Today, Shellah and I woke up to a tasty breakfast served by our hosts, the Robertsons.
It wasn’t enough that we had a comfortable night’s rest and have our tummies full, they even offered their boat to bring us to one of Rotorua’s hot spot.
The lake just below their house was breathtaking!
The spring of mineral baths that we were heading to is only accessible by boat. It is one of the most secluded, natural relaxation experiences in New Zealand.
HISTORY OF LAKE ROTOITI
Formed over 8,500 years ago, Lake Rotoiti’s full name is Te Roto-Whaiti-i-kite-ai-a-Ihenga-i-Ariki-ai-a Kahumatamomoe. When translated, it means “the small lake discovered by Īhenga”
Discovered by the Maori explorer Īhenga, legend says that he travelled inland on an expedition to explore the area with his dog Potakatawhiti. The dog disappeared for some time and upon return vomited up whitebait (small fishes).
Realizing that he must be near water, Īhenga ended up on the shores of a pristine lake in the mouth of a bay. He thought the lake was very small, thus naming it that way.
The Legend of the Manupirua Springs
Long time ago, there were two sisters named Kuiwai and Haungaroa who were in a quest to save their brother Ngatoroirangi, who was perishing from the cold on Mt. Tongariro.
The two sisters collected warmth to take to their dying brother. Whenever they paused for rest they left part of the fire they were carrying. Legend says that these rest stops were the origins of the chain of thermal activity that spans the width of their journey from Whakaari (White Island) to Mt. Tongariro.
Manupirua was one of their stops and ever since became a source of warmth for the people of Rotoiti.
The Manupirua Thermal Springs have been in use by Maori and locals since 167 years ago. It now features an ever-expanding quiver of pools with a range of temperatures, overlooking the ever-pristine Lake Rotoiti.
The thermal spring water is considered to have healing properties; especially of rheumatic conditions and joint pain.
It was a cold day and we savoured each minute soaking in the pools of different temperatures – from warm, to hot, to smoking hot.
I wish we could have stayed longer, but it was my last day in Rotorua and I had a bus to catch back to Auckland.
Big thanks to Uncle Carrick and his boat, for showing us this haven!