Best Spots To Warm Your Soul This Winter
The Bay of Plenty enjoys a relatively mild winter compared to the rest of New Zealand but there’s still lots of fun ways to keep warm and toasty…
You can’t get much hotter than an active volcano! White Island (Whakaari) is a short boat ride or helicopter trip from Whakatāne and is an exhilarating place to visit in winter. Hot water streams trickle beneath your feet and your guided walking tour will take you right to the edge of the crater lake. Watch as enormous steam vents swirl scorching hot gas into the air like a super-charged LPG blow heater. It’s in our nature to impress you, and White Island won’t disappoint.
Our region is geothermally blessed so there’s no shortage of hot pools and thermal springs to swim in. Gaze up at Mauao while bathing in the Mount Hot Pools. Temperatures range from 31°C to 39°C and the hot salt water will melt away your aches and pains. Or visit the picturesque Fernland Spa or Oropi Hot Pools which are heated from natural mineral springs. Sapphire Springs near Katikati, Athenree Hot Springs near Waihi Beach, and Awakeri Hot Springs near Whakatāne all offer holiday park accommodation too, so you can soak morning, noon and night.
Relax and unwind with specialty heat treatments available at beauty spas across our region. Try a hot stone massage at Thai Touch or Breathe Salon & Spa. These warmed, polished, rounded stones help release heat deep under your skin to melt away tension. Or for something different, book a warm bamboo massage at Massage Me & Beautify You in Whakatāne. Sanctum Beauty Therapy & Spa at the Mount offer a relaxing cocoon wrap with macadamia and honey – described as the “earth’s equivalent of a warm embrace from the heavens” – or try hot towel therapy at the Day Spa Natural Detox Centre in Te Puke.
Rejuvenate your mind and body with a steam and sauna while on holiday. Baywave TECT Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Tauranga has facilities available, so you can have a swim or spa first before stepping right into the sauna. Book an Infrared Detox Sauna session at Synergy Vitality Spa in Eleventh Avenue, Tauranga, or alternate between a cold plunge pool and hot sauna following a workout at The Gym on First Avenue, Tauranga.
Building a bonfire on the beach is quintessentially Kiwi and will create holiday memories your family and friends will cherish forever. Gather up driftwood on the beach and huddle up tight. Roast marshmallows with your kids and share stories under the stars. Wherever you are along the Bay’s coastline, check with authorities whether a fire ban is in place first as they are strictly enforced at certain times of year. Then make sure to light your fire below the high tide mark, enjoy its toasty warmth beneath the stars, and extinguish it before leaving
There’s nothing nicer than a roaring fire while you sit and enjoy a meal. Book a table at Hide Thirst & Hunger at the Mount and soak up the warm ambience of the open fireplace. Or have a drink beside the fire in the lounge at Trinity Wharf Hotel.
Woodfired ovens are very popular in cafes and restaurants around the Bay. Check out Flour + Water at the Mount or Brooklyn Patio & Eatery in Tauranga for melt-in-your mouth woodfired pizzas.
Book a romantic escape and curl up beside the fireplace to unwind at the end of each day. The French Country House in Pahoia has a magnificent marble fireplace in their living room to keep you warm, while a huge brick fireplace and wide hearth is a focal point at the luxurious Eagle Ridge in Ohauiti. For a truly rustic experience, stay at Warm Earth Cottage in Katikati and sprawl in front of the fire in their lounge cabin while reading a book or listening to music.
Created: 17 July 2018
Last updated: 19 July 2018