How many people get out of the car after a road trip clutching their neck or back, trying to massage out the aches and pains that come from sitting in one spot for too long? I know I do, which is why it was perfect to go straight from the car to Hanmer Springs Spa after having driven nearly three hours today.
I was given the choice of a thirty-minute massage or facial. Although I was curious, having never actually had a facial, I eventually chose the massage because I thought my back might appreciate it in light of some of my upcoming activities.
I changed into the robe and slippers that I had been given (noting while in the changing room that the shower doors were virtually see-through — is that really necessary in a public changing room?) and then wandered into the lounge room to wait for my therapist. It was quiet and the music was calming, as is the norm in spas, although this peace was occasionally broken by the shrieks of children frolicking in the hot pools just outside.
The massage itself was quite nice. The therapist used quite a bit of pressure at some points (mainly trying to break up knots around my neck), but it was much more relaxing than the standard remedial massage that I get at home. By the end of it, I had descended into a dozy, dreamlike state and found it really difficult to get up. I was happy to just lie there for a while, thinking about nothing at all.
The spa is attached to the hot springs complex, which I made it back to for an evening dip just before dinner. There was a bit of a chill to the air, which made the pools seem that much warmer. I wasn’t too picky about which pool I got into first; my only criteria was that I didn’t want to get into the 42C sulfur pools because I didn’t want to stink for dinner. Therefore, I just found the closest pool and hopped in.
It was really relaxing just to lie there with my head just above the water, watching as the light slowly faded from the sky. Steam radiated from the pool, but more interestingly, everyone that got out of the pools radiated steam. At first, I thought I was just seeing things, but people seemed to have wings as they hurried from one pool to another.
The peace in our pool was broken when one mother yelled, “There’s poo in the pool!” This was like standing in a wooden building and yelling “Fire!” I couldn’t believe how quickly the mass exodus occurred (even though it turned out to be a false alarm).
The “poo” seemed to have impeccable timing because it was discovered at the exact time I’d told myself I’d start getting ready for dinner. I didn’t mind having to leave after such a short visit because my pass extends until 9pm tomorrow night, and I fully intend to make the most of that. I think a hot aquatherapy pool will be just what my body needs after the excitement of a whitewater rafting trip tomorrow morning!
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is located at 42 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs. The pools are open from 10am-9pm daily; the spa is open from 10am-7pm daily.