So, what's a girl to do exactly when: (a) she finds that not only does she have a kid free day off that coincides with that of 'Hubster' and (b) there, right there on the computer monitor is a completely awesometastic deal on offer for the thermal pools at Taupo's iconic Wairakei Terraces! Yep, I know... everyone's favourite ‘Inbox Happy Place' provider GrabOne is screaming out a bargain with the added promise of therapeutic fun times that quite frankly cannot be ignored by anyone found to be of sound mind.
Why Lovely Blog Reader, what she does is, she jumps up and snaps out of her state of email fluster and bellows "Hey Grab One We Will!" (not because she has turned into Yoda, but because everything falls into place perfectly.) With a click of the mouse button and the rumble of the printer, we grab towels, togs, tickets and other stuff and its State Highway all the way baby! But, hang on a minute......
Even upon entering the car park, only a stone’s throw away from the bustling Highway we have just left, there is an undeniable feeling of complete and utter calmness. Right from the get go the overall ambience of this place is peaceful, welcoming, and professional yet in an understated way. It feels like we have stumbled over a hidden jewel in Taupo’s crown or found out about a well kept secret. The excited puppy in me, winds it’s neck in for this is going to be more than unexpected quality time with Auld Hubster (as wonderful as that is, of course) This is going to be an experience to savour.
So then, it is just a short walk, with towel in hand along a meandering path that teasingly offers glimpses of the Terraces through clouds of billowing steam. As you pass by under the watchful gaze of a number of imposing and enigmatic carvings standing proud amidst abundant native vegetation. There is a definite sense of stepping back in time and following in the footsteps of Maori ancestors, well versed in the healing powers of the springs and pools.
There is the option of four separate soak pools of varying sizes positioned underneath the breathtaking silica terraces, the waters within becoming progressively hotter the closer you get to the Walkway at the top. On the midweek morning of our visit, we had the place all to ourselves for roughly an hour before another couple arrived. We decide on our weapon of choice (the hottest pool) and there it is: Destination Relaxation. Cue the mutual contented sigh that says “Aaaahh.” Immediately upon immersion the waters do what they have been doing for generations. Mind, body and soul relent. All tensions slip away and the minerals work their very special magic..............
It must be noted that pool entry is only open to over fourteen year olds due, in part to the heat of the water. As a mother of two young children (aged seven and four at time of writing) I can only say that this is GENIUS!!!!!! Much as I love and adore my Bodlets, this experience is made all the more special and intimate in the absence of them and other creatures like them. When you come and try it out for yourself (Note the confidence that it will be when and not if!) you too will be thankful for the age restriction. This place, Lovely Blog Reader is strictly a ‘grown up’ playground and the pace is slow. When eventually the time comes to return to life as you know it, in the words of the Terraces own website when you make the return walk back up the path, your bathing experience will: “keep you warm long after you have left the healing water.”