Planning a holiday across the pond? With secluded beaches, craggy snow-capped mountains and an abundance of wildlife (and friendly locals), the land of the long white cloud is a nature-lover’s paradise.
Whether you’re searching for a tiny home along a remote coastline or a glass-walled pod to take in remarkable views, these are the best Slow Stays in New Zealand.
Shipwreck Bay, Northland
If all that comes out of your stay at The Huts is a slow down, then mission accomplished. But, we can almost guarantee, you’ll leave with so much more than just a change of pace. Sitting amongst regenerated land on a hill overlooking Shipwreck Bay in Northland’s Ahipara, you’ll find two simple, cabin-like structures inspired by the rustic seaweed picker and tramping huts found dotted across Aotearoa. Kitted out with sustainable timbers, locally made furniture, organic bedding and some delicious breakfast provisions; there’s even a beach bag ready to go complete with towels and thermos for those early morning adventures.
THE LONGHOUSE | TIRIMOANA WHARE ROA
Built in the 1920s as a wellness retreat for soldiers returning from WW1 and now open for slow travellers to book for retreats, weddings and gatherings, The Longhouse is a soul-cleansing coastal stay on the South Island of New Zealand. Overlooking the rugged Otago coastline, this light-filled renovated home artfully mixes vintage and local finds to create a calming abode that can sleep up to 12 people. If you’ve been searching for a slow getaway where relaxation, restoration and a deeper connection to your fellow housemates are guaranteed, you’ve just found it.
Passing small streams, strolling down a farm track and through a grove of trees, all whilst looking beyond to the dramatic Seaward Kaikōura Mountain Range—even the short journey from the private carpark to this Slow Stay is incredibly special. Found 20 minutes inland from Kaikoura, Kahutara PurePod is a luxurious weekender, where both the walls and ceiling have been replaced with glass, allowing mesmerising views of the South Island landscape to wash in at every chance. Stay put and pull out a boardgame or the telescope or get exploring using the local reference books and marked trails across the sprawling property. And, whilst this pod is fully self-contained, pre-ordering a dinner and breakfast package means you won’t have to lug groceries from the car.
Bendigo, Otago, New Zealand
Blending in with its rocky surroundings, Dunstan Cabin is a moody, perfectly-weathered retreat just 30 minutes from the ski town of Wanaka. Perfect for a couple’s getaway and conveniently located amidst a region of working wineries, days spent here can pass by with a vino in hand, ticking off local walks or testing out your skills on the slopes nearby. No matter the season, be sure to take a soak in the sunken outdoor bath on the lower deck. With panoramic vistas overlooking the Clutha Basin, a New Zealand Slow Stay experience like this really is priceless.
Taranaki, New Zealand
Nestled in nature and laden with unparalleled views of Mount Taranaki from a cosy, lofted bedroom, it’s no wonder ecoescape is a favourite among the best Slow Stays in New Zealand. Powered entirely by solar panels and hydro turbines, this simple cabin can comfortably sleep four despite its small footprint. Between the outdoor hot tub, fireplace, roaming farm animals and mesmerising colonies of glow worms, there’s plenty to do without stepping foot off this sprawling rural property.
Bathed in sunlight and opening onto expansive views of rolling farmland and the Pacific Ocean, Hinterland Retreat is a slice of Kiwi paradise a short five-minute drive outside of Gisborne. Part cabin, part glamping experience, you’ll find a beautiful bedroom, fully-equipped outdoor (but covered) kitchen and an outdoor lounge area, complete with roll-down blinds if the winds pick up. With toiletries, towels and Wi-Fi provided, all you really need to pack are the ingredients for your favourite dish, wine for around the fire pit and a swimsuit for the beach below.
Like a mirage—where you’re not quite sure you believe what your eyes are showing you—this luxurious, coastal abode almost floats above the rugged clifftops at Pihama. Sleek in design and minimal in furnishings, The Nest is completely off-grid yet home to important creature comforts, like a king size bed, cloud-like sofa and outdoor tub. Turn off your phone and let stress and to-do lists be replaced with a soundtrack of crashing waves and endless views across the Tasman Sea and starlit skies.
Lake Tekapo, Canterbury
Snow-capped mountains—tick! Absolute waterfront location—tick! Outdoor bathtub, taking in both—tick! If you want to immerse yourself in the beauty of New Zealand’s great outdoors, without forgoing the finer things in life, then add a stay at Stargazer’s Retreat to your bucket list. Sitting on the edge of Lake Tekapo, this rustic weekender is the perfect place to ditch any plans and instead, enjoy doing nothing much at all.
THE LOVE SHACK
Okere Falls, Bay of Plenty
The epitome of a Kiwi bach, The Love Shack is a charming New Zealand Slow Stay a stone’s throw from the calm waters of Lake Rotoiti. With a private jetty and a boatshed filled with kayaks for guests, soak up downtime with a paddle or hit the tracks through the Redwood Forest. If a little less action is what you’re chasing, sink into the outdoor beanbags while an early dinner cooks on the Weber. This is low-key living at its best.