May 30, 2016

Relieve your holiday stress at the high- end wellness retreats of New Zealand. The country has a host of spas and wellness centers including Split Apple Retreat, Aro Hā Wellness Retreat, Shunyata Retreat, Soul Journeys and Day Spa, which helps you recover from a holiday.
Split Apple Retreat, Nelson
Doubling as a luxury lodge, this destination retreat in the Abel Tasman National Park near Nelson opens onto two golden-sand beaches, one with a rock formation that resembles a split apple. Wellness packages of between three and seven nights include a health consultation, nature hikes, cooking lessons, Pilates, massage and guided mindfulness meditation; or you can opt for a personalised programme. Co-owner and chef Pen Lee makes healthy dishes taste sinful, and her doctor husband Lee Nelson promises that blood tests on key health markers will improve. Good luck tearing yourself away from the infinity pool that spills over the horizon. Food shows and wine festivals, music, arts, fashion, sport and family fun events, plus some Kiwi-only cultural experiences are all part of New Zealand’s year-round experiences.

Aro Hā Wellness Retreat, Queenstown
Aro Hā offers ‘Wellness Adventures’ which runs two or three group retreats each month except June. Typically lasting five, six or seven days, these programmes involve nature hikes, yoga, body-strengthening classes, plant-based meals, spa therapy, massage, and mindfulness meditation. Founders Chris Madison and Damian Chaparro believe that reconnecting with nature and being present in the moment can 9create life-altering change. Most guests– including honeymooners – fly in especially to stay at the retreat, in eco-friendly cabins with lake and mountain views.
Shunyata Retreat and Day Spa, Christchurch
Overlooking Diamond Harbour, a secluded bay near Christchurch, Shunyata (meaning ‘openness’) aims to help you ditch unhelpful behaviour patterns for lasting change. Warm, welcoming owner Paru Clarke, who speaks fluent French and Spanish, has trained in just about every wellness practice imaginable, and works one-on-one. While she can personalise retreats, the set packages are the most popular: from three-night tasters, to five- or seven-day cleansing, detoxing and weight-loss retreats. Think yoga, meditation, counselling, sugar-free meals and bodywork sessions; you can take or leave alternative therapies such as ‘The Journey’ (‘transformational’ sessions).
Tikapa Moana Eco Spa Retreat, The Coromandel
Marilyn and Bill Brownell’s organic lifestyle block doubles as a retreat for anything from time out to life change. You can decide how long to stay, and talk to Marilyn about which treatments you want. Her massages, which draw from Lomilomi (Hawaiian massage), reflexology and acupressure, sure unknot those muscles. With her Watsu treatment, an aquatic therapy combining massage, shiatsu (Japanese acupressure) and joint mobilisation, Marilyn bends, stretches and swirls your body in dance-like movements in a solar-heated pool. Sweat out those toxins in the far-infra-red sauna, savour the spa, devour the endless tamarillos, and enjoy the feeling of utter relaxation.

Soul Journeys, Queenstown
Yoga teachers and holistic-wellness experts Amanda Woolridge and Sandi Murphy run what they dub ‘real treats’ from Murphy’s central-city Nadi Wellness Centre. Therapies and activities include yoga, meditation, massages, hikes, shiatsu Tikapa Moana Spa and Eco Retreat.


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