When it comes to natural beauty, New Zealand is no stranger. Glaciers, mountains, rolling green hills, beaches, bays, lakes – the Land of the Long White Cloud has them all in abundance. And if you’re looking for somewhere for a retreat immersed in nature, there’s perhaps no finer spot than the country’s North Island. Here’s a selection of our favourite haunts:
Surely one of the New Zealand’s most surreal natural sights, Lake Taupo stretches endlessly across the North Island’s Waikato region. With the likes of Omori, Five Mile Beach, Acacia Bay and Kinloch dotted around the shoreline, there’s no shortage of waterside spots to visit. Then there are the geothermal pools, as well as a slew of fishing, swimming and rambling opportunities to make the most of. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more peaceful locale during your retreat.
View our selection of beautiful accommodation Lake Taupo.
Kaimanawa Forest Park
Just south of Taupo lies Kaimanawa Forest Park, an undulating, emerald-green forest that’s perfect for hiking. Whether you fancy a short stroll or an overnight slog, the park offers something for everyone. And no matter how physical you decide to get in Kaimanawa Forest, you’ll be surrounded by boundless beauty every step of the way.
Though a thriving 21st century city, Auckland has no shortage of natural delights nearby. From the spectacular expanse of the Hauraki Gulf and the endless islands dotted across it, to the delicious bottled goods on offer at the Waiheke wineries, a retreat near Auckland doesn’t have to be a city-based affair by any means. A trip to the relatively central Mount Eden will afford spectacular views of the city and surrounding harbours. Visit Tiritiri Matangi to view some native birds, or take to the seas on a luxury yacht.
Check out our Top 5 Things To Do In Auckland & Waiheke Island.
Known as ‘the finest one-day hike in the world’ – Tongariro Crossing is also where director Peter Jackson decided to honour with the role of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings. If you’ve seen the films, you’ll remember Mordor to be a pretty scary place. The reality, aside from the unpredictable weather and unforgiving terrain, is that Tongariro is a place of immense natural beauty. The physical challenge is fair, but one glimpse of the turquoise crater lakes will make it all worthwhile.
Te Mata Peak
Situated just southeast of Napier, Te Mata Peak offers those who ascend it gorgeous, sweeping views of the Hawkes Bay surrounds. Riddled with Maori legend and rising 399 metres above sea level, learning the local myths whilst sitting atop the peak and taking in the views is an experience completely unique to New Zealand. There are also plenty of hikes and walking tracks – along which the native flora and fauna are sure to impress – to enjoy before or after you spend some time taking in the view.
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Image courtesy of Tourism New Zealand.