Today’s journey will be leaving Lake Tekapo (A) and head for Maruia Springs (D). It will be a long drive so I strategized to have grocery shopping (B) and lunch (C) somewhere along the way to break up the distance. Christchurch lies between Lake Tekapo and Maruia Springs but I wanted to avoid the city. I chose to visit a North Cantebury winery for lunch instead.
My original choice- Pegasus Bay was closed for the winter, so we had lunch at Waipara Hills instead. The lovely property was in the middle of nowhere and the beautiful sunny weather made it a pleasant experience.
The grape plot lies just next to the property. It’s winter now so no grapes.
Lunch was a simple affair. The food here is more casual than Amisfield, with bigger portions.
I took the matching wine, a Chardonnay, to go with my Seafood Linguine.
The Spiced Beef Brisket was good too.
This filling meal was good fuel for the long drive up to Maruia Springs.
780 Glasnevin Road, Waipara, North Canterbury 7483, New Zealand
The more popular Hanmer Springs required a detour, so I decided on Maruia Springs instead since time is short on this short trip.
Maruia Springs is modeled after Japanese Onsen Ryokans (Japanese Hotspring Inns) and frankly it is a very old place. It was recently passed over to a new owner though, so it’s slightly better than what the older reviews described!
This part of the island has no connectivity AT ALL. No TV, no phone reception, and of course, no internet. They have satellite connection at an expensive rate if you really need it, but it’s a good idea to take the chance to cut off from the rest of the world and enjoy being present.
The property is located along state highway 7. The closest place with reception is a 10 minutes drive long this highway.
Unlike Japanese hot springs, the pools here are unisex and you soak with a bathing suit/ swim wear. It may sound crazy to be wearing swim wear out in this freezing winter, but entering the hot pool in the cool outdoor weather was a very nice feeling!
It was around 4pm when I got here and the place was somewhat empty. There were buses of visitors who probably stopped by for a day soak. I guess I was lucky to get the pools when there was no crowd!
They have an indoor pool as well, very Japanese style with sit down showers. The place was very old school and reminded me of the 90s.
Foot bath was available too.
This is the lobby lounge area.
A real fireplace! Pardon me but it’s my first time encountering a fire place. Such things are unheard of in Singapore.
After a nice soak in the hot pools the next best thing to do was some afternoon tea. Here’s my Chai latte with scone and rocky road.
If you’re interested in Maruia springs, I suggest you come equipped with your own entertainment which doesn’t require internet, such as books or magazines. You may also want to bring your own food if you do not wish to pay for overpriced dinner at their in house restaurant. There’s no other choice in this area, just so you know, because this is in the middle of no where. You can’t even order pizza (no phone reception, remember?).
After a nice shower and having cup noodles for dinner, (brought over from Singapore of course), I returned to the lounge as they have some magazines lying around.
They have a small selection of drinks as well.
Maruia Hot Springs
Maruia Springs, Maruia 7895, New Zealand