The Great Winter Escape

By Fiona Stephenson

As the days get longer but temperatures stay cold-er, it’s that time of year when we could all do with a great winter escape.  You might be thinking of a retreat in Bali, or the warm and breezy shores of our Island neighbours. But we have world-class winter getaways right here in Aotearoa!

Whether you want to hibernate in luxury, or connect with nature in some of the world’s most unique landscapes – from Whangarei to Queenstown, our SBN Membership has you covered.

Eco Villa’s Reconnect Retreat 29 August – 1 September 2019

Reconnect is a world class retreat and is available right on your door step. Treat yourself to a wonderful weekend staying at the beautiful Eco Villa in the heart of Christchurch, fully catered with delicious plant based food, three inspiring foodie workshops, yoga, mindfulness and a chance to discover the city.

Starting with a decadent Cacao extravaganza, followed by an inspiring walk around Christchurch with a local hero as your guide, ending with a night of talking and enjoying the most fabulous plant based food. Then wake up and do it all again the next day!

After meditation, yoga and breakfast routine, learn how to make your own vegan cheeses & then how to create coconut yoghurt and nut milks at home. Enjoy more incredible plant based food, shared around a table with like-minded people. And to end it all a reflective talk on mindfulness and how to achieve in our busy world. Make new friends and reconnect with old ones on this unique weekend getaway. If you can’t make it that weekend, you can stay all year ’round too!

Adventure Capital

Want more adventure in your life? Adventure Capital brings the goods with camp, hike and bike adventures in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. You can choose self-guided or guided bike tours, as well as a range of gear rental options and all-inclusive package deals. They know the hiking and biking trails around the country, as well as the Department of Conservation campgrounds. Check them out for your next outdoor adventure in New Zealand.

Auckland Seaplanes

Get your exclusive ticket to the Hauraki Gulf, our very own slice of New Zealand paradise. Experience an exhilarating water take-off and landing, explore landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world. You’ll island hop, see the city and majestic Rangitoto. You can explore the rugged coastline up to the Tasman Sea. Auckland Seaplane flights showcase the very best of the Auckland region and will give you the experience of a lifetime.

Auckland Whale & Dolphin

You don’t have to fly away to secluded islands to experience the ocean wilds – it’s available in Auckland! You can experience the diverse wildlife and stunning scenery of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park with Auckland Whale & Dolphin. See wild marine mammals and rare birds living in their natural habitat. Explore the volcanic islands with views of sandy beaches and hidden coves. Share special moments and close encounters with wildlife while capturing photos of rare birds, marine mammals and unique island views.

Camp Glenorchy – The Headwaters

How about a retreat in the Deep South? Camp Glenorchy is New Zealand’s first Net Zero Energy Retreat & Cabins. It’s part of The Headwaters, an inspiring revitalisation of classic camping, cabins, group gathering and retail services in the Glenorchy community. At the end of a beautiful 40-minute drive up the scenic shores of Lake Wakatipu you’ll find Camp Glenorchy nestled near the base of the towering Richardson and Humboldt mountains. In this place, the natural beauty surrounds you, both in the unforgettable landscape and in the warmth of the people of Glenorchy.  Adventure, relaxation or just a ‘getaway’ it’s all available at Camp Glenorchy.

Hillary Outdoors Education Centre 

Do you want a life-changing experience for your young ones? Hillary Outdoors is a charitable trust that provides outdoor education primarily to young people. It first opened its first centre in 1972 beside the Tongariro National Park. In 2006 a second centre opened on Great Barrier Island with a marine focus. The organisation also runs a very successful series of nationwide adventure-based events throughout the year. In putting his name to the organisation, Sir Edmund Hillary, the great explorer and one of the first two men to conquer Mt Everest, commented that Hillary Outdoors provided the best outdoor learning environment available – a truly unique combination of environment and education.


Looking for a new place to book accommodation that suits your style and your budget? Give HomeAway by Bookabach a go, and book your home away from home. Choose from houses, villas, cottages and apartments in every corner of the country.


Air BnB on wheels, anyone? Drive your own journey with Mighway, it’s currently one of the world’s largest and fastest growing peer-to-peer motorhome rental services. It’s been operating in New Zealand since November 2015 and California since May 2017. During this time, Mighway has attracted more than 1,000 RV/motorhome owners to rent their vehicles through the platform and continues to grow rapidly. Mighway provides RV owners with the opportunity to capitalise on the booming tourism industry whilst enabling guests to experience a genuine and authentic local experience.

