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Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa is raw, angry and a little ugly, Hells Gate is the place where the smell comes alive bubbling to the surface with purpose and intensity. Here you can get hands on with the earth and the Maori culture as you stroll through this untamed wonderland. Learn to carve and weave flax as the Maori people do and you can take away your efforts as a memento of your time with us!
At the Wai Ora Spa get down and dirty in the only geothermal mud baths in New Zealand with beautification minerals which help to clear the skin, all before you relax in the mineral spas. If your looking for something truly one of kind try a Wai Ora Massage based on the traditional Maori style of massage known as Mirimiri, which not only relaxes the body, but through karakia (Maori prayer) relaxes the mind as well.
Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa
North Island ▷ Rotorua Region ▷ Tikitere
Showing 8 reviews of 124.
Hells Gate pools are under construction so there is only 1 sulphur pool. Usually there are 3. We thought this place is way overpriced. Make sure construction is done if you're going to go!
We got a deal through GrabOne ($45/person instead of $75).
We arrived, checked in & were sent up to where our "spa attendant" would take care of us. She told us our time in the mud baths was limited to 20 minutes, but we could spend as much time as we wanted in the hot springs. That was it. This is important to note.
The mud baths were awesome. It's a bit more like muddy water than the thick mud I was afraid of. The showers on the outside of the building were A+. Fantastic water pressure.
We showered & headed over to the hot springs & my fiance accidentally splashed a little water getting into the hot springs & I could feel mascara mixed with water dripping into my eye. I tried to wipe it away.
Huge mistake. In wiping my mascara off, I got the water from my hands in my eyes. It felt like someone had set my eyes on fire. An older gentleman who worked there saw me & said, "Oh my god, your eyes!"
I got water from the water cooler & washed my eyes out. I got out & went to the outdoor shower & washed off. I jumped into the cold plunge pool & held my face under with my eyes open. All of these suggestions were made by the man working there. I was miserable. Finally I gave up & went to shower again & get some eye drops from the office.
I put a whole tube of eye drops in each eye. Nothing. My eyes are pouring tears & my nose is dripping.
We get to the Redwoods Tree Walk & the girl behind the counter asks what's the matter. I tell her, "We just went to Hell's Gate. It would really be worth the 5 seconds it would take them to tell you, 'Hey, just make sure you don't get the hot springs water in your eyes.'"
"They didn't take you through the health and safety briefing? I used to work there & there was a whole list of safety things we had to go through with you."
"Nope. They just said don't stay in the mud pools more than 20 mins."
"Oh wow. That's bad. Yeah, there's a whole protocol they're supposed to take you through."
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A fantastic, free guided walk explained the geographical features and cultural significance of the other worldly, wonderful collection of volcanic curiosities.
This was a very interactive walk through a thermal activity area. Not as tourist orientated as some of the more commercial areas.
A beautiful walk around the hot bath (you do not bath in these ones!!!). Up to 140 degrees. And smoke coming out from them everywhere. Guy was an amazing guide - we even saw a waterfall close to and learnt a lot about this phenomonen. To finish: bath.
We did only the spa, we enjoyed the mud pool and the hot pools very much.
Absolutely loved this place. We arrived just as a guide was heading off with some others and we were invited to tack on the end of the tour. Our guide was fantastic. Yes it smells, but people if you have come to Rotorua, shouldn't you expect that!! (It actually wasn't as bad a some people make out.) What did you come here for if not to experience the wonders of this natural habitat. That includes the smell. I learnt so much about this area from this short walk around the park with a guide. I would recommend this place to anyone really interested in how and why this place actually exists. Truly amazing.
Stinky as hell! Really nice to see those hot pools for the first time, but the smell was nasty and the entrance price was way too high.