Through no clever marketing plan but purely through health-related mania, 2020 is shaping up to be the year of the staycation; the year New Zealanders discover the best secluded escapes in our backyard.
If you want to travel but don't want to risk getting sick, finding a rural or isolated escape in your own country, far away from anyone else, is a great option. You get to steer clear of germ carriers and poor hygiene practices, while enjoying a private retreat to soak up nature's finest.
You don't have to be sick to self-isolate. Maybe you just need some downtime and want to steer clear of others, or hunker down until the panic subsides. Or maybe you've just got a big heart for Aotearoa and you want to do your best to support domestic tourism with the current drop in international visitor arrivals.
Whatever your reason for escaping civilisation, here are some of the best places to do so around New Zealand.
The Cave at Crab Cove, Bay of Islands
Crab Cove is a little cave nestled into the hillside, designed for a maximum of two. It's a standalone apartment with sea views out to the Bay of Islands.
A 25 minute drive from the township of Kaeo, The Cave at Crab Cove is just a one minute wander from the beach for all the salt water cleansing your heart desires.
Or relax on your private terrace and watch out for dolphins and orcas and let the fresh air blow away any germs.
Castaways Glamping, Auckland
Go off the grid an hour south of Auckland and lay your head down in a remote clifftop setting.
Castaways Glam Camping offers a private experience in a solar-powered glamping tent, with spectacular views out to the black sands of Karioitahi Beach and the wild Tasman Sea.
They'll provide you with a dinner and breakfast package with cooking instructions so you don't have to trust anyone else with your food prep.
The Green Rabbit, Mangonui
Billed as "your day dream, your inspiration pad, your nurturing retreat", The Green Rabbit in the Far North is an ideal place to commune with nature - and no one else.
A four hour drive north of Auckland, The Green Rabbit is a pitched roof cabin with a cosy bed nook, small kitchen and wood burner, with an impressive collection of vinyl records to choose your vibe. Soak in the outdoor bath and watch the stars brighten up the night sky, or relax on the private deck and enjoy being cocooned by greenery and native birdsong.
Black Robin Bush Hut, Wellington
Escape from city life, with the knowledge you're not too far away from civilisation if you still need supplies. The Black Robin Bush Hut feels like you're miles away from the bright lights, but it's only 15 minutes from Wellington.
There's a short bush walkway to get to the hut, which has a semi-outdoor kitchen and dining space. Bring your own food and drink, hunker down and listen out for the native birdsong, as the Zealandia Wildlife Park boundary isn't far away.
The Kissing Gate, Nelson
Step back in time and stay in a couple of restored 70s retro caravans in a quirky private escape near Mapua, outside of Nelson.
The caravans, named Pearl and Ruby, sit next to a little cottage in a glade with a pond and a field for a nature escape, but with quirky art, retro furniture and vintage vibes for unique pieced-together charming stay.
And you've got about seven acres of land you are free to roam and explore, so make friends with the friendly sheep.
Wavewatchers Retreat, Punakaiki
Self-isolate at sea with this two-bedroom luxury beachfront cottage on the wild West Coast of the South Island, near the famous Pancake Rocks.
The restored bach is in Punakaiki Village on a private beachfront site in the Paparoa National Park, surrounded by flowering gardens filled with Pohutukawa trees and nikau palms, lilies and hydrangeas, and let nature boost your immune system.
Shortlands Shed, Central Otago
Try a quintessential New Zealand stay in a 15,000 acre working high country sheep station in Central Otago.
Shortlands Shed offers a mix of rustic country warmth with a modern vibe, in a peaceful setting two hours from Dunedin. Expect 360 degree views of surrounding tussock-carpeted hill country.
It is open through the winter months, but you'll need a 4WD to get there. Fortunately there's a cedar wood-fired hot tub to make the cooler months a bit cosier, but the fresh alpine air will do a fine job of clearing the lungs, just like it did for Heidi.