Te Aroha is a rural town in the Waikato region of New Zealand with a population of 3,768 (2006 census). It is 53 km northeast of Hamilton and 50 km south of Thames. It sits at the foot of 952-metre Mount Te Aroha, the highest point in the Kaimai Range.
The name Te Aroha comes from the Māori name of Mount Te Aroha. In one version, Rāhiri, the eponymous ancestor of Ngāti Rāhiri Tumutumu, climbed the mountain and saw his homeland in the distance and felt a sense of love (aroha) for it. The name is often rendered in English as "place of love".
On 17 February 1985 Te Aroha experienced a severe flash flood that washed boulders, mud, and trees through the town. Most shops and more than 50 homes were damaged, resulting in the death of three people.
The Waihou River runs through Te Aroha. Close by to the east is the base of the Kaimai Range, and the town is overlooked by the 952-metre Mount Te Aroha. To the north of the town is the low-lying, swampy land of the Hauraki Plains. Thermal and mineral springs are both found close to the centre of the town, as is the world's only hot soda water geyser. See Attractions
Te Aroha is at the centre of a dairy farming community and much of its economic activity is in serving that community. Tourism is increasing in Te Aroha. The mineral baths are a very popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
Te Aroha is the location of the Mokena Hou Geyser, the only natural soda water geyser in the world. The geyser is located in the Te Aroha Domain, the oldest intact Edwardian domain in New Zealand.
- Waihou and Te Aroha Cobras play an annual rugby match for the Dr Dunn memorial trophy. This is one of the biggest days on the calendar of Te Aroha.
- A Day in the Domain was started in Te Aroha in 1977 by the Arts Council and continues to be a fun, affordable day out. The day attracts artists and performers from far and wide with a variety of stalls and foodies on display. Entertainment is free with competitions and games all day.
- The King and Queen of the Mountain and Bald Spur Derby have been annual events in Te Aroha since the 1950s. Held the weekend before Christmas, the challenge is to be the first man or woman up Mt Te Aroha and back down again. This has been achieved in under one hour. The Bald Spur Derby offers competitors a shorter but still challenging course.
- Te Aroha AP & H Show has been running since the 1890s. Boasting one of the most extensive home industries sections, it has full agricultural and equestrian sections and the usual country fair activities such as the gumboot throwing competition and cattle dogs.
- Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Snell
- All Blacks Don Clarke, Kevin 'Herb' Schuler, Carl Hoeft, Keith Robinson and Kevin O'Neill
- Ian S. Ardern of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was born in the town.
- Quickstats about Te Aroha
- "Case Study: Te Aroha Flood, 1985". Matamata Piako District Council. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- McSaveney, Eileen (9 July 2013). "Debris from a flash flood". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- Cumming, Geoff (6 March 2010). "Miners press to enter the green zone". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- http://www.mpdc.govt.nz/our-community/walking-a-cycling-tracks/te-aroha-walking-tracks/mokena-geyser-access.html Mokena Hou section of the MPDC website
- http://www.mpdc.govt.nz/our-facilities/te-aroha-domain.html Te Aroha Domain section of the MPDC website