Wai Ora Lakeside Spa

Wai Ora Lakeside Spa

Spas have made a huge comeback in the past decade, and our destination of choice today is Wai Ora Lakeside Spa at Hell’s Gate, home to New Zealand’s first mud spa complex. It’s a gloriously relaxing place where you can cake yourself with detoxifying mud, bake in the sun, and then take a long, hot soak in a warm thermal pool.

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Hot Water at Lake Tarawera

Hot Water at Lake Tarawera

Rotorua has a surfeit of lakes to explore including the scenic route past magnificent redwood forests to the crystal-clear Blue and Green Lakes. Just past the Buried Village, we catch our first glimpse of Lake Tarawera and Mt Tarawera, the latter’s brooding gaze a forbidding reminder of the havoc it caused during its eruption in 1886. But today the mountain is a sleeping giant that oversees the picnicking families on the lake shores and anglers practising their casting in eager anticipation of the season.

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The Great New Zealand Chocolate Trail

The Great New Zealand Chocolate Trail

I have to confess, I’m a raving chocolate fiend – especially when it is handcrafted. Boutique-style chocolate is just too good to resist! Whenever I travel the next fix is never far away, and believe me, there’s many a wicked stop to be found nationwide. In the past I’ve been known to go 100 kays or more out of my way, just to swing by my all-time favourite chocolatiers. Here's a list of my all-time favourite treats, guaranteed to induce a cocoa-induced stupor:

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