It’s easy to feel a bit blue when you’re back at work—those clothes are a little tight around the waist, the sun is actually beginning to shine, and already your to-do list is longer than the Sky Tower is high.
While there’s a number of ways to beat the back-to-work blues, one of the best things to do is to get planning your next vacay. Remember this: you’ve got three weeks back at work and then two short weeks!
It’s the perfect time to leave the city and get some R&R, realign those chakras, and rid your body of the alcohol still flowing through your veins.
We’ve found eight spots guaranteed to help you unwind.
Treetops Lodge & Estate
Remember FernGully? This place is seriously something out of a fairy tale. In the heart of a wilderness park, Treetops Lodge & Estate offers luxurious suites and villas with breathtaking views of the forests and lakes that surround it. Get some serious pampering with therapeutic Maori treatments before hopping into the outdoor mineral hot tub with that great summer read you didn’t get the chance to start.
The Vineyard Cottage
Forget the nightmare plane ride to the South of France, because this peaceful Mediterranean-styled cottage will have you thinking that’s exactly where you are. On the edge of a vineyard at Cypress Ridge Estate, The Vineyard Cottage is your own private retreat.
Take a walk through the olive grove and vineyard or tramp through an acre of native forest that includes 1,000-year-old Puriri trees for some life-affirming hugs.
Shutters is a gorgeous cottage built circa 1800. It’s a stone’s throw from Palm Beach and has every detail thought out for your pleasure. Take an outdoor shower with nature closing around you during the day, and in the evening, light the outdoor fire place for some warmth as you sip on a vino and bask in the starry, starry sky.
Okura River Estate B&B
Start your weekend with a helicopter ride to Okura River Estate and choose whether you want views of the sea, river or garden. Spend your days with your hair running wild as you horseback or opt for a gentle canoe before relaxing in the evening.
Whitford Knight Manor
Feel like you’re royalty but you were placed in the wrong family? Head to Whitford Knight Manor, a gorgeous 12-acre estate and be the lady or lord you were destined to be. Have a swim in the indoor pool/spa and look out to the estate from the comfort of your lilo. Bliss.
Lonely Bay Lodge
Every Aucklander and their dog has stayed in the Coromandel for a vacation, but this spot offers some old fashioned tranquillity and quiet ambience. Wake up to a full cooked breakfast each morning, before taking a stroll to the secluded beach at Lonely Bay where you can Instagram some driftwood and Snapchat the walk home.
Another Coromandel option is a six-acre farm at Jacaranda Lodge. Surrounding by orchards and native trees, those work obligations will become a distant memory within minutes. Relax on the wrap-around veranda in the evening with a spectacular Coromandel sunset.
Dancing Trees Holiday Cottage
Head no further south than those famous hills for this ultimate retreat at Dancing Trees Holiday Cottage. Enjoy a spa surrounded by bush, easy nature walks or hit your partner in crime up for a game of tennis. Enjoy a cooked breakfast before getting your zen on in the meditation pagoda before heading back to the big smoke for work.
Want more? Here are 5 Awesome Auckland Escapes.
Thanks to the team at Booking.com for their help with this list!