A Spa Vacation in New Zealand
Compiled by Mansi Sharma
From getting dirty in mineral rich mud to melting the stress away with therapeutic green-stone—here are somethings you ought to try!
When dirty is good: Rotorua's Polynesian Spa
Marvel at the beauty of bubbling mud pools or dip right into the mud and treat your skin. Ro-torua's geothermal mud is rich in minerals like sulphur, calcium, sodium and silicon and re-leases antioxidants when applied to the skin. It is a relaxing package for your tired skin. Try the Signature Mud Wrap, which begins with an exfoliating scrub and includes a full-body mud mask and scalp massage. Afterwards, head to the spa's hot mineral baths and soak up the views across Lake Rotorua.
Travel Tip:The Polynesian Spa is lakeside in Rotorua, it's a three-hour drive from Auck-land, and one hour from Taupo on the Thermal Explorer Highway. There are daily flights to Rotorua from all three of New Zealand's main centres.
Hot stone massage at Sofitel Queenstown's Spa
Hot stone massage is popular everywhere, but in New Zealand therapeutic greenstone is the rock of choice. Also known as 'Pounamu', greenstone is nephrite jade from the South Island. Greenstone is also believed to have harmonising and healing properties. At the Sofitel Queenstown's So Spa, try a soothing massage with warm greenstones to melt away tension. Afterwards, enjoy the infrared sauna, steam room or relaxation room of this award-winning spa.
Travel Tip: One of New Zealand's most picturesque destinations, Queenstown is less than a two-hour flight from Auckland and under an hour from Christchurch. Under the South-ern Alps and beside Lake Wakitipu, it's New Zealand's "adventure capital" thanks to a wealth of outdoor activities – from heli-skiing and hiking to jet boating and bungy jumping.
Dip in Manuka at Amaia Luxury Spa
New Zealand's Manuka honey is world renowned for its healing antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and is an extremely popular ingredient in anti-ageing skincare. At Amaia Luxury Spa, part of the eco-friendly Te Waonui Forest Retreat at Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island's West Coast, you can experience a luxurious manuka honey fa-cial to rejuvenate your skin or enjoy a relaxing neck, shoulder and scalp massage while the rich honey mask nourishes your skin. The wonder ingredient is even present in the lip balm and moisturiser that finishes off the facial. Take the experience home by trying a local manu-ka honey skincare range such as Manuka Doctor.
Travel Tip: Amaia Luxury Spa at Franz Josef Glacier is in the heart of the West Coast's Te Wahipounamu, a Unesco World Heritage Area renowned for its mountains, glaciers, rivers and lakes. It's a two-hour drive from Hokitika airport or take the scenic route on the famed TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Franz Josef.
Go organic at Tekapo Springs Glacial Spa
Nourish your skin with the purest New Zealand botanical ingredients at Tekapo Springs Gla-cial Spa. The spa aestheticians here are devotees of Moana Organic Skincare, a premium local skincare brand that uses a host of native New Zealand ingredients. Enjoy a facial based around the reviving properties of red seaweed, which is rich in anti-oxidants, peptides, vita-mins and minerals, along with the soothing and anti-ageing benefits of kowhai, harakeke (flax), kawakawa oil, manuka honey and mamaku black fern extract. The spa is part of the Tekapo Springs complex, which also offers star-gazing, ice skating, hot pools and snow tub-ing.
Travel Tip: About three hours' drive from either Christchurch or Queenstown, Tekapo is part of the Aoraki-Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, thanks to its spectacular stars. Located in the central South Island's Mackenzie Country, Tekapo is a must-see stop on State Highway 3, one of New Zealand's most popular scenic drives.
Maori massage at Treetops Lodge
The Māori revere massage as a sacred taonga (treasure), and you will find authentic Māori healers dedicated to this art at Treetops Lodge & Estate deep in the forests of Rotorua. This award-winning luxury lodge opens its wilderness spa to guests and day visitors, and specia-lises in indigenous wellness therapies. For a holistic experience, the Mirimiri massage begins with an ancient Māori prayer and inspires deep relaxation as well as the union of mauri (life essence) and wairua (spirit). For a firmer, more invigorating treatment, Romiromi is a deep-tissue massage that stimulates pressure points and relieves tense muscles.
Travel Tips: Treetops Lodge & Estate is surrounded by 1000 hectares of 800-year-old na-tive forest in Rotorua. A three-hour drive south of Auckland, Rotorua is one of New Zeal-and's key cultural attractions. Visit a marae [meeting place], see geothermal geysers, get close to a kiwi and explore beautiful forests and lakes.