To be fair, I came up with 15 different titles for this post, and they all sounded rather sexual. But whatever, I think we can all agree there are worse things than accidental sexual-sounding blog titles, yeah? Word. Moving on…
Earlier this month we completed our 5th combined move from Australia’s Gold Coast to Queenstown, New Zealand, and holy hell is it friggin’ freezing! Now, I knew this would be the case, but after spending the last 4+ years actively trying to lessen my daily sweat outtake, nothing can prepare you for suddenly arriving in a mountainous winter wonderland of snowy, southern hemisphere beauty, taking up temporary residence in the top floor of a wooden triangle house with no heat and no direct sunlight.
Thankfully, being the human hot-tub radar I so proudly am, I thought ahead and got in touch with the brilliant folks at Onsen Hot Pools for a post-arrival cold weather buffer and treat yo’self kind of afternoon in our brand new home base of Queenstown.
Soak It Up: Queenstown’s Onsen Hot Pools
Located 10 kilometers (~6 miles) from the center of Queenstown in a lovely area of Arthurs Point overlooking the Shotover River canyon, you can easily drive here in about 10 minutes with a rental car, or take advantage of their complimentary shuttle service from town if your booking falls on the hour.
Now, before you start thinking it’s a viable option to book an Onsen hot pool every time you get the shivers, I will ruin your dreams by saying it’s not the cheapest way to get warm. However, if you’re here and you’re not above (or financially below) spending around $50+ per person for an hour of totally private, heavenly hot pool warmth and and bubbly good fun, all with a rather radical view, it’s absolutely worth it.
Amenities & Packages
Upon our arrival, we were immediately greeted by the welcoming and friendly front desk gals, who confirmed our booking for The Tandeki Package, which, in addition to your given hour of hot tub time, also includes towels, an aromatherapy candle, glass of champagne, local wine or beer, and choice of ice cream, crisps (chips, for ‘Mericans) or chocolate. Nice!
We were told to have a seat in the cozy waiting area, which thoughtfully includes a phone charging station (in case you’re ‘doin’ it for the Insta’), views over the Shotover River and bar area filled with all sorts of teas, juices and other delicious drinks to browse while you wait for your room to be ready.
There’s also women’s and men’s changing rooms in case you didn’t think to wear your togs. Just kidding, I’d never say togs! Bikini, board shorts, bathing suit, swimsuit, whatever, but never togs, y’all.
The Hot Pool
Alright, the good stuff! After a few minutes wait, we were greeted by another staff member who kindly escorted us downstairs to our private hot pool room, where we were shown the various buttons that allow you to add cold water into your hot pool in case you get too hot (in wintertime, not a chance bro!), bring down the sliding glass panel roof for a more indoor experience, or restart the jacuzzi bubbles.
The room was equipped with its own shower and hanging racks, and had convenient little wooden steps leading up to the pool itself. Immediately realizing our kickass fortune (and my brilliant planning skills, once again) in finding this gem of human hotness, we hopped in with our respective glasses of beer and wine and cheers’ed to a speedy future of wealth, and thus additional Onsen time.
Looking down over the canyon, we even got to see the Shotover Jet boat speed through the turquoise waters below. Also, as a side note, I now believe the Shotover Jet boat tour, under the assumption your eyes are capable of seeing details at high speed, is the best place to see random boobs in all of Queenstown. Otherwise it is far too cold for that half naked nonsense, so good luck.
When our hour was nearly up, we received a polite knock on the door letting us know it was time to get dressed and return to the real, much less sexy and warm, world outside. Sigh…
Big thanks to Onsen Hot Pools for hosting us, and should you find yourself on New Zealand’s South Island, taking in the natural beauty in or around Queenstown, and looking for an activity that costs roughly the same amount as a burger and three beers, book a pool and thank me later.