On the 25th of April is Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.
The soldiers returning to New Zealand from World War I and World War II needed rehabilitation. A staff of medical professionals, physiotherapists and occupational therapists set out not only to heal the soldiers’ physical wounds but also to help them holistically. Daily rehabilitation programmes of therapy for the returning soldiers included exercise, counselling, recreation, occupational and physiotherapy plus balneotherapy or spa treatments.
The Bathhouse for all spa treatments was located in what is now the Rotorua Museum – developed as the Spa of the South Pacific by Dr Arthur Stanley Wohlmann in the early 1900’s. Today you can visit the Rotorua Museum and see the exhibition of all spa and bathing history.
QE Health in Rotorua was the Services Convalescent Hospital providing rehabilitation to soldiers returning from World War II. many other bath houses and spas offered rehabilitation for our soldiers. Mud bathing, and bathing in therapeutic mineral waters were great for mind body and soul.