Hot pools & health spas

There's no better way to click into holiday mode than to soak in a naturally-heated thermal pool or indulge in a relaxing therapeutic treatment.

New Zealand is located where two tectonic plates of the earth’s crust meet. This causes a large amount of geothermal activity, allowing warm water to bubble up through the earth’s crust to form hot pools. These pools often contain minerals dissolved from the rocks they seeped through.

For centuries locals have enjoyed these hot pools, with some believing that sitting in mineral water helps with medical problems. Others simply enjoy the luxurious feeling of naturally-heated water helping to relax weary bodies.

The country's natural hot pools include picturesque springs in forests only accessible by walking tracks and isolated roads. These pools are truly magical – here, you can enjoy a soak amongst lush native bush serenaded by birdsong. A favourite amongst the locals, these types of hot pools are part of New Zealand’s many natural gems and include places like Kerosene Creek in Rotorua and Hot Water Beach in The Coromandel

If you’re after something a little more modern, thermal pool complexes can be found in both the North and South Island. Examples include Waiwera just north of Auckland, Rotorua and Wairakei Terraces and Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs in Taupo in the central North Island, and Hanmer Springs in the South Island.

If you'd like the unique experience of bathing in heated glacial waters, head to Tekapo Springs. Or soak in fresh mountain water and glorious alpine views at the outdoor Omarma Hot Tubs in Omarama, just 90 minutes from Aoraki/Mount Cook.

New Zealand’s larger cities offer luxurious day spas that make an ideal addition to your holiday. There are also quiet retreats in the countryside or deep in the forest that combine relaxing therapies with picturesque landscapes. In a day or two you’ll feel and look like a new person.

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