Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa
Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa information
Known as Tikitere to the Māori, Hells Gate is an impressive geothermal reserve 16km northeast of Rotorua on the Whakatane road (SH30). The reserve covers 10 hectares, with a 2.5km walking track to the various attractions, including a hot thermal waterfall. You can see a master woodcarver at work, and learn about flax weaving and other Māori traditions.
Long regarded by Māori as a place of healing, Tikitere also houses Wai Ora Spa, where you can get muddy with a variety of treatments. A courtesy shuttle to/from Rotorua is available.
Tikitere is an abbreviation of Taku tiki i tere nei (My youngest daughter has floated away), remembering the tragedy of a young girl jumping into a thermal pool. The English name originates from a 1934 visit by George Bernard Shaw.