Walk the scenic loop track.
Picnic in the Redwood grove.
Hamurana Springs, the deepest natural spring in the North Island, can be found on the northern shore of Lake Rotorua alongside Hamurana Road, and is well known for its crystal-clear, beautiful, freshwater springs. Located at a 15-minute drive from Rotorua city, it is truly an amazing place.
Hamurana Springs Reserve
The reserve is made of Hamurana Stream, the Redwood Grove, the Dancing Sands Spring, the main spring Te Puna-a-Hangarua, and a great variety of wildlife. The water for the stream and springs comes from the Mamaku Plateau, and takes an incredible 70 years to make its way through the underground aquifers and resurface at the spring, rising through 15 metres of rock. The stream then flows into Lake Rotorua, and then into Lake Rotoiti through the Ohau Channel.
You can explore the area by foot on a scenic loop track through a redwood and native forest grove, and connect with nature. This journey that takes about 45 minutes both ways is suitable for all fitness levels and ages. An alternative is to explore the area on a stand-up paddle board along the Hamurana Stream.
The waters here are a sanctuary for wildlife, and are home to many bird species such as the endangered dabchick, scaup, black teal, geese, herons, and ducks. The springs also have the role of supplying the Hamuranā and Ngongotaha areas with freshwater. The crystal-clear water has shades of jade, emerald and turquoise, inviting you to dive right in. Hamurana Springs is also one of the most popular picnic spots in Rotorua, due to its many shady spots under its trees.
The Redwood Grove
Hamurana Stream flows through the Redwood grove, a wonderful experience that is sure to bring inner peace. The redwoods that tower overhead are native to North America, and were actually brought to Rotorua and planted in 1919. Redwoods can live for very long, as the oldest living one is 2200 years old. Also, they can get up to 100m (or 328 feet) in height, even though the tallest one here is 55 metres (180 feet) high, and has a girth of 2 metres.
Hangarua Spring and Dancing Sands Spring
The main spring, Hangarua Spring, is North Island’s largest head spring. Its name is Te Puna-a-Hangarua (The Fountain-at-Hangarua), after a tribal chieftainess called Hangarua. The sides of the spring are rhyolitic, and have ledges with many nooks and crannies. Many people throw coins into the spring, and in 1957, divers from Wellington recovered more than 5,000 pennies from the spring, which were then donated to local children’s charities.
Hangarua Spring is located at an elevation of 290 metres (or 920 feet) above sea level, and has a maximum depth of 15 metres (50 feet). The water temperature is constant, 10ºC (or 51ºF). The amount of water that comes out of the spring daily can fill 2 olympic-sized swimming pools.
If you continue the walk, you will get to the Dancing Sands Spring. This spring is very shallow, only about 10-30 cm deep, and features black and white sand dancing bubbles that are created as the spring water bubbles up, and sparkle when they are caught by light.
The Hamurana stream is popular among fishermen, who come here for trout fishing. The shallow water here can also be a good spot where children can swim.
Access to Hamurana Springs was free until 2017, when it became a paid attraction. So please bear this in mind before going to the reserve.