The best wellness itineraries in Nelson Tasman
Posted on Monday 20 March 2023
Just as all roads lead to Rome, a visit to the region is not quite complete without experiencing the world-famous Abel Tasman Coastal Track. Yes, the well-marked 60 kilometre trail can be a multi-day adventure if you choose, but there are heaps of single day options courtesy of kayaks, sailing or water taxis/walking combos to take in the secluded coves, golden beaches and native greenery. The place to go before you go - www.abeltasman.com provides comprehensive information about the park.
Despite the Farewell Spit sand dunes in north-western Golden Bay being buffeted by wind and sea, they are nevertheless a popular holiday home for migratory bird species including gannets and waders, and a permanent base for New Zealand fur seals and their pups. Exploring the delicate ecosystem to the tip of the spit involves a trip with Farewell Spit Eco Tours in their specially consented 4WD vehicles. A unique outing they’ve been providing to travellers for over 35 years.
If you are looking for holiday spots that the locals go to, one of the best is Kaiteriteri. Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve is 250ha of Crown land that includes the local mountain bike park, Kākā Point Historic Reserve and the golden sands of Kaiteriteri Beach. It offers the perfect holiday trifecta of places to play, stay and eat, and is only 20 minutes from the start of the Abel Tasman Coast Track.
The region has become a mecca for mountain bikers and trail riders. The Great Taste Trail is a well-maintained circuit that traces the Appleby coast before heading inland to the Waimea Plains. It passes near small settlements, by many of the region’s wineries and food producers, and through Spooners Tunnel, the longest decommissioned tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere. www.heartofbiking.org.nz has all the information to plan your trip. Use the same site to research the Coppermine Trail, one of New Zealand’s most accessible alpine mountain bike rides. Popular for it’s easy up, exhilarating down, rocky tops, dramatic beech forest, and a meandering river trail. So close to town, you can start out on bike from Nelson city.
If your emphasis is more on the wellness side, the region has plenty of luxury lodges and retreats to relax in. Awaroa Lodge at the end of the Abel Tasman coastal track, is a logical stop for a well-earned rest. Accommodation choices cater for every budget. The lodge generates its own power, and boasts of comfortable beds, an excellent restaurant, bird life aplenty and sensational night skies.
If you swear by recommendations from iconic lifestyle magazine, Condé Nast Traveler you’ll want to stay at Maruia River Retreat. It’s a stunning boutique lodge and private nature resort south of Murchison. This riverside retreat offers accommodation in seven luxury villas amongst a 500-acre native beech forest. Like any good wellness host it combines delicious food, yoga classes and a spot of forest bathing.
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