Onsen Hot Pools: Luxury Retreat Queenstown

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Queenstown is located on the South Island of New Zealand, and is commonly known as the adrenaline capital of the world. People from all over the world flock to this adventure capital for bungee jumping, white-water rafting, sky-diving, jet-boating and much more. However, Queenstown is not only great for these types of activities, but also its natural beauty and experiences based on relaxation and tranquility. The Onsen Hot Pools are exactly this.

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

Set in a quiet valley where you get your very own private hot tub high over the Shotover riverbed, overlooking the mountains and the crystal clear river. If you’re in search for a retreat and tranquil elegance, the Onsen Hot Pools are for you!

How To Get To The Onsen Hot Pools

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

The Onsen Hot Pools are located in Arthurs Point, which is only a short drive away from Queenstown. There are three ways you can reach them.

Firstly, if you have your own car/hiring you can easily drive from Queenstown, which only takes around 10-15 minutes, it’s a scenic drive through the mountains and over the Shotover River. Make sure to stop at the bridge on the way to capture the jet-boats shooting through the crystal blue waters.

The second option is via public bus. Bus line 2 goes from Queenstowns Town Centre (Camp Street Station) to Arthurs Point, and the last stop is literally right opposite the Onsen Hot Pools entrance. The bus fare is only NZ$2 each way. Depending on the time of day, the bus leaves every 30 to 60 minutes and takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

The third option is via their complimentary shuttle service from Queenstown, you do need to pre-book this and it’s only available for pool bookings on-the-hour (ie. 3pm, 4pm, etc.). Do note that the shuttle bus leaves the Station Building sharp at half past the hour, to ensure you are in your pool on time!

There is technically a fourth option, however we do not recommend it as it is very expensive. You can take a taxi, but the price is likely to be around NZ$40 each way.

How To Book

Our package and experience was organised and provided by Experience Oz and it couldn’t have been easier. They have such an array of tours, sites, packages to choose from around Australia and New Zealand. We’d heard many great things about Experience Oz and since booking with them, we now know why.

Another bonus of booking with them is that you’ll receive the Tandeki Experience (see different packages below) for the same price as basic Onsen Experience on the homepage of the Onsen Hot Pools. Meaning you can indulge and have a few extra benefits (beer, bubbly, chocolate or ice-cream for example) for the same price. We know you would never say no to that!

Different Packages

There are three different packages to choose from, which must be booked in advance.

Tip: make sure to book well in advance as the pools get booked up very quickly.

The basic package is The Onsen Experience. Which includes one hour of pure relaxation in one of their private cedar hot tubs with views of the Shotover River. On their website this costs $95 for two people during day time hours and $119 for two people during sunset and evening.

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

The middle package is the Tandeki Experience. Which you get when booking through Experience Oz for $96 for two people during day time hours and $120 for two people during sunset and evening. This includes, an aromatherapy burner, towels, a complimentary glass of the regions finest wine, beer or juice and a choice of ice cream, crisps or chocolate to enjoy while you soak in one of their private hot tubs for an hour.

If you’re looking for pure indulgence, the Ultimate Relaxation Package might be the one for you. Similar to the Tandeki Experience but with a 60 minute or 120 minute massage. This cost upwards of $432.00 for two people. Quite expensive, and the Tandeki Experience is definitely the best value for money!

You can book those packages for either one or two hours. We were there for an hour, and while it was enough to take in the scenery and enjoy the pool, we were a bit surprised how quickly our time was over, although we were taking so many photos as we couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. So, if you really want to enjoy your experience and love photography like us, booking two hours might be worth it.

Our Experience/What To Expect

When you arrive at the Onsen Hot Pools, you’ll be greeted by magnificent views of the mountains and surrounding landscape, if you book a daytime session you’ll most likely see the jet-boats blasting through the river, it’s amazing! Make sure to plan your journey, and arrive no later than 15 minutes before your scheduled time. We got there 20 minutes before, check-in was very quick and professional.

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

The waiting area is chic and welcoming, with a fire place and sofas to relax whilst you wait to be called to your private room. This is where the staff will take your orders if you’ve booked the Tandeki Experience. Our pool was ready in no time and one of the workers took us down to the private pool, together with the beer, sparkling wine, chips and chocolate that we ordered.

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

All pools have their own private shower and a small changing area bench to keep your clothes dry. According to your preference you can lower or rise the retractable roof if it gets to cold or windy outside. There are also four buttons to control the bubbles in the tub, the lighting in the room, the retractable roof and even a cold water jet that will pour from the ceiling (however make sure you’re not under it, as it’s very cold!).

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

The pictures honestly do not do it justice. The views out of the hot tub were out of this world, it was like a real life postcard. Sipping on our beer and bubbly while sitting in a hot tub, overlooking the mountains and the river is really tough to beat. As we mentioned earlier, you can book a session during the day, for sunset or at night. We really can’t say what would be the best, because they’ve all got their advantages. During the day, you get those very blue river colours. Sunsets always result in a great atmosphere, and at night you get a fantastic night sky full of stars including lanterns in your room.

Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown

Once your one or two hours is over, one of the staff members will give you a 10 minute warning by knocking on the door. At this point, you can either get changed inside or enjoy the hot tub a little longer and change in their public changing rooms, we took this option as we wanted as much time as possible in the water.

Overall, we cannot recommend the Onsen Hot Pools enough if you’re looking for relaxation after a long day hiking/adventure or you’re just wanting tranquility with your partner. By slowing down the pace you’ll come to realise just how beautiful this part of New Zealand really is, and you’ll come to realise it may be very hard to beat!

Book your Onsen Hot Pools with Experience Oz here!


Luxurybackpacking was welcomed as a guest of Experience Oz to the Onsen Hot Pools, as always all opinions are our own and we were not influenced in any way. 

Have you been to Queenstown? Does this sound like your ideal getaway? We’d love to know in the comments!

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Onsen Hot Pools. A luxury retreat in Queenstown, New Zealand


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By | 2017-11-27T16:13:10+00:00 December 7th, 2017|New Zealand|22 Comments

About the Author:

Hey there I'm Emma! A luxury and adventure travel blogger. I've currently travelled to 53 countries with no plans to stop! I hope I can inspire you to travel the world with my travel guides, travel and blogging tips, as I believe travel is for everyone. So come and travel well for less with me!


  1. Lisanne 12/09/2017 at 5:46 am - Reply

    It looks so amazing! So sad we didn’t go to an Onsen in Japan. Such a great experience.

    • Emma Lomas 12/09/2017 at 6:03 am - Reply

      Hi Lisanne,

      It’s one of our favourite spa experiences to date, simply wonderful!

      Happy Travels,

  2. Kylie N 12/09/2017 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Looks awesome! I almost went when I was in Queenstown but just didn’t have enough time to cram everything in! I’ll just have to go back!

    • Emma Lomas 12/09/2017 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Kylie,

      Yes, it’s a great excuse to return. Queenstown is just stunning!

      Happy Travels,

  3. Jessica 12/09/2017 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Wow this looks like an exquisite place to visit… I’ve never been to New Zealand and have always wanted to. I think I know where to go first now, and booking through Experience Oz looks great!!


    • Emma Lomas 12/09/2017 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Hey Jessica,

      This was our first time visiting New Zealand and we’ve been blown away with how beautiful it is, you must come! Make sure to book the Onsen Hot Pools well in advance as availability runs out quickly. 🙂

      Happy Travels,

  4. Katherine 12/09/2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    I loveee a nice Onsen. Looks incredible!

    • Emma Lomas 12/09/2017 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Hey Katherine,

      Aren’t they so relaxing?! Can’t wait for my next, maybe in Japan 😛

      Happy Travels,

  5. Hayley Hornberg 12/09/2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Super jealous! We were just in Queenstown and we definitely missed out. Thanks for the booking tip too!

    • Emma Lomas 12/10/2017 at 6:45 am - Reply

      Hey Hayley,

      Aww that’s such a shame, I guess it’s a great excuse to return to this wonderful city! Glad it’s helped for next time 🙂

      Happy Travels,

  6. Robert 12/09/2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    This place looks awesome! I was just in Queenstown but sadly didn’t have enough time to cram it all in! Ill just have to go relive this experience!

    • Emma Lomas 12/10/2017 at 6:49 am - Reply

      Hi Robert,

      That’s a shame as it’s a wonderful experience, probably my favourite in Queenstown, but yes make sure to relive it next time you visit!

      Happy Travels,

  7. Susie 12/09/2017 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Beautiful photos <3 Makes me miss the onsen and hot pools back home 🙂 I'm closer to NZ than I am to home so might as well pay a visit 😀

    • Emma Lomas 12/10/2017 at 6:46 am - Reply

      Hi Susie,

      Thanks so much <3 haha great way to think. New Zealand, especially Queenstown is out of this world, you'll love it!

      Happy Travels,

  8. Cat 12/09/2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    I looooved these hot pools. Heading back again next year. Gorgeous shots of them 🙂

    • Emma Lomas 12/10/2017 at 6:47 am - Reply

      Hi Cat,

      Oooooh let me know if you go to the Onsen Hot Pools! Have a great time there very jealous 😛

      Happy Travels,

  9. Lynne Nieman 12/10/2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Looks absolutely fabulous! The views are amazing.

    • Emma Lomas 12/10/2017 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Lynne,

      It sure was! Wish we had longer than an hour at these luxurious hot pools 🙂

      Happy Travels,

  10. Angie 12/11/2017 at 1:16 am - Reply

    That looks like a very relaxing place to be and the view is definitely breathtaking! New Zealand is on my list of places to visit. Hopefully, we’ll get to visit next year. Will definitely keep this experience in mind when we do!

    • Emma Lomas 12/27/2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Hi Angie,

      It sure was, we didn’t want to leave! If you visit Queenstown and want a relaxing experience this is without a doubt the best! Make sure to book in advance though 🙂

      Happy Travels,

  11. Jurga 12/11/2017 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Looks like an ultimate luxury experience, and what a view!

    • Emma Lomas 12/27/2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Hi Jurga,

      It sure was! The views were to die for!

      Happy Travels,

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