Today we are leaving the Nelson Lakes National Park and heading to the West Coast of the South Island. We are pretty exhausted right here so it’s time to relax and day 99, we’re going to spend it in the hot pools.
It’s time to hit the West Coast of New Zealand. Finally we are going to one of the most rugged regions there is in the South Island. We’ve got a long drive today but luckily there’s always reasons to break up the drive particularly to see a waterfall. Here we are seeing Maruia Falls which is just a short walk despite the sign saying it’s about 10 minutes to get there, it’s literally 30 seconds off the main highway.
Maruia Falls are probably one of the widest and largest waterfalls that we’ve seen so far on our trip. Most of the waterfalls in New Zealand are usually really tall and narrow but this one is like a New Zealand version of the Niagara Falls. It’s awesome.
But our ultimate goal today is to hit the Maruia Hot Springs which are located on Lewis Pass. It is an amazing drive, Lewis Pass is world known for being one of the most beautiful drives in New Zealand. It goes in between two massive mountains and through stunning beech forest. We really love the drive. And it’s only a few kilometres inland that we finally arrive to our destination.
When we arrive the first thing we spot is a lunch deal for lunch and hot pool entry. And what’s more, we get a stunning window seat where we can look at the views of the Southern Alps while tucking into some delicious wraps and sandwiches. Although we usually cook for ourselves, today we decided that day 99 is the day that we relax and treat ourselves. Today it is Laura and I me time. So we really really go full in on treating ourselves and we get some cake as well. Oh my Gosh it tastes so good.
Once we finish our meal we are shown around a little bit, there is ton of different hot pools and different areas and Laura and I really want to test everything and try everything so we’ll make sure to hit each of them one by one. But first it is time for us to jump into our swimsuits and into the water. After checking the indoor hot pools, we realise that outside is where we want to be. It is much grander out here. First up is this weird as massaging experience which is such a weird feeling, I’ve got boiling hot water pouring onto my back while the mountain breeze is hitting me as well. It is just a total contrast of temperatures here. While Laura is screaming and kicking during this so-called relaxing experience, I personally really enjoy it. I think it’s super relaxing and super soothing. But it really looks like Laura is not enjoying that at all. So we quickly move on and go to the more mainstream hot pools which are the most relaxing thing ever.
Then we are moving onto the outside hot pools which in this really nice natural environment, the water is from a natural mineral hot spring that comes from the other side of the river and pumped into the hot pools. The minerals and the algae are meant to be really good for the skin.
But what I love the most about those hot pools is that we are surrounded by just the mountains. there is almost no buildings around. It’s just us the grand view of the Lewis Pass and the hot water in which we are bathing. It’s awesome. The hot pools are about 40 degrees Celcius which really starts to cook us every now and then so it’s good to get out have a bit of a break and then get back in again. So we start getting changed now because we want to explore more of this beautiful environment that we’ve been looking at for so long.
The receptionist at the hot spring recommended that we go on a walk along the river bed of the Lewis Pass while the water level is super low. It’s an indescribably feeling. Walking right in the middle of the river of the Lewis Pass. It’s the grandest view I have ever seen in my life and we feel tiny. I mean, ridiculously tiny. The water is super shallow it’s not even ankle deep but the mountains are super high they are actually some of the tallest mountains of the Southern Alps. Laura and I take the time to walk around all those pebble rocks and around the river. We actually spend here much more time than we thought. About a couple of hours which puts way behind schedule. We are making our way today to the little township of Reefton which is still a couple of hours away from here so the drive ahead of us is quite long so after taking our last few pictures, we hop back in the van and make our way to Reefton which no one really knows but it is the Town of Light in New Zealand and we have a lot to show you tomorrow.
And there’s boiling hot water pouring on me it’s like contrasting feelings that I’m not enjoying. It’s yeah It’s like I just want to be hot or cold. I don’t want to be both at the same time. It’s just too much of a weird feeling. So to be honest I’m not enjoying that so much but once Robin sits down he’s just like oh, actually yeah this is quite relaxing. And this is Robin that hates massages so as long as it’s not people touching his back he’s ok with some sort of massage.