Need a health reset or a spot of indulgence to refresh the body, soul and mind? New Zealand is full of spas, retreats and accommodation designed purely to help you rejuvenate from whatever life might be throwing your way.
Here are the Herald Travel team's top picks for a reprieve.
Luxuriate in next-level wellness at Aro Ha in Glenorchy
As I sat in front of a roaring log fire alongside 11 strangers, listening to a charming American explain how we could all transform our lives over the next six days, I felt like a character in a best-selling novel.
Certainly as each of us sipped our herbal tea and revealed the reasons why we'd chosen to come to Aro Ha Wellness retreat in Glenorchy, there was great material for a writer to work with.
Some of us were burnt out, professionally and emotionally. Others had ended relationships. One woman was about to have a significant birthday and most of us had allowed bad habits to creep into our lives and wanted to re-set and re-calibrate. All of us wanted to achieve more calm in our busy lives and we were hoping Aro Ha could provide us with the answers.
Melt away tension at Polynesian Spa's Mindful Moments Retreat
It's a mad idea, in the middle of a bitterly cold May. But the cold plunge pool is there for a reason. There has to be some benefit to it.
After three days of bathing in the glorious thermal waters at Rotorua's Polynesian Spa, I decide to haul myself out of the cocoon of a 40-degree hot pool to immerse myself in the icy water.
Shock. Scream. Pain. Tingles. Life.
Float away on a wellness yacht in Auckland with SailFit
On a wonderfully sunny late-summer day, we cruised across the Hauraki Gulf on board luxury yacht Tawaki, while wellness and fitness coach Micha Swallow led us in a resiliency workshop. She takes a holistic view of wellbeing and encouraged us to focus on enriching our minds as well as our bodies.
She taught us some really useful tools to manage stress - from a greater awareness of breathing, to the power of positive thinking and random acts of kindness - and we all ended the session feeling inspired to carry these practices into our every day.
After a truly taxing HIIT workout followed by a calming yoga session on the sands of Rotoroa Island, some guests enjoyed full-body massages in a secluded cove, while others made good use of Tawaki's toys - stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and a giant inflatable slide which I can 100 per cent recommend as the most fun you'll have at sea.
Soak away your stress at Maruia River Retreat
It really doesn't matter I'd forgotten to pack swimwear. I still manage to get in a few hours of forest bathing, and, by night, I bathe in the forest. Yes, those are two completely different things – and they're both exceedingly good for the soul.
The river is surprisingly warm on this 32C summer day but, realising I am "swimsuit-less," I leave the glistening and plump-bodied trout to make the most of the crystal-clear mountain-fed river that flows by the Maruia River Retreat, bound for Maruia Falls.
In this stretch of river, with its deep and tranquil pools, trout can be seen languidly slow-dancing just below the surface, then suddenly lunging, open-mouthed, to snap up flying insects as they hover down to quench their tiny bug-sized thirsts. This is indeed a fine habitat for fish – unless, of course, avid fly-fishermen are spending a weekend at the retreat.
Transform your life at a women's retreat in Otago
I find myself on a dancefloor on a Saturday night, whirling like a dervish without a care in the world. No alcohol has been consumed, no illicit substances, and yet I'm cutting loose like I haven't in years – dancing like no one is watching, throwing shapes, flinging limbs, smiling, sweating, gasping for breath, and having the time of my life.
I'm not the only one – a group of 17 other women are all doing the same around me, lost in their own personal groove in a darkened room on a late summer night. Outside, the previously still weather is being disturbed by an increasingly wild breeze, as if the wind is reflecting our frenzied energy on the dancefloor. The mountains, as they have done for millennia, remain unmoved.
Reset your health at Resolution Retreats
Carbs are bad. Carbs are good. Eat breakfast. Skip breakfast. Do a detox. Detox is a myth. Watch your calories. Don't count calories. Don't diet. Don't give in to temptation.
Sound familiar? These are just a fraction of the conflicting pieces of diet advice I, and many others, have been fed through the years. Is it any wonder we are all so confused about nutrition? So when the chance arose to stay at Resolution Retreats for a long weekend, I jumped on the opportunity to reset my health.
Indulge at these luxury wellness retreats
Get some more inspiration at these luxury offerings for wellness with Wow factor. From multi-day retreats to just a few hours of spa therapy, these are the most indulgent ways to recharge and revive across the country.