From geothermal mud to manuka honey, New Zealand’s natural bounty is the inspiration behind a wealth of pampering beauty treatments. A session at the spa is always a treat, but in New Zealand it’s even more special. Maori massage is a holistic experience for body and soul, and the geothermal mud, native plants and manuka honey will soothe and revitalize your skin.
Get Muddy in Rotorua
You can marvel at it bubbling in mud pools, but did you know that Rotorua’s geothermal mud is just as wondrous for your skin? It’s rich in minerals such as sulfur, calcium, sodium and silicon, and it releases protective antioxidants when applied to the skin. What’s more, the sensation of being dipped in smooth, soothing mud has relaxation benefits all of its own. Try the Signature Mud Wrap at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa, 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.
Greenstone Energy in Queenstown
Hot stone massage therapy 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. This stone can be shaped and polished until it’s ultra-smooth, and has long been used by Maori to make tools, weapons and jewellery (the latter is still popular today). Greenstone is also believed to have harmonizing 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.
Manuka to the Max
New Zealand manuka honey is world-renowned for its healing antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also an extremely popular ingredient in anti-aging skincare products. 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 facial to rejuvenate your skin. 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 moisturizer that finishes off the facial. You can take the experience home by trying a local manuka honey skincare range such as Manuka Doctor.
An Organic Facial in Tekapo
Nourish your skin with the purest New Zealand botanical ingredients at Tekapo Springs Glacial 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 antioxidants, peptides, vitamins and minerals, along with the soothing and anti-aging 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 stargazing, ice skating, hot pools and snow tubing.
Traditional Maori Massage in Rotorua
The Maori revere massage as a sacred taonga (treasure), and at Treetops Lodge & Estate deep in the forests of Rotorua, you’ll find authentic Maori healers dedicated to this art. This award-winning luxury lodge opens its wilderness spa to guests and day visitors, and specializes in indigenous wellness therapies.
For a holistic experience, the Mirimiri massage begins with an ancient Maori 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.