Christmas and the summer holidays are a special time of year and can hold different meanings for people, depending on upbringing, religious outlook or family dynamic. For some, the summer holidays are a time to come together and celebrate, for others it’s a time of reflection on the year that’s been and anticipation and planning for what the future holds in store. Some families use this time to reunite at their traditional holiday spot, whereas others may prefer to use their vacation time to relax and get away from it all.
No matter what your views are around the festive season, a summer getaway is the perfect time to heal your mind body and soul; allowing you to head into the New Year with your batteries recharged and a renewed sense of purpose.
Omau Settlers Lodge is the perfect location for your next getaway, whether it’s this summer or at another time of year. And to prove this claim; here’s our TOP TWELVE TIPS on how to heal your mind body and soul with a summer getaway (to Cape Foulwind, of course!)
1. Take a digital detox
An Escape to the Cape is the perfect location for a digital detox. Let your loved ones know you’re going off the grid for a while and turn off that mobile phone, leave the laptop behind and just soak up the natural untamed wilderness of the Wild West Coast. There’s plenty of activities and sights to see and do here and NONE of them require the use of a digital device to enrich your experience.
Did you know that in 2018 the average adult spent upward of 10 hours per day in front of a screen (mobile, laptop, computer, TV). Not only does this pose a huge concern about eye strain, screen time is also linked to obesity.
A digital detox is where you commit to a period without your ‘device.’
If you really want to return from your summer holiday feeling recharged and refreshed, a digital detox is a great way to do this. Perhaps going digitally AWOL is a stretch too far, in this case, why not limit your screen time to once a day for 30 minutes.
The idea can be quite stressful at first, and the first 24 hours are definitely the worst, but it’s worth persevering as in no time flat you’ll be enjoying your surroundings and new sense of freedom, without the nagging need to look at your phone every five minutes. It’s a beautiful world out there, get out and enjoy it.
2. Fuel your body with goodness
Clean healthy eating and lots of fresh clean drinking water are integral to a healthy mind body and soul.
Omau Settlers Lodge collects and filters our own beautiful clean West Coast rain water for guests, the water supplied to our cozy guest studios is not only drinkable, it tastes great, and is chlorine and chemical free. Often guests will ask us…
“Is the water safe to drink here?”
The answer is YES, our water is not only safe to drink, it’s crystal clean and pure… so enjoy.
Westport boasts an unusual benefit for those who want to eat healthy and clean… this town has NO drive through takeaway outlets! That’s right, no McDonalds, Burger King, KFC or other unhealthy temptations for those seeking a quick fix or about to fall of the healthy eating wagon! That’s not to say you can’t order a very good pizza in town (we recommend Smiley’s Pizza and also the Criterion Hotel), but at least without the temptation of a drive through, you will have given your next meal a bit more thought and made a calculated decision as to whether you’ve earned that treat.
Westport and the wider Buller region does have a range of great restaurants, cafes and eateries. There’s something for all budgets, so don’t despair, you’ll still be able to well and truly indulge and delight your taste buds during your stay in the region!
3. Yoga, Pamper Time and Meditation
A Wild Peace Wellness Centre is a collective facility right in the heart of Westport. It is a collaboration between Hannah from the Kawatiri Yoga Collective and Lani from Obsidian Beauty. Their focus is on holistic health & well-being. Not only does the Wellness Centre provide yoga sessions and lessons in their beautiful yoga studio, the offer a full range of beauty services, facials and waxing, as well as offering a range of Eco friendly and organic products for sale.
Meditation is another proven way to quiet your inner turmoil and to get more in touch with your mind, body and soul. Regular meditation can help you deal with stress and negative emotions. It can also help reduce levels of depression and anxiety, and improve tolerance to pain.
Find a quiet spot on an isolated beach… and yes, that’s absolutely possible even in the height of summer here at Cape Foulwind and Tauranga Bay. Breathe in the fresh air and meditate your worries away. Build your positivity and improve your outlook on life through meditation.
Sea water temperatures on the West Coast in Summer tend to range between 14-21 degrees Celsius, so a coastal swim can be both brisk and invigorating. I’ve been doing some research on the benefits of taking cold showers as there are tangible health benefits of a plunge into cold water, including:
- increased alertness
- refines hair and skin
- improves immunity and circulation
- stimulates weight loss
- speeds up muscle soreness and recovery
- eases stress and depression
We advise all guests to take care when choosing a swimming spot on the West Coast as there are very strong rips and currents. It is recommended that you don’t go out of your depth when swimming, and where possible swim with other swimmers or surfers.
Less than a five-minute drive from Omau Settlers Lodge, is Leeann Hill, of Healthwise Naturopathy. Leeann’s clinic is in a beautiful and peaceful setting enabling deep relaxation of both the body and mind.
Healthwise Naturopathy operates on a flexible time schedule meaning bookings are made to suit your time constraints wherever possible. Services include Massage, Naturopathy and therapeutic treatments such as Aroma Touch Massage, or Hot Stone Therapy.
Advance bookings are advised to avoid disappointment.
6. Walk or run… Just get outside and get in touch with nature
The great thing about the Buller region is the sheer variety of walking tracks for all fitness levels. The Kawatiri Millennium walkway, the Truman Track and Charming Creek all offer a nice flat walk for a relaxing stroll or run.
