Top 5 Wild Swimming Places in New Zealand

If you love to swim, New Zealand has many spots to entice you. It is also one of the most effective exercises. New Zealand could be an ideal destination offering amazing outdoor therapy. It is enriched with boasting glorious beaches, a patchwork of rivers, lakes, and waterholes just perfect to take a dip or swim in. Here are Top 5 Wild Swimming Places in New Zealand.

I have rounded up the top 5 wild swimming spots that are natural to take the plunge in.

Top 5 Wild Swimming Places in New Zealand

1. Wishbone Falls, Mount Aspiring

Wishbone Falls, Mount Aspiring - Top 5 Wild Swimming Places in New Zealand
Wishbone Falls, Mount Aspiring

This waterfall falls down a steep, grassy rock face and divides into two streams. This fall invites the visitors to the entry of Mount Aspiring National Park, which is about an hour-and-a-half drive from the town of Wanaka.

At the center of the falls sits an idyllic pool; a natural beauty made for days pottering around in the sun. It’s the most popular picnic spot, with amazing flat banks surrounding the water.

You can reach this spot via private land, so be mindful and respectful. Follow Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Road for 49 kilometers from Wanaka, the falls are visible from the road. A sign gesturing to the falls leads the way to a track. You can walk down for 10 minutes to reach the foot of the falls.

2. Lake Mackenzie, Fiordland National Park

Lake Mackenzie, Fiordland National Parkc
Lake Mackenzie, Fiordland National Parkc

This water is covered by an alpine circle, where snow-covered mountains round off a breathtaking picturesque.

This lake is situated in the South Island’s Fiordland National Park (the same region where the famed Milford Sound is). It is one of the country’s most naturally enriched areas with the shore covered with campgrounds and huts, for those who want to take things in for a little while longer.

Lake Mackenzie is a little tough to reach but is one to make hikers happy. The lake is a highlight along the Routeburn Track. It is one of New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks. Lake Mackenzie itself is about a 4-6 hour walk from the Divide, Milford Road (reached via Te Anau).

3. Hot Water Beach, Lake Tarawera

Hot Water Beach, Lake Tarawera
Hot Water Beach, Lake Tarawera

The Coromandel Peninsula’s Hot Water Beach is one of the popular places enjoying a lot of attention, but that’s not due to the hot water beach but there is much more to check out. Situated in a secluded bay of Lake Tarawera is the little-known Hot Water Beach campsite.

Make your hole in the lakeside sand to bathe in, or take a short (signposted) walk away from the lake to discover a piping hot natural spa carved out of the earth. The solitariness of this location can certainly pay dividends as you escape the crowd of travelers.

If you have time, you can pack your tent and trek the 4-5 hour lakeside track to Hot Water Beach campsite.

4. Pori Pori, Lower Kaimai

Pori Pori, Lower Kaimai
Pori Pori, Lower Kaimai

This is a waterhole with large rock structures all around and a lush forest bursting with ferns. You can sit in the naturally occurring, almost perfectly human-sized bath holes. You can also ‘pop a manu’- slang for a water bomb, what many of the locals do.

This spot is located just off State Highway 29 on Poripori Road. You must understand that the first glimpse of water is not the swimming spot itself. Cross the elevated section of the Wairoa River and find out other people’s footsteps through the blackberry shrubs and native grass known as toi toi. Here, the river converts into a deep pool you can plunge into.

5.Kerosene Creek, Rotorua

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua
Kerosene Creek, Rotorua

Craving for free hot pools? It is the dream for most travelers, a luxury that many countries envy and others often charge to access. Rotorua is known for some of New Zealand’s most sensational spots. Kerosene Creek is the place where geothermal energy heats what would otherwise be a cold creek. It is perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating. Reach here to rest and relax, with the picturesque view of a petite 2m waterfall and a backdrop of the North Island bush.

Kerosene Creek is about 57km north of Taupo and 28km south of Rotorua on State Highway 5. Beware of the turnoff at Old Waiotapu Road. The end shows a grassed area where vehicles can park. A word of warning, this area is known for theft. Keep valuables well hidden or take them with you.


These are some of the most popular and widely flocked wild swimming spots that you can visit during your New Zealand vacation.