Construction has begun on the redevelopment of Taupo’s popular Otumuheke Hot Stream at Spa Park.
With rising visitor numbers at the site there has been significant erosion, safety, and rubbish problems. The natural hot springs flow into the Waikato River and are of cultural importance to local iwi as an historic bathing and meeting place. A rare species of native fern also grows alongside the stream.
Redevelopment plans include a new toilet block, changing rooms, walking tracks and a bridge. The cultural and environmental significance of the site will be displayed on storyboards placed along the walking track.
The project plan has been created in collaboration with key partners, including the Patuiwi Reserve Trust, Taupo District Council and the Department of Conservation. Taupo Police and Waikato Regional Council have also been involved.
Construction in Spa park will continue until July, and the site will be completely closed at times. Signage will guide visitors to the areas of the site that are safe for use.