Lake Taupo On the brisk days of winter, plumes of steam rise from the rolling hills around Lake Taupo, marking the springs where water heated deep in the Earth’s crust gurgles to the surface.
Lake Taupo sits in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, on a volcanic band stretching from White Island through Rotorua to the Tongariro National Park. And, while most of the super-heated water is used to make electricity, a few springs have been harnessed so visitors can soak in the restorative liquid.
Wairakei Terraces near Huka Falls and Taupo Hot Springs at DeBretts Resort are two health spas in the lakeside Taupo where the healing water, which is full of therapeutic minerals, is drawn from a kilometre underground and cooled to about 40C before being released into cascading ponds and swimming pools.
Lake Taupo is also home to New Zealand’s largest ski area, with the alpine resorts of Whakapapa and Turoa on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu combining to provide 1050ha of skiable terrain and giving skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to slide on an active volcano. See greatlaketaupo.com