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Bask in nature at four unplugged escapes in New Zealand

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The New Paper on 14 Sep 2018

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Take in the great New Zealand outdoors to revitalise yourself

 

Modern life as we know it brings about daily stresses and individuals have to constantly stay "connected".

 

Research has shown that "forest bathing" - spending time in a wooded area within nature - is beneficial for the body, mind and spirit.

 

It reportedly decreases blood pressure levels and increases your sense of self-awareness and relaxation.

 

The next time you plan a trip, take a moment to consider your wellness as part of the whole holiday experience.

 

New Zealand's vast landscape provides the perfect starting points for getting back to nature.

 

Here are four unplugged escapes that promise to revitalise and restore you physically, mentally and emotionally, according to New Zealand Walking Tours.

 

AWAROA LODGE

 

Top on the list for the ultimate unplugged escape is the isolated Awaroa Lodge. Nestled in the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park on South Island, it is not accessible by road, which makes it extremely secluded. Get there by taking a water taxi to a part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track before walking a short distance to the lodge.

 

There are no televisions or reception for mobile phones, so the word "disconnect" is strongly emphasised and guests are encouraged to get closer to nature. The minimally designed rooms are set among lush trees, some overlooking native bush and wetland views. Enjoy walks by the beach, guided sea kayaking, or take a flight in a small plane to see spectacular aerial views of the coastline and park.

 

FURNEAUX LODGE

 

Furneaux Lodge has made its name for its extremely remote location. It is so sheltered that it is accessible only by boat - even the locals get their groceries and mail brought in by boat once a week.

 

It is situated at the foot of Mount Furneaux and is surrounded by 2,000 acres of forest deep in the Marlborough Sounds on the South Island. The native bush nearby is renowned for some of the best flora and fauna found in New Zealand.

 

Apart from the restaurant at the lodge, there are no other restaurants or shops around for urban necessities.

 

Sit back and relax at the lodge. Inhale the scent of native flowers in the air. Take a beautiful waterfall walk or explore a glow worm grotto at night.

 

MILFORD SOUND LODGE

 

This is the only accommodation site at the Milford Sound. It is a 30 to 35-minute walk from the closest boat terminal, therefore privacy is one of its big appeals.

 

The beautiful riverside chalets sit on the banks of Cleddau River and have been designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding native beech forest and views.

 

Wake up in the morning and take a moment to listen to the sweet, secluded sound of nature and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

 

You can also go kayaking beyond Stirling Falls, explore the neighbouring hiking tracks or go trout fishing at the nearby lakes.

 

MARTINS BAY LODGE

 

Exclusivity and inaccessibility go together when it comes to Martins Bay Lodge. It is perched at the remote end of the Hollyford Track on South Island, so it is not reachable at all by road.

 

Expect to arrive at the lodge by helicopter, not just for a dramatic entrance, but also because it is one of only two ways to gain access to the lodge.

 

Guests can also take a water taxi part way down Lake McKerrow before walking back to the lodge to make a grand exit via helicopter.

 

The lodge is located within a natural clearing, surrounded by wild growths of flax, gorse and other bushes. It has the feel of a private home, so expect a warm welcome and to be treated like long-lost friends by the lodge hosts as they prepare three-course dinners daily for guests.

 

Take a walk to Long Reef Point to look at the nearby colony of New Zealand fur seals or simply unwind with a glass of wine by the panoramic windows.

 

Source: The New Paper © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.