Where
myth
and
legend
live on.

 
At every twist and turn you’ll find native bush met with geothermal landscapes, a gift from Rūaumoko - God of volcanic activity.

As you walk through native bush and clouds of geothermic steam, you’ll discover why this land has inspired myths and legends. Once used by Māori warriors to heal their battle-scarred bodies, visitors now use the nutrient-rich waters and mud to ease inflammation and arthritis, as well as rejuvenate the skin. This unique blend of awe-inspiring power and natural healing properties is a thing of cultural legend - having been used for over 800 years.

Come along and you’ll soon discover why Hell’s Gate is New Zealand’s most unique and active geothermal reserve and mud spa.

History

 
Hell's Gate Ruaumoko

A legend too powerful
to remain under the
earth’s surface.

The bubbling geothermal activity you see is only a small sign of the power existing below. Rūaumoko is the God of earthquakes, volcanoes and seasons. As the son of the sky father, Ranginui, and the earth mother, Papatūānuku, his legend begins with their separation. Rūaumoko was taken by his mother to keep her company in a world below our own. The gift bestowed on him was fire, to keep them both warm. It is said that with every movement he makes, Rūaumoko’s heat boils the earth above.

Tikitere - a name born
from a mother’s cry.

Hell’s Gate and our surrounding region are known by a name steeped in legend. Over 650 years ago a Māori princess named Hurutini lived within reach of where we are now. She was married to a Māori chief whose lack of respect and mistreatment drove her to take her own life by throwing herself in a boiling pool. When she found her daughter, Hurutini’s mother let out an anguished cry “Aue teri nei tiki”. This cry was shortened to Tikitere, the sacred name Hell’s Gate is known by today.

 
Hell's Gate Hurutini
 
Hell's Gate Steam

“This could be the
very gates of hell”

Thanks to its beauty and healing properties Tikitere has been a destination for spa and nature seekers since 1871. In 1934 noted Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, visited and cited it as inspiration to change his once atheist beliefs. In awe of the boiling mud and steam billowing into the sky, Shaw is said to have exclaimed “this could be the very gates of hell.” Upon hearing this, local Māori decided the English name for the area would become Hell’s Gate.

Book Now To see legends come to life.