This blog post started life as a very different post. It was a celebration of returning to Waiwera Hot Pools with my kids – a spot that I used to love as a kid. But since we originally blogged about it it’s fallen into disrepair and is now derelict – it’s doors barred. It’s only visitors now sneaking through the fences as we once did as teenagers, but now instead of swimming they are taking pictures of the graffiti on the walls, the green ankle deep water and the dismantled slides.
We had suggestions we should take this post down, but Getting Lost isn’t a directory of places to go. It’s a collection of memories, experiences. Some are fleeting and won’t be there forever but they are part of our story so this stays, but with the new introduction. Hopefully at some point it will be updated with a prologue with a new Waiwera Hot Pools but for now it remains a window into what once was at the foot of a hill just outside of Auckland. If you want a window into Waiwera as it was in 2017 read on…
The hot pools at Waiwera have always had a special spot in my heart. From hanging out there as teenagers, to first dates, to first birthday parties to now. Over the past 20 years not much had changed about Waiwera Hot Pools (except it was now called Waiwera Thermal Resort) and that’s exactly it’s charm.
As I was watching my kids go race up the old wooden tower and down the same slides I had gone down years ago I was wondering why it was that the hot pools hadn’t changed much. And the conclusion I came to is they didn’t need to. They were perfect the way they were.
There was the not too hot pool with the elephants at the end – perfect for back flips and for seeing how long you could hold your breath in.
The really hot pool that you weren’t allowed in as a kid (it’s called the lava pool). I actually forgot that one was there, so today James and I went in it without our kids. The kids pool thats really too cold for the end of April but is perfect for chasing your sisters through anyway.
The movie pool that you can never hear the movie in anyway but is just the right temperature and has great little rocks that you can nestle in and watch the world go by.
The really fast slide that always gives you a wedgy and the twisty, turny one that you need to know exactly when to take a breath so you don’t accidentally gulp down a big mouthful of water.
The scratchy feel of the concrete as you pull yourself out of the pool or race around the lazy river. And when your skins all wrinkled and your finally ready to get out – there’s the hot chips and ice-cream waiting for you still. And the stunning views down at Waiwera Beach – they’re still there too (and apparently now have hot water coming out of them from the overflow from the pools – we will investigate!).
If you want to see pictures of Waiwera Hot Pools as it is now follow this link to this NZ Herald article. Me, I prefer it just as it was and hope one day to see it rise up again.