In our short stay at Maruia Springs, we managed to pack in so many tranquil experiences!
We took ourselves out for an adventure along the river, stopping to look at the abundance of lychen, moss and occasional fungi growing atop the river stones. As we were high up in the Lewis Pass, it almost felt like you could touch the mountain tops. Looking up the valley, the highest peaks were dotted with snow and foggy clouds rolled in and out covering the mountain tops so you only caught a small glimpse at a time.
The beech forest really felt like something out of a fairytale! Green as far as the eye could see, moist and smelling of moss and earth. The forest was peaceful, wild and enchanting all in one.
After tiring ourselves out with our whimsical walk along the riverbed, we spent our time relaxing in the hot pools. The water was pure and untreated full of sulphur, minerals and nutrient dens algae which did wonders for my skin and tense muscles.
We also had a truly Japanese Experience with the traditional Onsen Japanese bath houses. One part of the resort has segregated bath houses for men and women (which you can see in the last picture). I loved the added little touches of tiny wooden stools and buckets. With the Onsen's many Japanese details, I felt like I was in magical bathhouse scene from Hayao Miyazaki's movie Spirited Away!
And what a better way to finish off our magical weekend away with cooked breakfast in the restaurant peeping out through the lush green of beech trees. The first photo in this post shows this perfectly. Andrew waiting for his eggs, staring out through the big windows through green dappled light and beech leaves. That photo is one of my favourite moments that I've ever been able to capture photographically...it really sums up what a relaxing, contemplative and refreshing experience we shared.