When winter rolls around, many New Zealanders dig out their passports and head for warmer weather and tropical beaches. However, there’s much to be said for holidaying closer to home and enjoying a getaway with a wellbeing focus.
The idea of a wellbeing retreat is becoming increasingly popular, whether wanting to ‘switch off’ from the pressures of life for a week or two, or just for an overnight life detox.
Alongside this is a growing trend for getting ‘off grid’; away from unnecessary mod-cons and technology.
Less than an hour’s drive from Hamilton is the perfect solution; Solscape Eco Retreat.
With accommodation ranging from woodland tipis and upcycled train cabooses, to hand-built rammed earth domes and a new eco-lodge, there’s an option for every budget (starting from campsites for $20).
There’s also a family bach and the charming Ivy Cottage or Lotus Belle Tents (ideal for summer holidays). And the renovated 17 metre Overlander train, which captures the fun personality of Solscape, is another popular option.
Whether you’re seeking some alone time for self-reflection, or prefer a more adventure packed schedule, this 10 acre paradise overlooking Manu Bay is a veritable paradise.
Under the guiding hand of the McCabe family, your stay can be one of solitude, with nothing but the distant crash of waves and birdsong for company.
If you feel the need for connection, indulge in a restorative massage or holistic bodywork at the onsite Kahuna room, nestled on the edge of the forest for absolute seclusion.
There is an underlying serenity to Solscape, with no sense of being rushed or busy. This is in part due to Solscape team, who never forget to look up and appreciate the stunning setting themselves.
It’s clearly a place good for the soul. Dotted around are groups of surfing backpackers, families with young children, and those just enjoying a quiet corner with a book and their own thoughts for company.
For those who thrive on being part of something more involved, you can immerse yourself in the extended Solscape community, which often includes WWOOF volunteers.
Solscape offers yoga classes and surfing lessons, and Raglan is a mecca of more adrenaline-pumping activities such as rock climbing, kayaking and glow worm caving.
The whole point is to set your own pace and do whatever restores or rejuvenates you.
There’s no pressure, no timetable and no expectations.
The newest addition to Solscape are its two Eco Lodges, offering a more luxe stay (comfy double bed, reading nook, ensuite and kitchen), although still with the same restful vibe. In keeping with the core values of Solscape, the Eco Lodges have been designed around energy efficiency and feature passive
solar design, recycled and locally sourced timbers, and plenty of personal touches right through to handmade wall lanterns.
Part of the property is dedicated to a permaculture garden, and throughout the year classes are held.
Come summer, the garden is a welcome source of organic produce in the popular eatery; The Conscious Kitchen. The plant-based menu is developed around locally and ethically sourced produce.
Treat yourself to a holiday which sees you feel refreshed and rejuvenated by opting for local getaway that requires nothing more than choosing your favourite book or music and taking a short drive to Solscape.