Alexandra Stewart is a member of Travel + Leisure‘s A-List, a collection of the top travel advisors in the world, and can help plan your perfect getaway. She is the founder of Antipodean Luxury Travel, which operates mainly in New Zealand and Australia, and specialises in high-quality custom luxury vacations. Below, find Stewart’s recommendations for the best wellness offerings New Zealand has to offer. To work with Alexandra, you can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. By Alexandra Stewart
Hot Water Beach
In Coromandel Forest, on a peninsula parallel to Auckland, New Zealand, lies a rainforest river retreat where you can partake in guided forest-bathing experiences and explore beautiful hiking trails — one of which leads to Hot Water Beach, where you dig your own hot water spa between tides.
On an illuminating expedition through the forest, search for native plants and herbs, learn about their nutritional and medicinal properties and discover their ties with Maori cultural traditions. Sample what you find fresh from the land or harvest it for the chefs to use for your dinner.
A one-of-a-kind secluded accommodation experience is located on ancestral land, only accessible by helicopter, where you can immerse yourself in nature in total solitude. Relax on the extensive decks, soak in an outdoor bath, or stargaze from your bed in the glass bedroom in one of the most popular wellness escapes in New Zealand. Then explore the surrounding sparkling rivers, cool forests, swaying valleys of tussock, and soaring mountaintops.
Hawke’s Bay is home to Antipodean Luxury Travel and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers — Travel and Leisure’s No. 4 World’s Best Hotel in 2019. The area is renowned as the food bowl of New Zealand, as it features an array of boutique retreats, wellness practitioners, and organic purveyors. It’s the perfect place to build a relaxing segment into an itinerary, as it works as a midway point for travellers who are taking on both the North and South island.
If you’re interested in a luxe retreat where you enter into a world that nurtures slow food — connecting plate, people, and the planet — with produce sourced from ethical artisans, complemented by excellent hospitality and gorgeous surroundings, then Wallingford may be your perfect place to unwind.
Aro Ha Wellness Retreat is an award-winning resort where wellness traditions meet luxury, thus making it one of the most sought-after wellness escapes in New Zealand. Salute the rising sun with vinyasa yoga and immerse yourself in nature at an all-inclusive six-day program that uses nutrition, mindfulness, and functional movement to jumpstart your health. Expect to become lean, strong, and flexible while reconnecting with purpose.
Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat
Set between soaring mountain ranges with glacier-topped peaks and the river-fed Lake Wakatipu, Camp Glenorchy is a unique destination with an endless variety of things to do, from the peaceful to the exhilarating to the sublime. Plus, it’s the first net-positive energy accommodation provider in New Zealand, and the activity options are endless between hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and more.
Considered to be one of the most popular wellness escapes in New Zealand, it is set above Lake Wanaka. It is a very special place overlooking 55,000 hectares of majestic beauty, plus some of the most dramatic natural alpine scenery in New Zealand. Matched to the owner’s conservation initiatives, more than 90 percent of the land at Mahu Whenua has been protected by covenants, making it the largest conservation undertaking on private land in New Zealand’s history. Enjoy a digital detox and get back in touch with the natural world on e-bikes and hiking trails, or visit a bird-breeding enclosure.
Te Arai Lodge
Te Arai Lodge is an eco-friendly oasis offering boutique luxury and warm hospitality. Surrounded by over 20 acres of ancient podocarp forest and native bush, the lodge has panoramic views across the rolling hills of the Brynderwyn Ranges to the beaches of the Mangawhai coast. If you can tear yourself away from the lodge, the coastal walks and bush walks will take your breath away.