A group advocating for geothermal technology says any spa-style tourism on the West Coast would need a big marketing campaign to pull in punters.
Scientists drilling under the Southern Alps to investigate the Alpine Fault near Franz Josef Glacier found warm water a little way down - and temperatures as high as 110°C at the bottom of the hole.
GNS Science project co-leader Rupert Sutherland said earlier that the water could be used to generate electricity.
But Geothermal Association executive officer Brian White said the underground heat in the central North Island - where the country's geothermal electricity generation is located - is much higher, at about 300°C.
However, Mr White said the finding could benefit tourism in Westland.
"If you imagine Hanmer Springs, Maruia Springs, bringing half a million tourists to an area - maybe something similar can happen with that sort of resource.
"Geothermal started as a tourism venture over 100 years ago. This is a return to our roots, really."
He said the project would take a lot of vision to get up and running - and that location could be an issue.
"It's below Hokitika on the West Coast and slightly inland so you've got to do quite a bit of marketing to make it attractive. You're selling the idea of warmth, bathing, that sort of thing, but the benefits are linked into it."