Underneath New Zealand’s pastoral landscape lies two tectonic plates of the earth’s crust. Whenever these two come into contact with one another, the resulting geothermal activity leads to warm water bubbling up through the crust, thus forming quite a few natural hot springs.
Thanks to the rocks that the water has to pass through, these hot pools are rich in all sorts of minerals and have led to many Kiwi’s swearing by the medical benefits of soaking in them. And some, of course, simply enjoy the simple pleasure of a nice, hot bath.
Regardless of whether you’re up for a full day’s worth of pampering or are simply in need of soothing warm waters for weary limbs (probably after a day’s hike at one of New Zealand’s natural attractions), the following day spas are worth checking out:
1. The Spa at Millbrook.
Located in Queenstown’s renowned luxury resort, The Spa is consistently hailed as one of the world’s most luxurious in its category. Last year, it was the only Australasian institution to make it to the global Top Ten Hotel Spas list.
Situated amidst the breathtaking mountains and lakes in the region, The Spa offers a wide range of luxurious and cutting-edge treatments for men and women alike.
The best part is, should you somehow be able to try all of their spa packages, the Millbrook Resort is also home to other attractions you can happily explore, such as four restaurants, a 27-hole golf course, and a health and fitness centre.
2. Onsen Hot Pools at Queenstown.
In Japan, onsen resorts are where people go to soak in natural hot springs amidst views of the pristine countryside. This Queenstown day spa replicates that experience by providing its guests with private plunge pools filled with pure spring water against a backdrop of fresh mountain air and lots of unspoiled scenery.
Open from 11 am to 10 pm daily, Queenstown’s Onsen Hot Pools is great for submerging one’s body in the deep penetrating warmth of the natural springs after a long day’s sightseeing.
3. Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa.
Not only is this the only thermal spa located outside Europe, but it is also one of New Zealand’s oldest spas. From its humble origins as a hot pool for the local Maori tribe, it has now expanded to over 26 hot mineral spring pools, all of which promise a full-body soak in warm, relaxed bliss.
The NZ$4.5 million facelift it recently underwent doesn’t hurt either, with the new facilities tastefully heralding a unique relaxation experience.
4. Tekapo Springs Day Spa.
Located at the base of Mt. John and near Lake Tekapo, the Tekapo Springs Resorts hosts a bevy of delights that range from a skating rink and tube park in the winter to three-tiered hot pools landscaped in local greywacke rock.
The latter are the spa’s main draw, with each pool having benched seating to allow bathers to soak in the varying temperatures (ranging from 40 degrees to 36 degrees Celsius) more comfortably.
5. Chuan Spa in Auckland.
The Langham hotel chain has long been a hallmark for stylish luxury, and the Auckland branch is no exception.
The hotel’s spa takes its name from the Chinese word for “a serene course of water,” and hydrotherapy is at the core of its luxurious treatments. From circular “snail” showers to ice fountains, all 30 of the Chuan Spa’s traditional Chinese relaxation rituals make it the chicest urban spa in the area.
6. Queensland’s Matakauri Lodge and Spa.
About a ten-minute drive away from Queenstown, this Lake Wakatipu property recently reopened after extensive renovations and now features a classic, contemporary style that mirrors the sublime beauty of the alpine panorama surrounding it.
After a couple hours spent soaking in the hot spring pools on the grounds, you can choose to indulge in restful slumber in any of this five-star resort’s 11 spacious suites.
7. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa.
The Spa at Hanmer Springs is right smack in the heart of geothermal country and is arguably NZ’s most popular alpine spa with its many thermal rock and sulphur pools.
Its wide range of therapeutic beauty treatments are what sets it apart from the other spas in the area. Especially popular are the chocolate treatments, such as the chocolate regenerative care facial and the hot cocoa relaxing body treatment.
8. Christchurch’s Champs-Elysees Beauty Day Spa.
When a spa shares a name with the world-famous luxury shopping arcade in Paris, you can bet that great things are in store for its customers.
Set in beautiful, tranquil Merivale, this day spa’s pamper packages are comprised of decadent facials and specialty massages all designed to restore one’s body and mind to tiptop wellness.
9. Franz Josef Glacier’s Amaia Luxury Spa.
The Franz Josef Glacier township is characterized by its lovely nature bush and stunning mountain views, with the Amaia Luxury Spa offering different kinds of skin and body therapies to restore and balance your skin’s needs.
The Lomi-Lomi massage therapies on offer are also worth availing of should you need to smooth away tension from the body.
10. Rotorua’s Hells Gate Geothermal Park and Mud Spa.
Don’t let its name fool you. This spectacular geothermal reserve and mud spa complex offers all sorts of facials and massages that are nothing short of heavenly, especially when coupled with a dip in one of their many hot spring pools.
The Kiwi’s like to say “Kia Ora,” by way of greeting. Apparently, it’s Maori for “Be well, be healthy.” With so many award-winning spas set amidst the world’s most beautiful scenery, they certainly are serious about living up to that expression.