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Take the scenic route: enriching slow travel experiences in New Zealand

Take the scenic route: enriching slow travel experiences in New Zealand

No need to rush ... these exquisite experiences, retreats, artworks and havens are best savoured and enjoyed at your leisure.

Take the scenic route: enriching slow travel experiences in New Zealand

From food tours in the great outdoors to enchanting gardens and sculpture trails in New Zealand, these slow travel experiences are ones to remember.

Food, wine and nature

Hop on your bike and get a taste of nature, food and wine on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. The 174km trail can be biked in one go, or broken up into day trips.

The 2-3 hour return ride between Stoke and Brightwater is the perfect way to explore the wineries and countryside of the Waimea Plains. You can stop off at one of the cellar doors along the gentle ride and discover what makes this region so special.

Savour the tastes and sensations of the Marlborough Sounds on a gastronomy journey with Ground Food Tours.

The local tour company’s two-day Mahau Magic Retreat explores the magic of Mahau Sound, sampling Māori food, gourmet food with wine matches, a cooking class and foraging tour for native herbs and fresh seafood.

A tour with Forage & Feast

Join Forage & Feast on a half or full-day food adventure, sampling the culinary delights of Wānaka and Hāwea.

Meet local growers and food producers in the beautiful Central Otago outdoors in an immersive ‘paddock to plate and everything in-between’ foodie experience.

Soul-enhancing retreats

Southern Alps retreat Aro Ha is the wellness destination for a transformative, nourishing and nature-filled experience. Morning yoga, mountain walks and cuisine created from the onsite garden feature in its tailor-made multi-day stays.

Yoga at the award-winning Aro Ha retreat,

Recharge in nature at the Maruia River Retreat. Located in Murchison, near the Nelson Lakes area, this private retreat offers spa, yoga and massage experiences, along with bird-watching walks, river cruises and fly fishing.

Art trails and gardens

The gardens and sculpture trails in New Zealand are world-class, bringing together the beauty of nature and art. The Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens house more than 70 works in a beautifully cultivated garden setting.

The Italian Renaissance Garden at Hamilton Gardens

Be transported to Italy or step into a surrealist wonderland at the Hamilton Gardens. Explore over 20 award-winning gardens, including the delightful Katherine Mansfield lawn and dreamlike Surrealist Garden.

The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum in the Waikato is another art and nature gem. The 2km trail winds through 100 NZ-made sculptures and installations, nestled among native flora and fauna.

Waipara Valley’s dramatic mountain ranges set the scene at this lesser- known north Canterbury sculpture park. The Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park, founded by artist Raymond Herber, features large, bold sculptures in a native garden setting.

Anish Kapoor’s 25-metre ‘Dismemberment’ at Gibbs Farm

A tour of Gibbs Farm is an unforgettable experience, featuring massive sculptures, exotic animals and rolling farmland. This private sculpture park is only open to the public once a month and books out quickly, so look out for the next event.

A tropical haven awaits you at the Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens & Sculpture Park in the Bay of Islands, where you’ll discover a treasure trove of vibrant, exotic plants.

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