Once confined to historic spa towns, wellness travel now encompasses food, fitness, mindfulness, and more. Here’s where to find the best hot pools and wellness retreats in Canterbury.

Where to take the waters

Whether it’s in a luxury spa or a tub beneath the stars, a dip in natural hot springs promises to be relaxing, if not medicinal. 

Christchurch - Canterbury
He Puna Taimoana Hot Pools, Christchurch - Canterbury

He Puna Taimoana hot pools, Ōtautahi Christchurch

The restorative powers of warm saltwater – particularly for circulation and joint pain – should not be underestimated. Combine this with seaside views, and you have the perfect combination for treating body and soul. He Puna Taimoana hot pools, a new beach-front complex in Christchurch has six outdoor saltwater pools, ranging from 26 to 40 degrees, plus a cold plunge pool. What’s more, this resort-style complex is very reasonably priced and uses geothermal heat, so its impact on the environment is minimal.  

Tekapo Springs, Mackenzie District

For Aotearoa New Zealand’s only hot pool and guided stargazing experience, visit Tekapo Springs. Stargazing is best on winter evenings when the air is coolest, so this is probably the warmest way to do it! Plus, the springs are located within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, which means the views of the night sky are among the world’s best.  

Hot Tubs Ōmarama, Mackenzie District 

At Hot Tubs Ōmarama(opens in new window) you can have a private hot tub on the shores of Lake Aviemore. Note, private is the operative word here: the tubs are in the best secluded spots, so you’ll need the map they give you or you may never find your tub.  

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa 

“Options” isn’t usually the first word that comes to mind when you think of hot springs. But for Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa it applies more than most. It has 22 pools on offer, ranging from 32°C to 42°C, with dedicated adults-only and child-friendly pools. Plus, a luxury day spa. But, perhaps most importantly, it has what all good resorts have: easy access to plenty of sights and attractions. So, you can hit the ski fields, wineries, walking tracks, or Kaikōura coastline, then unwind in the pool of your choice.  

Hide away from it all

Christchurch - Canterbury
Admire the dark sky at Hapuku Lodge Tree House , Christchurch - Canterbury

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses 

If you’re like most people, your experience of tree houses is limited to daytime visits and childhood. With Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses, just north of Kaikōura, you can stay the night in a treehouse and enjoy all the conveniences of a luxury hotel. But what won’t have changed is the adult on hand to tell you to come down if your time is up.

Annandale, Banks Peninsula 

Sometimes stunning scenery is even more beautiful when you don’t have to share it. Annadale Farm has four luxury villas available on its remote 4,000-acre coastal property. Choose between the historic homestead, shepherd’s cottage, and two contemporary lodges – all with stunning farm or coastal views. 

Flockhill Lodge, Arthur’s Pass  

In the windswept Craigieburn Valley in the Southern Alps, flanked by ski fields, and nestled under limestone rocks is Flockhill Lodge. This luxury lodge is a contemporary four-bedroom homestead overlooking Lake Pearson and situated within Flock Hill Station, a 36,000-acre sheep farm. It is also next door to the spectacular Arthur’s Park National Park – but then, here, distance is relative: it’s at least a 30-minute drive. 

YHA Hostel, Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park 

If you’re looking the ultimate bolthole but you’re on a budget, look no further. Located in Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, this YHA Hostel(opens in new window) is certainly one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s cosiest hostels. It is also a contender for the hostel with the best scenery – but this is a contentious topic, and one you might just have to call for yourself! 

Get back to basics

Today’s wellness trends embrace the simple life, but they are anything but boring. Here’s where to find Ōtautahi Christchurch’s coolest wellness experiences.  

Christchurch - Canterbury
The Welder , Christchurch - Canterbury

The Welder  

Six heritage buildings in a former industrial area of Christchurch have been restored and repurposed into a health and wellbeing complex called The Welder(opens in new window). Among those who have set up shop here are a cold-pressed juicery, bakery, yoga studio, Kombucha cocktail bar, and yakatori restaurant.  

O-Studio, Ōtautahi Christchurch 

Navigating the complex, and sometimes contradictory, topics of health and fitness can be stressful, making the process somewhat at odds with the pursuit of wellness. Enter O-Studio(opens in new window). They’ve got you covered with a full suite of health and mindfulness services, including flotation therapy, yoga, meditation, sauna, ice bath, massage, and recovery services. Two guesses as to where you should spend the time you’ve saved on research. 

Find the best day spas

For those who seek the fountain of youth, but only if it includes a wellness component and is environmentally sustainable – here’s where to find it in Canterbury.  

Christchurch - Canterbury
Moss Spa Christchurch Facial Treatment, Christchurch - Canterbury

Moss Spa, Ōtautahi Christchurch 

A bit of pampering is an essential part of any wellness routine. Moss Spa at the Sudima Hotel in Christchurch offers everything a luxury spa should – from nails and facials to brows and massage. But it also offers signature treatments that are unique to this part of the world, such as their facials with Manuka honey and Kakadu Plum.  

Beauty at the Tannery, Ōtautahi Christchurch 

Spend a day being pampered at Christchurch's coolest boutique spa, Beauty at the Tannery(opens in new window). Choose from an extensive range of therapeutic massage and spa packages - and should you wish, finish the day with some retail therapy. Beauty at the Tannery, as the name suggests, is located at the upmarket Victorian-style arcade, The Tannery.   


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