The wonderful West Coast is full of surprises. From the raw beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Westland National Park to the incredible selection of adrenaline activities on offer (glacier hiking, anyone?), the tranquil setting hides a treasure trove of the weird, wonderful and simply beautiful.
One such surprise is the Glacier Hot Pools at Franz Josef Glacier. This hidden oasis is located across the road from Rainforest Retreat and offers visitors to the West Coast the opportunity for some serious relaxation and rejuvenation.
If the idea of soaking in steaming hot pools surrounded by lush rainforest with the option of adding in a massage or spa treatment sounds like a good one, then you’re in luck. An easy 2-minute stroll from our front door, you’ll find the beautiful and unique Glacier Hot Pools.
Sheltered beneath lush West Coast rainforest, you’ll find one of the most natural hot pools experiences in New Zealand.
We hear that when the complex was built, the trees were left in place and the pools were designed to fit in around them. The result is pretty spectacular and gives the pools a relaxing and tranquil vibe.
You’ll find three main public pools at the complex and three private pools. There is also a range of spa and massage treatments available and well-appointed public change rooms and showers.
If you’re in need of indulgence, the private pools are worth shelling out a bit extra for. Perfect for two, each private pool is surrounded by lush rainforest, which is so dense it provides a natural privacy screen. Each private pool has a private change room facility, and the pool is drained and filled with fresh water for each new customer.
You can also enhance your experience even more with a massage or beauty treatment at the Glacier Hot Pool spa. There’s an impressive range of massages and spa packages available, and the products are natural and New Zealand-made.
The hot pools complex is a showcase of clever design sitting perfectly amongst a natural setting. It’s a unique experience that you should make time for when you visit Franz Josef Glacier.
The hot pools are fed by water from the Waiho River, which flows from Franz Josef Glacier. Luckily, the water is warmed before it hits the pools to a more comfortable 36°C to 40°C. According to the local Māori iwi (tribe), Ngāi Tahu, the glacier is known as Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere – The Frozen Tears of Hinehukatere. The glacier was formed by Hinehukatere’s tears of aroha (love), which were frozen by the gods after she lost her true love.
How it works
Your entry includes 90 minutes in the main pools. The private pool experience is more expensive, but also includes access to the main pools. There are some great options for all-day packages. Check out the Luxury Package which includes a massage and travel skin care pack.
How to get there
From Rainforest Retreat, you won’t have any problems finding Glacier Hot Pools. You’ll find the pools in the Glacier Base building, which is an easy 2-minute stroll across the road.
The Big Day Out
We know most visitors to Franz Josef Glacier will do a glacier hike experience or glacier valley walk while they’re in town. The Glacier Hot Pools is the perfect balance to a demanding day out in the hills. For cold and exhausted hikers, a soak in the delicious glacier hot pools really is the perfect end to a big day out.