The perfect way to enjoy Te Aroha is to launch yourself on a hiking trail up the mountain, then recover with a long soak in a hot mineral pool.

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The Edwardian spa town of Te Aroha sits at the base of Mount Te Aroha, which is the tallest peak in the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park. A heritage trail will guide you around Te Aroha’s many historic buildings and monuments, dating back to the early 1880s. You’ll also want to explore the domain, which includes various hot pools for bathing with luxurious spa tretment available and the world’s only hot soda water geyser.

Other attractions include the Cadman House Museum (New Zealand's first sanatorium) and the oldest pipe organ in the southern hemisphere. Hiking tracks up Mount Te Aroha begin in the domain and there is a wetland reserve in the southern part of town.

Functional facts: Approx. population 3800, i-SITE Visitor Centre, good range of shops, accommodation and services.