DeBretts adds feel good as GoSeeNewZealand gets into Taupo hot water

April 03, 2007
DeBretts adds feel good as GoSeeNewZealand gets into Taupo hot water

You know you are in seriously hot water when people around you make relaxed sighs like AAAAH! And OH THAT'S GOOD!

Taupo Hot Springs Spa has that effect. The natural thermal springs next to DeBretts Thermal Resort off the Napier Highway at diverse Taupo pulled us from our motorhome like a magnet.

Peak season supply and demand pressures had left us with a battered Mitsubishi Canter-based hire motorhome as our touring chariot.

The Canter is definitely a truck and after days of rock hard riding on the road between Auckland, via Raglan and Cambridge we Three Amigos lobbed at DeBretts.

To cut to the chase we felt (and probably looked) like the oldest backpackers New Zealand had seen. But we did not frighten the DeBretts staff too much and they took us in anyway.

Good news comes by word of mouth among travellers and DeBretts sounded like good news when we got the word days before when stopped overnight at Miranda.

So when the jolting, Cantering diesel stopped on a spacious, level, hedge-lined site at DeBretts we started towards white feathers of steam rising from the springs determined to get into hot water. Result - AAAAH! Muscles melt down and aches disappear from battered body parts.

There are indoor an outdoor pools and spa. This is a natural warm water high which fits everyone regardless of age or physical abilities.

There is a cascading enclosure with bubbling pipes pouring a fire-hose deluge over capering children. The view from the top of the towering Dragon waterslide is like looking into a social statement, families, couples, singles, young, older, soak up the hot springs feel-good.

Art from local Maori gives  private pools a special touch
Art from local Maori gives private pools a special touch

The private spa section has Maori carvings, spouting relaxation. They are the real deal according to our DeBretts host Tim Kelly and at night as floodlights catch their highlights it does not take any imagination to take his point.

Managing the hot springs is a full-on operation. The initial thermal blast is far too hot for human hides so its cooled to temperatures which start at about 27deg. Move around the pools and its temperature changes to taste up to levels which require a certain Asian disciple to endure with pleasure as they spout and cascade hotter water.

The complex is immaculate and each night the pools are drained and refilled. Staff like Judy and Merv in easily spotted red and gold gear keep an eye on everything.

Hot water equals relaxation Taupo
Hot water equals relaxation Taupo

They are a mine of info on hot pools and New Zealand. Merv started 13 years ago. His wife Judy counts nine years around hot water.

If the mood moves you massage and body treatments are on the can do list.

Much later when we returned to our 'backpackers' motorhome we spent time with Tim Kelly getting to know DeBretts Thermal Resort.

New Zealand sets the pace in Australasia with its camp cooking and lounge area facilities and DeBretts Camp Kitchen shines like a chef's pride withscrubbed benches and plenty of space.

One look and any ideas of cooking in the confines of our plodding Canter were dropped. There is also TV lounge, email and internet facilities, kids play area, laundry, and a barbecue area in polished style.

Judy and Merv keep the thermal pools bubbling
Judy and Merv keep the thermal pools bubbling

The barbecue got the nod from our own Lord of the Tongs, which really says something.

We found our way to the cafe andenjoyed excellent coffee and generous cooked breakfasts next morning. The cafe runs to log fires in winter and the view of Lake Taupo with Mts Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe spiking the skyline makes a great start to the day.

There is a licensed restuarant and bar at the adjacent historial hotel.

DeBretts is on the move with motel units and their development as a self-catering alternative for people on the move.

They are self-contained and well presented with modernfit-out and a light, clean touch in the design. Parking is at the door.

The camp lounge DeBretts Taupo
The camp lounge DeBretts Taupo

The accommodation range is extensive - standard and self-contained cabins, tent, caravan and campervan sites. Plus leisure lodges which sleep up to 12.

There is room for bigger motorhomes too and we made envious comparisons with Champagne Lady a regal Fuso from the Motor Caravan Association just a few shady sites away from us.

We found good shopping in the Taupo CBD which is minutes down the Napier Hwy and at Tim Kelly's suggestion sailed Lake Taupo on the Barbary an experience which can be read about in the feature on Errol Flynn on this web site.

Huka Falls rates as one of New Zealand's few free attractions and it is a must do so we went. So many attractions so little time. But when it is time to stop we have to say DeBretts Thermal Resort is a good place to get into hot water.

Tim Kelly shows new  motel units
Tim Kelly shows new motel units
Green is all go Taupo Dragon water slide
Green is all go Taupo Dragon water slide
Kids  love hot water Taupo
Kids love hot water
Taupo
Thermal pools from the top of Dragon  water slide Taupo
Thermal pools from the top of Dragon water slide Taupo
Private Thermal pool Taupo  Hot Springs
Private Thermal pool Taupo Hot Springs
Second  bedroom DeBretts motel unit Taupo
Second bedroom DeBretts motel unit Taupo
Park at the door DeBretts motel units Taupo
Park at the door DeBretts motel units Taupo
The Big Top campsite DeBretts Taupo
The Big Top campsite DeBretts Taupo
Over the top Huka Falls
Over the top Huka Falls
Taupo
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