The ul­ti­mate GET­AWAY

My hubby Jack and I planned a trip in April, com­ing down from Auck­land on the three hour drive and get­ting straight into rid­ing. Ar­riv­ing at Moun­tain Bike Ro­torua, we were soon kit­ted up with full sus­pen­sion Gi­ant moun­tain bikes, hel­mets and gloves. We al

Go Travel New Zealand - - Rotorua - by Michelle Parker

Weav­ing be­tween trees as sun­light pours through the canopy al­ways makes me feel like I’m re­ally away from it all. Moun­tain bik­ing getaways with my hus­band are a favourite pas­time and Ro­torua is the ul­ti­mate spot with world class trails for all abil­ity lev­els. Re­lax­ing af­ter­wards at the Poly­ne­sian Spa is magic too as the hot min­eral wa­ters soothe and re­vive the body.

guide Louis is a top in­ter­na­tional moun­tain bike ath­lete and just a gen­uinely cool guy. He made sure our sus­pen­sion and bike size fit was per­fect, we grabbed a smoothie from the Waipa Store on­site and then headed off to catch the shut­tle bus. Louis took us straight to a new trail called Ea­gle vs Shark at the top of the drop off. A cou­ple of pedal strokes was all we needed for the fast and flowy fun to begin. Fly­ing closely be­tween trees, this track just took off and felt in­cred­i­ble. Near the end, we emerged from be­tween the trees into an open­ing and hooked some re­ally high berms, be­fore zoom­ing back into the trees again. At the end of it we were on cloud nine, the first new trail was a master­piece. Next up, Louis took us to Be Rude Not To, which was also felled and re­built with open flowy sec­tions up top. We flew through the land­scape and berms be­fore it tight­ened up amongst the tree­line and be­came more tech­ni­cal. Rid­ing to Nurs­ery Road, we then ped­alled up to the new Chal­lenge Trail lines and then Ge­n­e­sis. Louis ex­plained that Whakare­warewa For­est has a unique public/ pri­vate part­ner­ship model, where the land is Iwi owned, man­aged by the coun­cil and the Ro­torua Moun­tain Bike Club with its vol­un­teers main­tain­ing and build­ing trails, so the for­est con­tin­u­ally evolves. It was awe­some to see this at work and af­ter hit­ting a few more trails, Louis took us back to the hub where we had a snack and a chat with him about his up­com­ing rac­ing around the world.

Then it was time to treat the body to ul­ti­mate re­lax­ation at Poly­ne­sian Spa. Buy­ing an ad­mis­sion to the Adult Pools, we en­tered the com­plex fea­tur­ing seven min­eral pools – three with wa­ter from the acidic Priest Spring (39°C - 42°C) and four with wa­ter from the alkaline Rachael Spring (38°C - 39°C) We were soon ly­ing in 40°C acidic wa­ters from the Priest Spring, named af­ter Fa­ther Ma­honey, a Catholic Priest who was ‘cured’ of his crip­pling arthri­tis from bathing in the wa­ters in 1878. The slightly acidic wa­ter re­lieves tired mus­cles, aches and pains. The hot wa­ters cer­tainly soothed our mus­cles and made us feel peace­ful. We then moved across to the stand up pool, fed from the Rachael Spring, to walk around in the hot wa­ters and stretch the legs a bit. The Rachael Spring is a source of alkaline wa­ter, which fea­tures the an­ti­sep­tic ac­tion of sodium sil­i­cate nour­ish­ing the skin. It was his­tor­i­cally said that those who bathe in the wa­ters of the Rachael Spring are blessed with age­less beauty. Af­ter mov­ing from pool to cas­cad­ing pool, we also tried the new re­flex­ol­ogy walk which has alkaline wa­ters flow­ing across it. Right next to the lake­front, it is a beau­ti­ful, re­lax­ing spot to give your feet the love they de­serve af­ter a day’s rid­ing. Re­flex­ol­ogy is an an­cient heal­ing art that ap­plies pres­sure to spe­cific ar­eas of the feet. By walk­ing in barefeet on the stones along the re­flex­ol­ogy walk, it stim­u­lates pres­sure points that cor­re­spond to all ma­jor body or­gans and ar­eas – en­cour­ag­ing vi­tal en­ergy and blood flow through­out the body, re­liev­ing stress, im­prov­ing bal­ance and en­hanc­ing phys­i­cal and men­tal well­be­ing. Fi­nally tear­ing our­selves away from the re­flex­ol­ogy walk and pools, we walked out with a lighter spring in our step, feel­ing com­pletely re­laxed. Grab­bing a fresh green juice on our way out, Jack and I headed back to Auck­land for an­other work week, know­ing we’d done our bod­ies some favours over the week­end.

Poly­ne­sian Spa over­looks lake Ro­torua

Our awe­some moun­tain bike guide, Louis, com­pet­ing at Crankworx Ro­torua IM­AGE: Clint Tra­han

Moun­tain bik­ing in Ro­torua’s Whakare­warewa For­est

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