Wai Ariki Waitangi ceremony dancers

Wai Ariki Hosts Rotorua’s official Waitangi event: A wellness celebration like no other 

In the heart of Rotorua, Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa stood proud as the host of the official Waitangi event, “For the Love of the People | Mō te Aroha o te Iwi.”

This year, the theme of wellness permeated through every aspect of the celebration, drawing over 4,000 manuhiri (visitors) who sought not just entertainment, but rejuvenation of the spirit.

From the moment guests arrived on Tuesday, February 6th, they were immersed in a tapestry of culture and wellness. The grounds of Wai Ariki, which is built on the legacy of Māori culture and Ngāti Whakaue healing practices, was transformed into a vibrant hub of activity, offering an array of experiences to nourish mind, body and soul.

Spa experiences awaited those craving relaxation, while interactive displays provided insights into indigenous traditions and practices.

Market stalls offered artisanal goods and nourishing treats, reflecting the community’s diversity. Entertainment filled the air with laughter, joy and the spirit of unity and celebration.

The highlight of the day was the guided tour through Wai Whakaora. Debbie Robertson, Wai Ariki’s General Manager explained, “Over 350 people were treated to a guided tour through Wai Whakaora showcasing our point of difference and how we weave our beautiful culture through our bathing experience.

Wai Ariki Waitangi line for Āhuru Mōwai

“Some of our beautiful Koeke were also treated to 30 minutes of pampering in Āhuru Mōwai (Sanctuary), with our gifted therapists. This was just a small gesture of giving back to our Koeke, who have paved the way for us.

“We look forward to the opportunity to host this beautiful, colourful and cultural event in the coming years,” Debbie said.

Attendees expressed their gratitude and admiration for what was a wellness celebration like no other. “Thank you for creating a beautiful healing energy day for Rotorua and Aotearoa, it was simply amazing!”

Others praised the event’s ability to showcase the rich tapestry of culture and diversity within the community. “It was a great event to showcase the culture and diversity in our community. It is also lovely to see many ethnic communities united to celebrate the Waitangi Day. Long may it continue at Wai Ariki.”

The event was a testament to the power of community and the beauty of cultural celebration. You can discover the magic of Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa and reserve your experience via the website.

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