Clear waters, spectacular landscapes and a thriving healthy cafe culture – New Zealand is the best neighbour we could ever ask for.
The perfect blend of adventure and relaxation is waiting for you when you hop across to the beautiful volcanic islands. Get active on the water and soak up the scenery of dramatic cliffs, secluded beaches and crystal lakes. Then when you're ready for a break, replenish yourself with a feast of fresh, home-grown fare.
Best places for stand up paddle boarding
New Zealand’s staggeringly pretty landscape is impressive from every angle, but we think the vantage point of a stand up paddle board takes the cake. Here are some of the best places to give it a go.
The small seaside town of Raglan is just 48 km west of Hamilton on New Zealand’s north island and home to Raglan SUP Boarding. Explore the coastline while getting an ab workout with individual board rental, lessons, or morning and afternoon yoga classes on the board – now that will test your balance!
SUP Centre in Auckland really is pushing the boundaries when it comes to what you can do on a paddle board. With boards for hire and sale that you can stand up surf on, glide about on lakes with, practise yoga on, and even fish from, there’s a paddle board to suit every passion. Lessons are held at Mission Bay Watersports, just 10 minutes from the city centre on one of Auckland’s beautiful sandy beaches.
When it comes to beautiful landscapes, it’s hard to top the pristine waters of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand’s stunning South Island. Drink it all in from atop a paddle board with Wanaka Kayaks, SUP and Sail, an ISA endorsed stand up paddle board school. Peak SUP school time is here over summer, so scoot over the ditch and give it a go. Classes include a basic introduction to SUP, mission-style classes and, everyone’s favourite, SUP yoga.
Delicious organic cafes
Keep your energy levels up with a mouth-watering organic feast. Here are some of our top picks of the delicious local produce that awaits.
Film director James Cameron’s latest venture is a little different – an organic food store and eatery in Greytown, one hour north of Wellington. Selling produce grown from Cameron’s own Wairarapa farm, Food Forest Organics champions a plant-based, wholefoods lifestyle, with products including farm-made olive oil, hemp seed oil, honey and nuts. Pick up some organic, plant-based cheese and yoghurt, or sit down to a salad made from farm-fresh ingredients accompanied by a slice of sourdough.
2. Taste Nature
Tucked away in South Island’s Dunedin is family-owned and run organic store and cafe, Taste Nature. Keeping it simple, their self-service eatery menu revolves around seasonal primary produce and wholefoods, plus tasty treats like homemade cakes and slices. Pick up organic produce from local growers, fresh herbs from Taste Nature’s local garden on the Waitati River, and bulk natural wholefoods.
With three ’nests' dotted around Auckland, Little Bird is doing something right when it comes to serving the city’s residents raw, organic meals. Shoppers can buy products, sign up to raw meal plans and dine in at the cafes, known as the ‘unbakeries’. Choose from yummy raw breakfasts, smoothies and shakes or select a special treat or two from Little Bird’s infamous sweets cabinet.