Treat Yourself at New Zealand’s Thermal Hot Springs
New Zealand’s map is dotted with thermal hot springs and reserves, like little pockets of magic for the body and soul. They’re the perfect remedy for warming winter–chilled bones, soothing sore muscles, or just because you deserve it! Here’s a look at three of the most amazing hot springs you’ll find in NZ.
Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve
Hanmer Springs is Canterbury’s only alpine resort, an award–winning gem nestled in the lower reaches of the Southern Alps. It’s less than two hours’ drive from Christchurch, so self–drivers and coach tourers alike will want to slot this one into the schedule. Hanmer Springs is home to thick forests, grand mountain backdrops and of course, the best thermal hot springs in the South Island. Hanmer boasts a mix of thermal mineral, sulphur and freshwater pools, each with their own unique characteristics. The town is suitably quaint and easy to explore, with a great golf course and some brilliant outdoor activities to boot (quad biking through the forest and horse treks to name a couple).
Hell’s Gate Thermal Reserve
Situated just outside the heart of Rotorua, Hell’s Gate mantra is all about cleansing the body and mind. The nutrient–rich waters and mud flowing through Tikitere (Hell’s Gate’s Māori name) attract a ton of visitors each year looking to soak in their soothing qualities. Don’t be fooled by the name, most visitors to Hell’s Gate come out feeling thoroughly relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for anything. The waters in Tikitere are said to relax the body’s muscles and joints, while the mud pools work their exfoliating magic on your skin. Outside of the thermal pools, there’s extensive native bushland to explore, full of rare species of native tress thanks to the sulphur–rich soils of Hell’s Gate. The iconic silver fern (you may recognise it from the All Blacks rugby logo) can be found here, along with many unique species of moss. Foodies can also try food cooked in the geothermal pools or hāngi (where the food is buried underground to slow–cook).
Franz Josef Hot Pools
If we had to pick NZ’s most unique region, the West Coast of the South Island would be on the shortlist. Rugged, remote and stunningly beautiful, it’s filled with the frontier spirit of old, and endless nature to explore. At the heart of it is Franz Josef, most famous for its huge namesake glacier which wows thousands of visitors each year. And when you’re visiting an icy–cold glacier, we can’t think of a better way to warm the body than with a soak in the hot pools, conveniently located in the centre of town. The pools weave between the natural rainforest surrounding the town; and there’s a choice of public pools (great for families with kids), or private pools perfect for that romantic getaway. With full spa and massage facilities also on–site, it may be tempting to stay in the warmth of the pools rather than venture up the glacier…
Enquire today to learn more about New Zealand’s famous thermal Hot Springs.