Day 17 & 18 – Rotorua & A day at the spa

Any Birthdays, Christmas, spontaneous gift (if one should be so obliged), I would always ask for a spa voucher. I love nothing more than being pampered and having a massage. So when we planned our trip to New Zealand, a spa day was top on the list of things to do. We decided to hold out until we were on the North Island in the geothermal town of Rotorua. We had booked into the Polynesian Spa to experience their Mineral Pools and Therapy packages.

 Before heading to the spa we had a wander around Rotorua and came across these installations…

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Spa Time!

 We started off spending a leisurely soak in their acid/alkaline mineral pools. It is historically said that those who swam in the Rachel Spring waters will be blessed with ageless beauty as the alkaline water has a natural antiseptic action due to its sodium silica content (We spent extra long in that one to let those properties work their magic).

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Following the pools we popped on our fluffy robes and headed inside towards the therapy rooms. Since it sounded the most interesting and different option, we went for the ‘Body Polish & Aix Spa Massage Combo’ package. We were fetched by our individual, swimming costume wearing therapists, and taken to our room. Once settled and towelled up, the therapist began with the Rotorua mud scrub of which we had a full body scrub/massage. Once mudded up, the shower/waterfall came on and washed off the mud. It’s a novel feeling to lie down in the shower, a bit like a bath, but not. All very confusing but great all the same. Once I was all de-mudded, I got a full body coconut oil massage which was amazing and made me feel so relaxed. I came out with skin feeling buffed and silky soft, and a little light headed from all the steam. Nothing a little detoxifying tea won’t cure (I don’t think I’ve ever seen Alice drink so much water before). We left with a fruit smoothie in hand and feeling years younger!

The photographs below are from the mineral spa pools at the camp site which we had a dip in the next day. The pools were lovely and warm but the outside temperature was a little chilly.

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That evening we decided to carry on our great day and treat ourselves to dinner out. And I am so glad that we did. This meal was by far my favourite of the whole trip (so far). We went to a place called ‘Atticus Finch’ in Rotorua town centre. Its menu is geared around sharing, which Alice and I always do and love, so it was perfect for us. We shared a couple of dished including; Fennel Rubbed Pork Belly, Slow Roasted Lamb with Honeyed Kumar, and Garlic and Chilli Prawns with Chorizo. All so delicious. We couldn’t resist the cocktail menu so ended up getting a Harper Lee : Gin, Apple Syrup, Lemon Juice, Thyme, Apple Cider. Rocking Bird . Feijoa Vodka , Ginger, Lemon, Ginger Beer.

What attracts me a lot to certain restaurants is their décor. A place with great interiors or located in an amazing building sometimes impresses me more than the food. And this place was right up there on the interior stakes (in my opinion anyway). The grey concrete walls, high wooden bench seating, scaffold bar, and To Kill a Mockingbird quote, all goes so well together.

I couldn’t help snapping a few photographs but unfortunately didn’t have my camera with me so all are took on my iPhone and just don’t do it justice. But you get an idea…

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Anyway interiors aside, the food, drinks, and friendly/helpful staff, just made it such a nice evening. I wish we were spending longer here to come back again and try more on the menu. It was just too good.

Off to see some more smelly pools tomorrow at Wai-O-Tapu.

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