North Island Walks  »  Rotorua  »  Kerosene Creek Hot Pools Walk – Walk detail

Kerosene Creek hot pools just out from Rotorua.  The tempt of the water is around 30 degrees, reason for the smell is because of the decaying vegetation along the waters edge.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Central North Island
        • Distance: 0.20 kms
        • Time needed: 10 minutes
        • Difficulty: Very Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 380m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: Yes
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    Thermal Creek and the Pine forest.

  • Track Quality


  • Hazards

    None. The creek is a bit smelly, hence the name!

  • Transport


  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    Drive south on highway (30) to Taupo, Fenton St.   It is the main road south out of Rotorua. You will know this street  because of all the motels and hotels along is full length.

    At 24 Km you can’t miss rainbow mountain.  On top of the mountain is a forestry fire lookout.  You can see the building from the main road, there is also a radio mask alongside the building.

    At 26Ks there is a turn off to the left on to Highway (38).  This highway goes to a forestry town called Murupara, then Lake Waikaremona  and out to the east coast of NZ, to a town on called Wairoa,

    Don’t turn to the left; keep driving to Taupo.  At 450m, you will be driving past a gravel storage area on the left, now ease off on the gas and  get ready, then turn left on to the old Waikaremona Rd.  It is very tricky and the surface quite rough. The roading boys were working on the road when we drove through there, let’s hope it is a lot better now.  The 2 Ks drive to the car park is a little bumpy and dusty. Also keep an eye out for logging trucks. You cannot miss the car park on the right, if there is no room park on the left hand side of the road.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Click here to see restaurants in Rotorua

  • Area & Track History

    There is not a lot of history to talk about, in the 1920s and 1930s the whole area 150.000 hectares was used for planting of a pine forest Then in the 1950s the government built a large new mill on a site on the Tarawera River to mill the Radiata pines.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Kerosene Creek Hot Pools Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Kerosene Creek – Start

This is the view of Rainbow Mountain just before the main junction to Murupara.Do not turn left on highway (38)  Go past the gravel pit come car park which is two minutes after the highway (38 ) turn off. Drive past this car park, you have 800m to go.You must turn to the left before the bridge.  There is a sign but no place for you to pull over and let the cars behind you get past, so use your indicators, this is a busy road.

Point 2: Kerosene Creek

Two kilometers to go.  The old Waikaremona Rd road is a typical gravel, dusty and narrow NZ road, please drive slowly. The main car park is on the right, but there is adequate parking on the other side of the road.  It would be a lot more enjoyable if you planed your trip to the pools on any day but Saturday and Sunday.  The dirt motor bickers use the hill on the other side of the road to race there little toys up and down.  So it will be very noisy People have camped there over night. BUT DO NOT LIGHT ANY FIRES, you will get into a lot of trouble.  Walk down through the trees and along the creek.  It is a short 5 min walk to the main pool.

Point 3: Kerosene Creek

About half way to the main pool, the track runs very close to the creek.  You can hop into the creek at any spot that takes your fancy. The only drawback is the depth, its too shallow.

There is a very small waterfall right alongside the track Just deep enough to sit in.  The only drawback is every one walks within inches of you.

At the main pool, down river end, there is, what is left of an old ladder to help you down in to the water.

The pool has a clean sandy bottom and is quite shallow in places, so make your way up to the waterfall.  The depth there is good, but the rocks make it a little tricky to find a good foot hold to brace yourself when  you back up to the waterfall.  The pressure is great and just what the doctor order for the aching back.

Almost forgot about the temperature, it is not quite to my favoured 40c, and not as cold at 32c, so I would say around 37c.  If you dig your toes into the sand, you will find places where the temperature is as high as 40c.   I might take a spaded down to the pool next time we are there.

The only down side is the smell.  Not quite a sulphur smell but more like KEROSENE.  If the wind is blowing down the valley it’s not too strong for the noise. There seemed to be no effect on the skin, but the togs still  smelled of kerosene the next day.

One good point I must say, is there were no mosquitoes around, great.

Don’t waste time walking further down the creek, I tried that, nothing but mud and over grown with blackberries.

All walks in Rotorua…

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Contact info

Old Waiotapu Road, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand

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