A beautiful midsummer’s day at Manakau Purepod.
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(The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2020 - 12:00am

To nature in New Zealand

Every now and then, a digital detox is needed. While we do set daily reminders to step away from everything and take time for ourselves, there’s nothing like the pleasure of disconnecting from the world in order to connect with yourself.

And when it’s time to take a breather, New Zealand may just be the place to go. With its spectacular off-the-grid locales that allow you to spend time with yourself, you’re sure to find the tranquility and calmness you need to recharge. 

It’s time to drop your phones and electronic devices, and enjoy the wonders of the tech-free world in these out-of-the-way off-grid New Zealand destinations.

Peas in a glass pod

The most comfortable way to be fully immersed in nature, a PurePod is a pretty unique way to experience New Zealand. When we say immersed, we mean immersed: the “pods” are made entirely from glass – from floor to ceiling. They don’t have television or internet coverage, but they do feature the most advanced environmentally-friendly tech available for the generation of power and disposal of waste. PurePods are integrated into the breathtaking natural environments they inhabit (there are six locations around the Christchurch region) and feature views of the sea, mountains, rivers and the glorious southern night sky. The best time to visit is spring and autumn when the countryside is at its prettiest.


Sky’s the limit

Forget air pollution: the pristine Mackenzie Country offers unimpeded views of the glorious southern night sky. SkyScape at Omahau Hill Station offers visitors the opportunity to soak up the stars in a SkyBed – a recessed, ground-level bed underneath a roof of glass. Meanwhile, outside there’s a 2m-long bath crafted from steel and cedar and fed by a nearby freshwater spring. Three and a half hours from Christchurch, the farm is full of New Zealand’s most common animals – sheep and cattle. Enjoy the scrub- and tussock-strewn landscape by day, and when darkness falls, watch the universe unfold in all its star-studded glory.


Glamp it up

For some, camping can be a trial (think insects, wet weather and minimal facilities), but glamping offers all of the fun with none of the “ew” factor. Clifton Glamping in Hawke’s Bay features such home comforts as hot water, fine linen on a king-sized bed and even an outdoor bath. The “glamp site” overlooks a beautiful, slow-flowing river and you get the feeling you’re a million miles away from civilization (in reality, the nearest town is just five minutes away). What’s more, Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its wineries, and there’s a wealth of outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking for those who want to get a little active and stir themselves away from pure unadulterated bliss.


Lap up the luxury

Few things are as de-stressing as the sound of water lapping against the side of a luxury launch. The Fiordland Jewel takes this to a whole new level of luxe – think on-board helipad, hot tubs and fine-dining cuisine. The five-star catamaran takes a maximum of 20 people a night, cruising the Milford Sound and further reaches of Fiordland, offering a completely off-the-grid experience combined with blissful helpings of pure comfort.


Wild at heart

Hours from anywhere, Wilderness Lodge is situated on the banks of Lake Moeraki, in the heart of the South Island’s World Heritage-listed Te Wahipounamu area. It is wilderness accommodation with all the comforts you require, including spa baths and private decks. You can walk on the beach, soak up the stillness of the lake or enjoy guided tours of the ancient forests that surround the site. There’s also a restaurant on site with a view as good as the food. Spring is a good time for wildlife activity and the lodge offers guided tours to secret places where, apart from the wildlife, there’s no one else in sight.


Flying high

With no road access (accessible only by aerial cable car or river boat), The Flying Fox near Whanganui is ideal for unplugging. Located on the mighty Whanganui River, there are a range of accommodation options to suit all tastes. There’s the James K Cottage (named after New Zealand’s best-known poet), the quirky Gypsy Cart and some campsites. The Whanganui River is a mystical and magical place, rich in both M?ori and European history, and it’s extremely meditative to watch the deep green waters flow by. There’s not much else to do here apart from walk through the bush and soak up the scenery, but that’s the joy of the place.


Island life

Mount St. Paul Estate in Great Barrier Island is a hidden gem just 30 minutes by plane from Auckland or by ferry from the downtown wharf. Set in more than 40 hectares of pristine native bush and features a range of accommodation options and excellent food, the island has bush, beach, hot springs and mountains, and also offers great surf. All the rooms on the estate have central heating, plus elevated views over the nearby sea. Great Barrier Island also happens to be New Zealand’s newest Dark Sky Sanctuary, so expect sublime nighttime panoramas.


Visit https://www.newzealand.com/ for more information.



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