From the 1880s, thermal areas, particularly those at Te Aroha, Rotorua and Hanmer Springs, were promoted as health spas, where people could soak in and drink the waters to ease conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. The spas were also developed as holiday resorts, with a range of recreational facilities including, of course, swimming baths. This 1932 Railways poster depicts both health and recreation options in Rotorua. By this time the Blue and Ward swimming baths had opened and were very popular with daytrippers and holidaymakers.
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