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.