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New Zealand wellness retreats for a healthy holiday

16 Jul 2019

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Kiwi yoga escapes

The health benefits of yoga for the mind and body are well known. A study in 2016 reported that adults who regularly took part in yoga classes showed they were less stressed than those who didn’t.

Other studies have also showed that yoga eases spine and neck pain, can relieve asthma and even, in some cases, help people suffering from side effects related to prostate cancer.

For a lot of us, however, finding the time to fit yoga class into a frantic work schedule is challenging. Thankfully, you don’t need to be dedicated downward dog enthusiast to unwind at one of the many amazing wellness sanctuaries out there.

We’ve had a look at what options New Zealand has to offer (what a chore!) and have listed a few of options for you to swoon over.

1. Split Apple Retreat

Located in the world-famous Abel Tasman National Park at the top of the South Island, and just an hour from Nelson, you’ll find Split Apple Retreat. Surrounded by gorgeous views of the National Park and nearby bay this is the perfect place to momentarily retire from the fast pace nine to five of everyday life. The hosts Pen and Lee are reported to go the extra mile to make it a special experience for their guests, which probably explains why you’ll find reviews that describe it as 'heaven on earth'.

The resort offers something for most tastes, including yoga classes, cooking lessons, massage sessions, boat trips to some of the nearby beaches, hiking expeditions, horseback rides and cycling tours. If you’re feeling lucky you can even go fishing on the Karamea River. Bring back anything you catch and Chef Pen can prepare it fresh for you to enjoy. The only downside about this place is that you can’t stay forever!

2. Aro Ha Retreat

If you’ve been to Queenstown then you probably know why it’s such a scenic hotspot. Aro Ha Retreat makes no exception and truly typifies the beauty that the South Island has to offer. It’s a good thing breathing exercises are included because this place will really take your breath away!

Aro Ha uses the ‘BREATH’ (Being, Relating, Eating, Activity, Toxicity, Healing) framework to guide everything from yoga, spa therapy and sub alpine hikes in the surrounding mountains. If the postcard views aren’t enough, have the ultimate Zen experience by staying in one of their self-sufficient eco accommodation passive houses.

Wellness retreats 2

3. Shunyata Retreat and Day Spa

Ever felt that there’s not enough ‘you’ time? Tucked away in Diamond Harbour near Christchurch is another secret from the South that’s designed to help you reconnect. Shunyata Retreat and Day Spa is for those who owe themselves a little spiritual TLC. The retreat’s owner Paru Clarke prides herself on helping people through a personal journey of self-restoration through love and nurturing.

If you feel like you’ve got some bottled-up anxiety or disconnect from life, then Shunyata might be the place for you. Reportedly many guests leave with a new sense of self and a more positive perspective on life, all thanks to the close care and guidance of Paru.

4. Hapuku Lodge Tree Houses

What better place to hide away from the outside world than a tree house? If you’re after a unique accommodation experience, Hapuku Lodge Tree Houses has the goods.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Hapuku Lodge’s philosophy. All of the produce is sourced locally, and the resources used to build the lodges are made mostly from recycled timber. Lose yourself in the serenity of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range and rejuvenate your soul while also looking out for the environment in one of the cosy tree houses. Famous for its flourishing coastline, Kaikoura offers plenty to do for its visitors. Go at the right time of year and you might be lucky enough to catch some whale watching!

5. Cape South

For a bit of self-discovery in the North Island, Hawkes Bay’s Cape South Luxury Holistic Health Retreat could be the pick of the lot. Known for being home to some of the most beautiful fruit orchids and vineyards in the country, Hawkes Bay is an absolute treat.

The Cape South property looks truly stunning and only 25 minutes from Havelock North. Take your pick of daily yoga, meditation or take a trip to one of the nearby beaches or bush reserves. After that, slide on in to one of their natural salt outdoor swimming pools and sweat out any unwanted stress in the infra-red chromotherapy sauna for a full soul-cleansing experience.

We all know that a healthy life is all about balance. And any one of the places listed offer a balance of physical activity and mindfulness opportunities, as well as some pretty tempting catering and accommodation.

So if it’s more than just some time off you’re looking for, what better way to do it than in a beautiful location where the only distractions are the scenery and the sounds of nature?

Important things to know

Information correct as at July 2019