A Weekend in Te Aroha
A Weekend in Te Aroha

A Weekend in Te Aroha

Te Aroha is a small town in the North East of the North Island of New Zealand, about 2 hours South of Auckland. We started the drive on Friday afternoon, prepared to spend the weekend here.

This post is going to breakdown how I spent my weekend at this small town, but any of the activities listed can be done in any order. 


Our first morning was spent completing a heritage walk, following a map given to us from a lovely lady at the information centre/iSite (found on the high street). The walk took the whole morning, and we passed by some really cool places that we wouldn’t have found otherwise! Places such as old art deco buildings like the Post Office and other architecture, Edwardian spa buildings, and memorial structures. We finished off the walk with a sit down and some lunch at Ironique – highly recommend!

The Saturday afternoon was spent over at Wairere Falls, the highest waterfalls in the North Island. Roughly 20 mins drive from Te Aroha, its definitely a must see. There are 2 viewing platforms, one at the base and then one at the top. It takes approximately 50 minutes to reach the platform at the base, and a further challenging 1 hour hike up. The hike to the top is mostly made of steps, so be warned if you’ve got dodgy knees as its a trek up, and then another tough trek back down! But definitely worth it, and further walks which take you along the top of the waterfall following the river upstream if you’ve got the time. 

After returning from Wairere Falls, we found ourselves in the Te Aroha domain watching a bagpipe competition! There were bands from all over the North Island, my favourite being the Rotorua bagpipe band! Being my first time watching any sort of bagpipe playing, I thought they were all incredible and had no idea on how you would judge or score them but was entertaining all the same. It attracted quite a big crowd and the weather was gorgeous so we sat there for an hour or so before heading back to the van for the night. Keep an eye on events in the Domain for when you plan your visit in case there’s something cool going on!


Mount Te Aroha was something we did on our final day before leaving the small town. It stands at 952m, is part of the Kaimai mountain range, and the hike starts in the Te Aroha Domain. The name ‘Te Aroha’ means ‘The Mountain of Love’, ’Aroha’ meaning love, and it is said to have been named by Te Mamoe, a Bay of Plenty chief. 

During the hike, you will reach a stopping point before you summit called Whakapipi lookout and it has views over the whole town of Te Aroha. It takes roughly 45 minutes to reach this point from the geyser in the domain. Not a huge lookout, just a bench and a fence but a nice place for a stop, a snack and a water break. There aren’t anymore allocated stopping points for the rest of the way until you reach the summit. 

Reaching the summit of Mt Te Aroha is not a 360 degree view. There is a huge broadcast tower which blocks the view from one side of the mountain, so the summit view is more like 180 degrees. The views that you can see span Waikato and Bay of Plenty, and on a good day you can even see as far as Mount Taranaki and Mount Ruapehu! We kept a look out but couldn’t make them out during our hike. 

Heading back down took us back into the domain where we stopped for a cold refreshing drink and some cake of course! Whilst we were in the domain, we explored the museum and Edwardian spas. The museum was entry by donation so we contributed some money to go towards the running and upkeep of the museum, and our entry started by watching a video about the history of Te Aroha. It was very interesting, and quite bizarrely, the Malvern Hills spring water was mentioned (a small town in the Midlands, England where I used to work for 2 years!). After the video, we were free to wander throughout the rooms of the museum which included artefacts from the Edwardian Spa days, and the history and information about the production of the Te Aroha spring water. 

Our final stop of our trip was obviously going to be a visit to the Te Aroha Mineral Spa. We decided to hire out a private pool for 45 mins (there are different time options – 30mins, 45mins or 60mins all for different prices) and that room included a private changing room with a shower. We were able to adjust the temperature of the water by adding cool water in if it got too hot, or just simply jumping in the cold shower to cool down if needed! It was the perfect end to a perfect jam packed weekend!


We stayed at Te Aroha Holiday park for 2 nights, and paid roughly $40 NZD a night for a 2 person powered site. This may obviously differ depending on the time of year and time of week you choose to go. The facilities were amazing, and even included an outdoor mineral hot pool (which we definitely tried out!).

Useful Information about Te Aroha

The iSite building is on Te Aroha main street next to the domain and is easy to find. Parking is plentiful and many many spaces down the main street, free of charge.