For more of a challenge, why not take on the 86km Old Ghost Road, either on foot or on mountain bike. It’s a grade 4-5 mountain bike trail, so it will test your stamina and skill. Recently we had a group of elite athletes stay at the lodge and they did a training run on the Old Ghost Road over two days. The group loved their stay at Omau Settlers Lodge and said the scenery and tracks on the OGR were fantastic.
The takeout here is that our region offers walking and cycling tracks for all levels of fitness, you couldn’t pick a better spot to get in touch with nature and focus on your health and well-being. So get outside, explore our great tracks, hug a tree or find the perfect spot to have a picnic and just soak in your beautiful surroundings.
7. Get your heart pumping with a burst of adrenaline
A bit of adrenaline, human jet fuel, in short bursts can great for your health and happiness levels. When you experience an adrenaline rush, your body is activating a heightened state of physical and mental alertness.
Here’s a few adrenaline boosting activities on offer in the Buller region:
- Caving, Cave Rafting, Rock Climbing and Canyoning with Underworld Adventures
- Buller Canyon Jet Boat Ride at Murchison
- Mountain Bike the Old Ghost Road – or for an added buzz, why not helicopter in.
- Surf Lesson with West Coast Surf at Tauranga Bay
- Fishing – there’s no feeling like hooking the ‘big one’ of a West Coast Beach or the Buller River
8. Horse Riding
I’ve been a mad keen horsewoman of many years and can vouch firsthand of the benefits of horse riding for the mind, body and soul. There’s nothing quite like horseback riding through a forest, or along a river or isolated beach with nothing but the rhythmic sound of hoof beats to lull you into a sense of relaxation and calm. Horse riding is also very good for building strength in your core muscles, so if you don’t ride regularly, you’ll probably discover a few muscles you never knew you had the day after a horse trek!
I recommend Punakaiki Horse Treks, they have quiet, safe and sound horses. Their 2.5 hour ride caters for riders of all levels and ventures up into the Punakaiki valley beside the Paparoa National Park, finishing with a stroll along the Punakaiki beach. The trek involves river crossings, passes limestone cliffs, forestry and you will see an abundance of bird life including wood pigeons, tui, weka, pukeko, oyster catchers and more. Horseback riding is a stunning way to explore our rugged countryside.
9. Start a journal
What better way to capture your West Coast Adventures than to start a journal. Journaling is a great way to unleash your creativity and it can also build emotional intelligence, self-discipline and a sense of well-being.
Given that our summer holidays also coincide with the start of a new year, this can be a great time to write down your goals and aspirations for the year ahead.
Personally I find keeping a diary or journal really helpful to unclutter my head, It’s no wonder too… studies have shown that there’s an emotional release from journaling which lowers anxiety, stress, and induces better sleep.
10. Soak in the Hot Tub
Relax and unwind in our outdoor hot tub after a day of exploring and adventures. The hot tub is located among native bush for privacy and is available free of charge for our guests’ use until 10pm daily.
Dark, clear skies; unique celestial features make stargazing in New Zealand a truly magical experience and on a clear night you will be treated to some of the best star gazing on offer in New Zealand.
11. Read a good book
There’s nothing quite like settling in to read a good book while you’re on holiday. Perhaps you’re into self-help or motivational reads (in which case I recommend The Ten Times Rule by Grant Cardone), or maybe a light-hearted romantic comedy (try Love Handles by Gretchen Galway) is more your style.
If neither of these genres appeal to you, I can highly recommend the intriguing historical fiction novels by Jenny Patrick; Denniston Rose and sequel Heart of Coal. As the titles suggest, these novels are set in the 1880s in the Denniston Coal mining community. The central characters are five-year old Rose and her mother, and these beautifully written novels provide an amazing insight into what life would have been like within the bleak coal-mining settlement of Denniston, isolated high on a plateau above New Zealand’s West Coast. Read the book, then revisit Denniston for a deeper appreciation of what the people within this community would have endured.
12. Get a good night’s sleep
It is well-known that good sleep, along with nutrition and exercise is one of the pillars of health.
If you’re looking for peace, quiet and a good nights sleep – look no further. At Omau Settlers Lodge, we’ve got you covered! Enjoy the stillness of a quiet summer night, or the distant roar of the sea after a storm – either way, you’ll be lulled into peaceful slumber and wake refreshed to start the day and pursue your next adventure at Cape Foulwind.
But don’t take our word, here’s recent feedback from our guests…
- “Best nights sleep ever… Comfortable rooms, reasonable rates, beautiful location, friendly staff.”
- “The Lodge is about 11 kms from Westport, but the location is fabulous. Very quiet and the breakfast was included. The room was wonderful and our bed very comfortable, we would highly recommend and a huge thank you to our wonderful hosts Lee and Karen. If we had the chance again we would definitely stay there again.”
- “…Our room was tastefully appointed with a large comfortable bed and the best shower we have come across in weeks.”
- “The best greeting and exchange with the owner when I arrived. Very lighthearted and friendly. I felt like I was staying with awesome family. The room was lovely. Very comfortable and clean. I had a wonderful sleep.”
Book Direct and Save
For our best rates and seasonal special offers, please contact us directly, or book via this website.
We look forward to hosting your next Escape to the Cape, at Omau Settlers Lodge, Cape Foulwind, West Coast, New Zealand. Until then, we wish you all the very best for 2019 and a Happy New Year!
Warmest regards, Karen & Lee