Reward yourself this winter with a rejuvenating weekend getaway. Here's some of our top picks for a winter refresher.
Tongariro National Park
Midway between Wellington and Auckland, Tongariro National Park is the perfect winter destination - whether you're just soaking in the views or skiing the volcanic peaks of Mount Ruapehu. In 1887 the paramount chief of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Horonuku Te Heu Heu Tūkino gifted the tribe's land – including the sacred mountain peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro – to the people of New Zealand to ensure the area was protected for all people for all time. New Zealand's own castle, Chateau Tongariro, was opened in the 1920s. The hotel has its own 9-hole golf course and is the perfect base for trout fishing, skiing, hiking, mountain biking and climbing. A sauna, hot tub and plunge pool await on your return.
Maruia Hot Springs
These natural thermal springs are tucked among the snow-capped Southern Alps on the picturesque Lewis Pass national reserve. The resort has undergone a re-development recently. The wellness focus has gone next level with the addition of a sauna, steam room, plunge pool and yoga studio. A night at the hotel or in the glamping pods includes access to the pools as well as guided sauna infusions, nature walks and yoga classes. The sauna infusion is a guided sauna experience that introduces the benefits of hot and cold contrast bathing and finishes with a homemade face mask. Packages are available that include meals and massage treatment.
Stargaze with Purepods
Go off-grid with a night in luxury glasshouse. Purepods are made from laminated, reinforced glass so you can see through to the ferns below and up to the stars above. These solar-powered escapes (with no wi-fi connection, are dotted around the country in private locations, where your views are nothing but natural landscapes. It's a private nature immersion with full comfort. You'll leave your car out-of-sight, too, accessing the pods with a short walking track. The pods have minimal kitchen facilities for you to cook for yourself, but most hosts also offer meals pre-delivered on arrival. There are seven Purepods around the country - you'll only find out exactly where they are after you make your booking.
Winter escape to Queenstown
We can't mention winter in New Zealand without including Queenstown, the self-proclaimed home of winter. Whether you're looking for mountain adventure and fresh air or just a fine wine and delicious meal, Queenstown is a destination set up to deliver. Our favourite place to stay is the Sherwood - ranked in the world's top 10 most sustainable hotels by Expedia travellers. With a massage service, sauna, yoga studio and ski and bike workshop, it's a great base for adventure or just unwinding. The Cuisine "Two Hat" awarded restaurant sources ingredients from local suppliers and its own kitchen garden. Perhaps the best review of the Sherwood comes from In Bed With editor Rhiannon Taylor, who wrote: "If Mick Jagger were to shack up in the South Island of New Zealand, it would be at the Sherwood. A wild blend of rock'n roll, wilderness retreat and eco-designed accommodation."