New Zealand’s best hot pools to warm up this winter

For centuries, a soak in thermal waters has been recognised as therapeutic, cleansing and healing. Cultures all over the world have used warm-water bathing as part of their holistic health remedies; here, Māori have long-held beliefs about the healing power of New Zealand’s geothermally heated springs. Mineral water tends to be high in silica, which is known to help soothe irritated skin.

But you don’t have to find a geothermal hot spot to benefit from warm-water therapy – any immersion or bathing experience that heats the body is said to be beneficial. Taking a bath can improve heart health, help you breathe easier, benefit the nervous system, joints and muscles, and even improve immunity.

In New Zealand, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to thermal bathing – both natural springs and artificially heated outdoor hot baths nestled in nature’s finest scenes.

TIPS FOR HOT SPRING BATHING

• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated

• Increase pool temperatures slowly

• Always keep your head above the water, to prevent the risk of amoebic meningitis

• Practise good hygiene and rinse before you enter communal pools

• Wear jandals or sandals around the pool edges and in changing rooms

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