The only onsen hot pool in Queenstown is located in Arthurs Point, a good 10-15 minute drive from Pinewood Lodge (our stay) / Queenstown town centre.
This is definitely one you must have on your to do! The session only goes for an hour and then you have unlimited time to shower, change and prep up.
For a good price, visit book.me for a good deal. Think we paid around $40 pp for the 1 hour session at 1pm.
The cool thing about this place, is that you get to control the window screen and add more water when needed. And that window – can be opened whenever. We obviously opened it immediately once we got into the tub.
You get the view of Shotover River and might get the chance to see some of the jet boats that pass through the river as well. If you remember the 1st Lord of the Rings movie, this river really reminded me of the scene where Arwen (Liv Tyler) crosses the river with Frodo (Elijah Wood) on her white horse while she whispers a spell to get the water horses to come out and wash away the Righwraiths. The river that was used for this scene was actually the Rangitikei River but even so, there were just so many sceneries which we would see and questioned if it was used in the movie!
Seriously, I’ve been to onsens in Japan, but this one was so surreal. It was just so peaceful. So you basically get your own private room with the bath tub, so you can enjoy without any interference ! Towels are only provided if you paid for the package. But you do get a jug of water. No glass bottles are allowed to be brought in so what we did was pour some of our ginger beer into our water bottles. It’s just a safety thing which makes sense.
Then as you walk out of the onsen centre, there’s a little table right in the middle of the grass patch with a balcony where it overlooks part of Shotover River as well as the mountain ranges.
If you’re in Queenstown, it’s definitely worth experiencing this. For me, Sydney doesn’t really have anything like this. Well at least not the package where the water pool sits in front of a beautiful river and huge mountain ranges too!
Photographs captured by : Jenifer Pham & Daixi Huang