Ohakune top 10 Holiday Park

If you’re looking for the quintessential Kiwi holiday park holiday, then take a look at Ohakune Top 10! This company pride themselves on giving visitors a warm welcome and an authentic, Kiwi experience. Here, you can have the ultimate Kiwi camping adventure, or opt for a bit of luxury. Experience Ruapehu and it’s snow-capped and majestic peaks, or kayak along the Whanaganui River. There’s hiking, tracking and lots of fun activities for children.

Okere falls store

Do you like the charm of yesteryear? The old Okere Falls Store was resurrected and reinvented in 2004 using the same building that stood on the edge of State Highway 33 with a petrol station, selling hot pies, lollies, bread and milk for many years. Sarah Uhl, together with friends and family, have lovingly renovated the original shop, carefully crafting a nostalgic country store feel with hints of the 1950s, a time when Okere Falls enjoyed a boom in baches and holiday-makers. Okere Falls Store is known as New Zealand’s best eco-friendly cafe. Sarah is passionate about having a business that works in harmony with the community and is gentle on the environment.


You don’t have to travel to Bali to eat, pray and love – you can experience it all in Raglan. Solscape has it all – with comfortable eco-lodgings in stunning, natural surrounds. There are plenty of opportunities to relax, nourish yourself, play, and get connected with nature. This is sustainable living at its best. Located on 10 acres with native bush, gardens and sweeping sea views, close to the famous surf beach Manu Bay. There is a surf-school, yoga centre, and massage and holistic bodywork is available as well as many other fun activities.

Tahi Estate Ltd 

At Tahi estate, they produce their own award-winning honey sustainably on site, and their luxury accommodation is the perfect spot to relax, restore and connect. With a rich variety of habitats, Tahi is a haven for walkers, birdwatchers and the conservation minded. From sand dunes on the surf beach, to diverse native forests – the lakes are home to mullet and rare, long-finned eels. The mangroves and saltmarshes are home to kingfishers, and rare fern birds. It really is a hidden gem in the North.

The Mussel Inn

Want some ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ small town adventure? The Mussel Inn is located in the heart of Golden Bay, North West Nelson region of the South Island of New Zealand. A two hour drive from Nelson, over the Takaka hill, through the township of Takaka and on another 17 km towards Collingwood you will find yourself in Onekaka. Keep your eyes peeled, for the Mussel Inn is very subtly sign posted, but can often be recognised by the many cars parked on the roadside – especially on a busy night. The Mussel Inn could be described as ‘Kiwi Woolshed meets ‘Aussie Farmhouse’ style of construction. This rustic space boasts a large open fire, live music and they produce their own beers in their brewery and are famous for their fresh steamed mussels and mussel chowder!

Wilderness Motorhomes – nationwide

Imagine the freedom of exploring the beautiful hidden gems of Aotearoa – the beautiful beaches, the native forests, and the geothermal wonderlands – all in your own time, at your own pace.  With Wilderness Motorhomes, you can hire your very own motorhome and explore our country in luxury.  They are a family company that’s passionate about helping people live out their New Zealand dream!


Fancy some wine tasting at the cellar door? Located in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, Yealands Family Wines produces award-winning New Zealand wines in harmony with the environment. Stretching from the foothills of the Kaikoura Ranges to undulating downs overlooking Cook Strait, it’s hard to believe that Yealands’ picturesque Seaview Vineyard began life as rugged pastoral countryside.  Boasting some of the toughest conditions in the Marlborough region, including steep slopes that many said were impossible for viticulture, strong winds, cool nights and low rainfall, the land was transformed by working sympathetically with the natural contours across the uniquely folded landscape to create the striking, coastal vineyard visible today.

Ziptrek Ecotours

Are you looking for the ultimate adventure? Come and experience the world’s steepest zipline! This multi award winning company offers a spectacular zipline eco-adventure through the forest canopy high above Queenstown, on Skyline Gondola hill, situated a few minutes’ walk from Queenstown CBD. Set in some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery that Queenstown has to offer, Ziptrek Ecotours has something for everyone, no matter their age or ability. The ziplines will give you an adrenaline rush like no other!