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NZ$17m thermal spa to open in New Zealand powered by glacial water and solar power

06 Oct 2021
New Zealand is set to welcome a brand new sustainable wellness tourism project on 23 October. The location will draw on the healing properties of hydrotherapy and communal bathing.

Called Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa, the thermal wellness destination will include a collection of pools filled with water from the nearby Rangitata river that’s fed by the glacial meltwater emerging from the Southern Alps. These pools will all be heated with power sourced from the location’s on-site solar farm.

With the strapline ‘sourced from the mountains, powered by the sun’, the two-hectare project in Methven is being designed to deliver a sustainable hot pool and spa experience set against a mountain backdrop.

Ōpuke general manager James Mattinson told Spa Business that the project is being conceived to welcome all ages.

“Our vision was to build a premium-quality and sustainable hot pools and spa facility in the heart of mid-Canterbury that will attract visitors from all corners of New Zealand and the rest of the world,” he says.

“The facility will cater separately to the needs of families, adults and private spa guests offering a host of innovative customer experiences.”

The offering will consist of an exclusive Adults-only Area and a family-friendly Hot Pool Area featuring an Aqua Play Zone to encourage curiosity and adventure.

All areas will be linked by an interconnected network of pools that follow the form of a river, allowing for private nooks, open spaces and ample room to explore.

“We want to give everyone the opportunity to be able to experience Ōpuke,” Mattinson explained, “our offering is extremely inclusive.

“We’ve also got a fantastic marketing plan that aims to roll out in phases to attract a customer base for Christchurch and wider Canterbury to kick things off. Next, we’ll roll out our campaign to wider New Zealand and then to the rest of the globe once the borders reopen.”

The adult’s area will feature water jet massages, bubble therapy, sauna therapies, a cold plunge pool and a luxury relaxation area.

The offering will be completed by four secluded cedar hot tubs with views across the foothills of the Southern Alps, a pool bar, a social Spa Hutt and exclusive private cabanas for premium treatment and hot pool packages.

Meanwhile, the spa will be home to five treatment rooms, including two for couples, a four-person Rasul and a relaxation lounge to complete the treatment area. Visitors will be offered a range of treatments supplied by French spa and skincare brand Yon-Ka.

Owned and operated by Methven Adventures Limited, the project has taken two years to complete after a NZ$17m (€10.2m, US$11.8m, £8.7m) investment.

Spa and wellness consultants Spa Vision and Spa Guru Consulting have supported the Ōpuke project from its early stages and helped execute a turn-key approach.

Part of this involved working alongside product-house Kurland which has designed and supplied a custom Rasul and Soft-Pack-System experience.

“Our ethos is inspired by the spectacular mountain backdrop of our two-hectare site and draws from the ‘clean green’ principles of sustainable operations,” Mattinson added.

He rounded up by saying that once Ōpuke is up and running, the team may look at opening other sites or additional projects within Methven itself.

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