Rotorua Bath House – A Brief History

The Rotorua Bath House is a category one heritage building, and one of the most photographed buildings in the country.

  • 1880 Land gifted by Ngāti Whakaue for the benefit of the people of the world
  • 1882 Work commenced to create Government Gardens
  • 1902 Arthur Wohlmann engaged as Government Balneologist
  • 1908 Rotorua Bath House ‘the great south seas spa’ is officially opened on 13 August
  • 1912 First south wing extension is opened 1940 60,000-80,000 baths given each year plus 25,000 massages and physical therapies
  • Late 1940s Bath House falls into a desperate state of disrepair
  • 1964 Lease granted for Tudor Towers restaurant
  • 1966 Bath House is vacated due to its run down condition
  • 1969 Rotorua Museum opened in the south wing
  • 1977 Rotorua City Art Gallery opened in north wing 1983 Second south wing extension is opened
  • 1985 NZHPT listed the Bath House as an Historic Place
  • 1990 Tudor Towers night club closed
  • 2006 Centennial project stage 1 viewing platform opened
  • 2008 Centennial project stage 2 north wing extension opened
  • 2011 Centennial project stage 3 south wing extension opened and Bath House finally completed to Arthur Wohlmann’s original vision
  • 2016 Rotorua Museum closed for Bath House strengthening, restoration and redevelopment

More about the Rotorua Bath House