Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa
Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa information
Known as Tikitere to the Maori, Hells Gate is an impressive geothermal reserve 16km northeast of Rotorua on the Whakatane road (SH30). 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. The reserve covers 10 hectares, with a 2.5km walking track to the various attractions, including a hot thermal waterfall. You can also see a master woodcarver at work, and learn about flax weaving and other Maori traditions.
Long regarded by Maori as a place of healing, Tikitere also houses the Wai Ora Spa, where you can get muddy with a variety of treatments. A courtesy shuttle to/from Rotorua is available.