With its serene glaciers, majestic peaks and fresh country air, it’s little wonder that a growing number of health retreats are setting up across New Zealand’s divine landscape, combining wellness, nature and luxury in the best possible way.
Here are three of our favourites:
Set high on a cliff face on the seaside border of Abel Tasman National Park, an hour outside Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island, Split Apple Retreat is as stunning outside as it is indoors.
Guest suites feature Japanese-style wood panelling alongside king-size beds, granite baths, flat-screen televisions and all the indulgent trimmings you’d expect from a five-star stay.
Of course with ‘retreat’ in its name, there’s a long list of treatments and therapies available that are designed to help guests clear the mind, strengthen the body and soothe the soul.
Massage, meditation, acupuncture, pools, spas, a sauna and healthy cooking classes (as well as a wellness evaluation) are just some of the options on hand.
Further afield, if you’d rather make use of the neighbouring national park, there is also beach swimming, bushwalking, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, skydiving, sailing, swimming with the seals and dolphin-spotting available.
There’s even a helicopter service if you’d like to explore more isolated spots. Yes, this is a health retreat with a five-star difference.
Aro Ha Wellness Retreat
Tucked away on an 8.4-hectare property overlooking Lake Wakatipu, you’ll find Aro Ha Wellness Retreat around 35 minutes’ drive outside of Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island.
Designed to be as environmentally conscious as it is downright lush to stay in, the zen-inspired eco accommodation is minimalist but cosy, incorporating spacious design, rich timber and views across the inspiring surrounds, as well as naturally sourced energy.
However, at its core Aro Ha is a temple to health and wellbeing, where guests can soak up five- or seven-day programs of vinyasa yoga, introspective techniques, sub-alpine hiking, dynamic movement and organic detoxifying cuisine.
But you must be committed; activities are compulsory and experienced as a group, although they can be tailored to health and skill levels.
In between sessions, we suggest chilling out in the outdoor pool that enjoys an amazing view of the surrounding jutting mountain ranges. Wellness is hard work sometimes.
Pujjis Wellness Retreat
Situated less than 10 minutes from Nelson’s town centre on the Maitai River, Pujjis Wellness Retreat is run by uber-experienced bodyworks practitioner and yoga teacher, Arvind Pujji.
This one-man show centres his treatments on calming, cleansing and comforting using holistic body-and-mind healing traditions.
With just three guest rooms, each with picturesque views and ensuite bathrooms, this property guarantees serenity and a personalised escape.
Here you can choose between yoga sessions, massage and meditation, a detoxifying fast, organic juice fast or just nourishing prepared meals – which is, we admit, more our cup of tea.
Combine that with a hammock to laze in, riverside walks on the doorstep and a spa and sauna at your disposal and you have a rather peaceful escape.