Any time of year is great for a bit of pampering, but there’s something about the colder months that seems to tempt us even more to indulge in a bit of extra self-care.
The mineral-rich waters and mud created by the geothermal forces and volcanic soil in Rotorua present benefits that visitors and locals alike have been enjoying since the 1800s. So, if you’re in the mood to improve your state of mind, soothe the kinks caused by stress or injury, or feel the tension slip away with a steamy facial, there’s a huge variety of options available for you to try.
For more than 75 years, QE Health has been looking after the health of their clients and visitors through various soothing and healing therapies. A full range of massage therapies are available, including the popular Aix relaxing massage (pictured above) which uses oils and warm, gently pressurised alkaline water from the Whangapipiro acquifer.
At QE Health, you can also enjoy a facial, relax in a geothermal hot pool or mud bath, detoxify and reinvigorate with a mud wrap, and much more.
Polynesian Spa has been an icon of the Rotorua tourism industry since it was established in 1972. This award-winning natural hot mineral bathing and spa treatment facility was built on the site of historic bath houses for which the city first became world-famous in the 1800s.
Located along the shores of Lake Rotorua, hot pool bathers enjoy enviable views while soaking their troubles away. The geothermal hot mineral waters are sourced from two natural springs and feed into 28 hot mineral pools. The slightly acidic Priest Spring waters relieve tired muscles, aches and pains, while the alkaline waters of the Rachel Spring nourish the skin.
To make the most of your visit, book in for a mud therapy, massage, body polish, facial or more. Better yet, treat yourself to a package that combines a number of therapies. At Polynesian Spa, you won’t be rushed in and out – you’re encouraged to start with a relaxing hot pool soak to prepare your skin and mind for your treatment.
Three types of therapeutic thermal mud are found at Hell’s Gate, each with its own healing properties. This is the only place in New Zealand where you can soak in a relaxing outdoor mud bath (pictured at top). Afterwards, you’re encouraged to rinse off, then unwind in a sulphur spa overlooking the spectacular geothermal landscape, before cooling off in a beautiful spring-fed waterfall.
Both Polynesian Spa and Hell’s Gate have a cold plunge pool. Following your hot soak with a dip in cold water, if you dare, is reported to have health benefits.
Therapeutic massageWith such a strong health and wellness industry, we could write a book on all the excellent studios in Rotorua that focus on more traditional massage therapies. Instead, here are just a few to start with.
Massage Eden is one of the city’s newest spas and is located in the 5-star Pullman Rotorua hotel. Walk-ins are welcome and their massages range from 60 minutes to a two-hour Pampering Package. Bring your favourite person for a 60-minute couples massage, or enjoy a 30-minute infrared sauna.
For those who love a deep-tissue massage combined with passive stretching and joint manipulation, you can’t go past two local favourites, Bai Mint and The Studio. Both of these Thai massage studios are known for their ability to melt away those stubbornly tight muscles and knots, smooth away your tension, and leave you feeling like a new person.