At a secluded luxury lodge in Northland, Kirstie Bedford Takes pause at a mindfulness retreat on the remote Purerua Peninsula
I’m driving along a gravel road surrounded by farmland, convinced I must be lost.
I’m heading to The Landing, a luxury retreat on 400 hectares on the southwestern tip of Purerua Peninsula, for a wellness weekend, but for kilometres there’s been nothing but rolling green hills dotted with cows. I’m about to turn around when I notice an impressive stone wall and, as I head up the driveway, iron gates slide open. A staff member waves out. I soon learn that having no signage is all part of the exclusivity here, and besides, many arrive by helicopter.
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We drive past rows of vines that roll into a glassy bay to my residence and it’s picture-perfect. There are four luxury architecturally designed residences, all discreetly dotted around the property. Mine, The Boathouse, was inspired by a colonial woolshed, but inside it looks anything but. There’s an open-plan lounge, commercial-size kitchen and two large bedrooms. The one in the loft has a waka hanging overhead. Bi-fold doors open to the bay, glistening under a perfect spring day; a complete antithesis to the blackened clouds that threatened to erupt into a thunderous storm within me. The last two months have been hard. My mother had major heart surgery and wasn’t expected to make it. The stress of balancing work, a young family, and having a gravely ill mother had taken its toll.
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