Let me start of by saying, I LOVED the experience at Hell’s Gate. This was the first geothermal area that I visited in the Rotorua area, and it was a great way to start.
There are two main things to do at Hell’s Gate, the thermal walk and the mud/sulphur baths. I do recommend you do both, however if you don’t want to spend the money or are on a budget, I recommend you definitely do the spas.
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Where is it?
Hell’s Gate is located a short 20min drive outside of Rotorua. It’s on the highway, you can’t miss it. When driving in this area notice the difference in the smell, if you are not used to it (I very unfortunately work in sulphur), it may be a bit off smelling for you.
I opted for the Hell’s Gate experience, which cost me $105NZD. This experience gives you access to the geothermal area as well as a bathe in the word-famous mud baths. If you just opt for the mud bath and spas, this will cost you $85NZD.
You can also just choose to do the sulphur baths, which costs $35NZD. Although, if you are coming to Hell’s Gate, you need to get yourself dirty in the mud!
You can book any experience online, or simply go in and book in person.
I started off my day by taking a stroll around the geothermal reserve. It was very interesting learning about the ways the Māori people used to use this area to help with healing properties for centuries. It also is very interesting learning about the geology.
The walk took me about 2 hrs, mainly because I was taking photos of everything and trying to get the right angles. I would give yourself about 1-1.5 hrs to complete the whole walk.
After I completed my walk, I went to the famous mud baths. You will need to have a shower to wash of any sunscreen/moisturiser, take off your jewellery and get changed. With jewellery, its recommended not to put it on for 48hrs but I would give it at least a week! My necklace unfortunately went black even after 48hrs of not wearing it.
My first spa experience was the mud pools. This mud is said to have great healing properties and help give your skin a radiant glow. I can confirm it did help with my muscle soreness and made my skin silky smooth.
You only get 20-30mins in the bath, before you are told to get out (for health reasons i believe?). The workers will also help you get any photos that you need! I then went into the sulphur baths for a dip – I only spent 15mins in here as I wasn’t sure if my skin was going to be happy. I might be mildly allergic to sulphur. There are two pools to choose from. Afterwards, take a cold dip in the cool pool up top – with a lovely little waterfall.
All in all, this was a great experience. I had an absolute blast covering myself in mud, and highly recommend this experience to anyone travelling in the area!
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