From fantastic treehouse escapes to glorious glamping getaways and log cabin retreats, these beautiful properties are sure to inspire and offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature for a weekend and recharge your body and mind.
With all the extra time spent indoors over the past year, Booking.com has seen a noticeable increase in endorsements from travellers using the platform for hiking (+94%), clean air (+50%) and nature (+44%).
Considering this renewed passion to reconnect with the great outdoors and to mark Earth Day, here are five breathtaking wooded stays in New Zealand.
Waitākere Ranges, Auckland
Located on Auckland’s West Coast, sits the natural treasure that is the Waitākere Ranges. The expansive bush is home to many native plants and trees. While a rāhui remains over a number of the walking tracks to combat kauri dieback in the area, there are many still to safely explore – and the recently reopened Ōmanawanui track is the perfect excuse to head west for a weekend.
The Music Studio sits nestled among 10 acres of native bush on Te Henga Road, a gateway to the Waitākere Ranges. The secluded studio and garden are near the Ark in the Park Conservation Area, just fifteen minutes from Bethells Beach and five minutes from the quarry waterfall and lakes.
Kaikōura Ranges, Kaikōura District
On the South Island’s east coast, Kaikōura is well known for its coastal treasures however the bordering ranges are a treasure trove themselves. The seaward side of the ranges is home to diverse native fauna including the world’s only breeding colonies of Hutton’s shearwaters, as well as eleven species of lizards. Walks centred around Mt Fyffe make a great day trip from Kaikōura, with the Hinau Loop abundant with native tree specimens including hinau, mahoe, putaputaweta, and kanuka.
Closer to the coast, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds, the Hapuku Lodge & Tree House sits elevated amongst the treetops. With views of both the surrounding bush and the ocean, the Tree House offers a truly immersive nature experience.
Ruahīne Forest Park, Hawkes Bay Region
The grand bush-covered ranges of the Ruahīne Forest Park stretch from the Hawke’s Bay region in the east, to the Manawatu in the west. A great number of hikes through native bush of rimu, miro, matai and kahikatea are on offer, with varying levels of difficulty meaning there’s a suitable track for everyone. Break through the tree line to explore the alpine hinterlands and summer flowering herb fields.
The River Valley Lodge sits on the Manawatu side of the range, alongside the Rangitikei River. While nearby hiking trails provide a means to explore the area by foot, the Lodge also provides horse treks and river rafting adventures, offering a different perspective on the surrounding area.
Hanmer Forest Park, Canterbury Region
Tucked away behind one of the popular holiday towns of Canterbury is the sublime walking and cycling park of Hanmer Forest. Explore the myriad of walks offered in Hanmer Forest for all ages and hiking capabilities. This region has many native grasses, shrubs and trees to view along each and every walk. Get back in touch with nature by taking a gentle bike excursion through the forest tracks or challenge yourself with one of the more complicated trails for the day.
The Woodbank Park Cottages are located right on the edge of Hanmer forest park, offering easy access to all the tracks and walks. The cosy log fire is the perfect spot to put your feet up at the end of a long day exploring the forested surrounds.
Coromandel Forest Park, Waikato
The Waikato region is a playground for people with a spirit of adventure in nature. More specifically the Coromandel Forest Park has spectacular views and a walk for every day of the week. If you’re in the mood for a chilled stroll and picnic, then take the Shakespeare Headland Track with your family, alternatively take the 12km return route of Success Track for a more challenging hike.
Rest and reset your mind with a stay at Rapaura Watergardens to experience the magic of nature in the Coromandel. From the property, there’s direct access to the ‘Seven Stairs of Heaven’ a cascading waterfall, while rooms offer tree-laden views.
Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
Rotorua has forests aplenty to explore from the giant redwoods of Whakarewarewa, to those surrounding the many lakes in the region. Adventurous types might like to take to the trails on a mountain bike, while others will enjoy exploring the canopy during the Redwoods Treewalk. For something more remote, the trails around Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina will truly transport you.
Stay at Lake Tarawera’s te Whare chalet among the trees to really get the forest feeling. The property fuses modern design with Maori elements, a tribute to the rich history of the area. Enjoy the treetop vantage point across the lake after a day’s exploring out in nature.