New Zealand active adventures

New Zealand’s majestic South Island offers a prize formula of active adventure and sublime recovery.

With meandering running trails skirting lakes and rivers, sweeping hills perfect for hikes and grand cycling adventures from mountain to sea, New Zealand’s South Island promises plenty for those seeking an active holiday. Coupled with an array of magnificent food and wine to sustain you along the way, and countless spas and bubbling springs to rejuvenate tired limbs, the South Island has struck a winning balance between adventure and relaxation. From top to toe, here are three combos that bundle both. 

1. Nelson Tasman

Flanking the eastern shores of Tasman Bay, Nelson is brimming with golden beaches, quality seafood and wine, and artistic energy. It’s also a one-stop shop for those hankering for a big slice of the great outdoors. 

Cycling

The Great Taste Trail is an easy purpose-built cycle trail soaking up panoramic views of Tasman Bay and the Western Ranges. Whether it’s a slow-paced day trip or a multi-day experience, up to 175 km of trail await. Spot the white heron while cycling past the Waimea Estuary or pop into the towns of Mapua and Moteuka for cafes, restaurants and wineries. 

Walking and running

The Abel Tasman Coastal Track requires only light walking shoes for the 50 km route lined with endless golden beaches. Break up the journey at one of five huts or 21 campsites that dot the track, with transport arranged from either end.

Unwind

An exclusive high-end lodge dedicated to wellness, Split Apple is a haven of good health nestled above famed Split Apple Rock. Surrounded by the pristine Abel Tasman National Park, retreat owner Lee Nelson is a retired doctor passionate about nutrition and relaxation.   While all the trimmings of a luxury lodge await, Split Apple is big on equipping guests with the tools to make lasting health changes. Take a cooking class focused on gourmet functional food, have your own wellness evaluation and indulge in a host of massage and spa treatments.

splitapple.com

2. Marlborough

Blessed with high sunshine hours and a moderate climate, Marlborough is a magnificent nature playground home to the famed Queen Charlotte Track. 

Cycling

New Zealand’s most popular ‘great walk’ is open to mountain bikes from March until November. The 71 km track is a two to three day ride for intermediate to experienced mountain bikers, and highlights the region’s stunning coastal landscape, diverse native bush and wildlife. It also has comfortable lodge accommodation and a pack carrying service.

Walking and running

Whether you tackle the length of the track and camp along the way or make it a day-trip, immerse yourself in the spectacular Marlborough Sounds on foot. Discover lush coastal forest, historic bays and breathtaking views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds or stop off for a spot of fishing or sea kayaking along the way.

Unwind

Bay of Many Coves is Marlborough’s award-winning luxury retreat in Queen Charlotte Sound. Wrapping the shoreline, nature is all around and the resort radiates a peaceful calm. Treat yourself at its fine-dining restaurant, watch sea kayakers from the deck of the licensed cafe or take it all in with a glass of sparkling on the balcony of your room. Those giving their feet a rest for the day can soak in the cedar hot tub or mix it up on the water with one of the many cruising and yachting opportunities close by.

bayofmanycoves.co.nz

3. Queenstown

Queenstown is a small alpine resort with a huge reputation. Rated as one of the world’s top holiday spots, it’s a dream destination for those seeking an active holiday.

Cycling

With biking trails for all skill levels, dabble in a little history on Skippers Canyon trail or tackle the challenging descent of Bob’s Peak. Opened in 2012, the Queenstown Trail has close to 100 km meandering through some of the most breathtaking scenery around. Take in the Gibbston wine area, gold mining town of Arrowtown and beautiful landscapes of Lake Hayes and Frankton.

Walking and running

The Routeburn Track offers keen hikers some of the most diverse scenery around. Head out for a hike and soak up the forests, alpine flora, lakes, several waterfalls and panoramic views. The three-day trek covers 39 km.

Unwind

Overlooking glacial-fed Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown, Aro Hā Wellness Retreat aims to refresh, rejuvenate and reignite all those who walk through its timber-clad doors. Where nature, adventure, fitness and wellbeing collide, it’s zen luxury at its best and focuses on bringing people together and on the path to betterment. 

aro-ha.com

(Images: Tourism New Zealand)

 

Recommended reading - Issue Nine Spring 2014

Community

Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Revel in the breathtaking vineyards, forests and beaches of Margaret River this November.

Read more
Lifestyle

Health symbols through the ages

Red crosses to skull and crossbones, take a look at the histories of universal wellness symbols

Read more
Lifestyle

7 things I know about health: Peter Russell-Clarke

We can’t think of a better person to share their wisdom on health than Peter Russell-Clarke.

Read more
Recipes

Berry bircher for babies recipe

Some for baby, some for you! This delicious bircher muesli goes down a treat.

Read more
Lifestyle

The forgotten beauty of old school gyms

Why it's sometimes best to go back to the fitness classics.

Read more
Community

Cate Campbell: Striving for success

Olympic medalist and Uncle Toby’s Ambassador Cate Campbell is looking long-term: to Rio.

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini slice for babies recipe

Food Babies Love author Emily Dupuche shares a yummy idea for your little one - and you!

Read more
Lifestyle

Health food stores that stand the test of time

These sole traders have championed nutritious products since before health food stores were trendy.

Read more
Recipes

Strawberry parfaits with pomegranate and pistachio recipe

A juicy burst of pomegranate makes these sweet vegan parfaits a real treat.

Read more
Community

Healthy tech and gadgets Pt. 1

From music to swim to, to smart socks, we round up the latest gadgets to revitalise your health.

Read more
Community

Healthy tech and gadgets Pt. 2

Shiny new toys to boost your health, fitness and wellbeing.

Read more
Community

Healthy tech and gadgets Pt. 3

The latest fitness, food and wellbeing gadgets to fire up your healthy lifestyle.

Read more
Community

Healthy tech and gadgets Pt. 4

Fire up your health and fitness with the latest tech gear.

Read more
Lifestyle

The history of orange juice

Health humorist Nick Snelling documents the ups and downs of a much-loved breakfast beverage.

Read more
Experts

Having your cake and eating it too

How to let go of guilt and enjoy good food – the healthy way.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.