Friday, 4 October 2019

Mount Maunganui Hot Pools

Mount Maunganui. The warm salt water baths which are so popular with both visitors and local residents alike
Undated postcard. Photograph by Carl Perham. Printed by Batley Offset Printers. Published by Dow Productions, No. 116
Collection of Justine Neal
Through the 1960s Mt. Maunganui’s hot salt water pools at the base of Mauao were believed to be unique in the Southern Hemisphere as they were said to be the only natural hot salt water pool in existence. Their history goes back to the 1950s when Mt. Maunganui township began to grow and the need for fresh water supplies became urgent.

A water diviner, Mr. Claris, persuaded the council he would be able to find sufficient water for the town supply. Instead he found hot salt water. For some years nothing was done about the discovery. Requests for commercial operators to develop the resource attracted little attention. Eventually, during the 1960’s, the council decided to go ahead with the swimming pool development themselves.

Mount Maunganui Domain Natural Hot Salt Water Pool
Postcard published by Logan Print, 150. Postmarked August 1973
Collection of Justine Neal
The pool was sited mid-way between the harbour and ocean beaches in Adams Avenue. It opened on January 2, 1966, and approximately 8,000 gallons of water are pumped through the pool every hour.
  • The 1973 statistics for the pool were: Length 50’, width 20’, average depth 4’, depth of bore 350’, 4” diameter deep well pump positioned at 130’, borehead temperature 112 degrees, average bathing temperature 103 degrees.
  • A 1989 report states that the temperature of the water at the surface is 42 degrees C but it is cooled to 38 degrees for the main pool and 40 – 42 degrees in the private pools.
  • In 1989 a tender was accepted from Miden Construction for a $1.8 million upgrade of the complex which would see a larger main pool, children’s pool and soak pools. The total upgrade was to include the changing sheds and the redesign of the exterior, to bring the complex more in line with modern architecture.
Since the printing of these postcards the pools have gone through several upgrades and after 53 years are still bringing enjoyment to locals and tourists alike (Mount Hot Pools web site).

References

A History of Mont Maunganui, by Bruce Cunningham and Ken Musgrave

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