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“Congratulations on publishing the 2015-16 edition of Organic Explorer. 

The book is a terrific collection of New Zealand eco travel experiences ranging from well-known major operators to hidden gems throughout the country.

It’ll be a great travel companion for anyone exploring New Zealand and wanting to hunt out the best eco experiences on offer. 

I wish you every success with your book”.
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Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand 

Aro Ha Wellness Retreat

Aro Ha Wellness Retreat
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33 Station Valley Road, Queenstown
03 442 7011
Located in New Zealand’s ethereal Southern Alps, Aro Hā is designed for the rejuvenation of the human spirit.  Aro Hā's physically challenging programs stimulate the body & mind with sub alpine hiking, vinyasa yoga, and dynamic movement.  The programs include nutrient dense vegetarian cuisine, healing bodywork, and opportunities for mindfulness & introspection.  Your diligent attention to wellness will be rewarded with a youthful embodiment of optimum health.  If your life feels like it needs conscious change, you’ve found the ideal elixir.

Join Aro Hā for a signature Wellness Adventure, or a specialty retreat hosted by a guest educator.  Regardless of your choice, you will leave with the same renewed connection and mindful enthusiasm for life.

Environment Friendly Action

We conserve heat We conserve water We reduce/limit oil/gas carbon emissions We employ alternative energy resources: wind/solar/water We recycle where possible We compost food waste We use sustainable toilet/grey water waste disposal We use bio-degradable cleaning agents We use reclaimed or low embodied energy building materials We use renewable natural furnishings We instruct staff in green practices We include green room info packs We mention green/eco issues on our website We conserve/care for wildlife in our area/ natural pest eradication We participate in community environmental initiatives We use principles of permaculture and/or biodynamic method of farming

Dietary Selections: We offer

Vegan Vegetarian Organic Food Locally sourced food Home-grown spray-free produce


Beautiful multi-function communal building Lounge Dining Room Guest Accommodation Staff Accommodation Spa - Hot Tub, Cold Plunge, Finnish Sauna, Infrared Sauna, Cooling bed Massage and Treatment Rooms Permaculture Gardens and Orchards Hiking Trails

Total Capacity



Phone & WIFI

Tariff Includes

All inclusive


Follow Sir Henry Wigley Drive and take the 2nd exit on to Lucas Place. At the next roundabout, take the 2nd exit on to State Highway 6. To get on to State Highway 6A, take the first exit at the next roundabout. Continue on State Highway 6A until you reach Beach Street. At Beach Street turn left. Continue down Beach Street to Lake Esplanade and follow the road until you reach a roundabout with the sign marked "Glenorchy", this will be the 1st exit. Follow the Glenorchy Road for approx. 45-50 minutes. The entrance to Aro Hā will be on your right.
Email A Booking Enquiry

User Reviews

There are: 1 reviews, with an average rating of 5.0 out of 5
SO I'm lying in bed reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth. It has been thoughtfully placed in my room by the staff of Aro Ha Retreat, evidently some light reading to facilitate mindfulness practise.

The first chapter reads something along the lines of: whatever your circumstances in life are right now, you have created the place you find yourself in. I glance around my simple luxurious room, languidly stretch out in my comfy king-sized bed (no husband or cat to squeeze around) and I think to myself; right on babe. You’re doing just fine.

I am on evening one, of a 7 day wellness adventure at Aro Ha Retreat located 45 minutes from Queenstown. The retreat aims to facilitate life changing and body morphing practices. I have high expectations.

Aro Ha opened in January this year and is the creation of Chris Madison and Damian Chaparro, two Americans who met at the celebrity favoured Ashram Retreat in California and decided to invest $30 million and build their own health retreat somewhere in the world. They chose Glenorchy, New Zealand. It is a spectacular location.

The retreat is built to exacting environmental standards. There is some fancy German technology involving hydro and solar power and a panel in my bedroom tells me the power useage in my room as well as the facility as a whole. It will be interesting to see how the newly planted permaculture gardens fare over the harsh Southland winter. But you know, that is what I find so exciting about the place. It’s a work in progress and we the participants are all part of the process.

There is some doubt expressed that the feijoa’s might not make it, but the committed and talented staff have made remarkable progress with the gardens in the short space of time the facility has been opened.

A typical day at Aro Ha involves getting up at 6.30am for vinyassa flow yoga at 7am, followed by breakfast, then a 10-17km hike on one of the surrounding DOC sub-alpine walks. Lunch then therapeutic massages, strength training, cooking classes, permaculture, time in the infra-red or Finnish saunas and outdoor hot and cold pools. Evening restorative yoga, followed by meditation, dinner, movies, group sessions and more spa time if you want it.

The two highlights of my time here are the food and the staff.

The staff are fantastic. Besides all being young, buff and gorgeous, with shining eyes and a healthy glow, they have multi-talents. Sam (the handstand yogi in the picture) is an artist, (see his work on www.samuelallison.com) he also leads us on the hikes, takes the guided journal writing workshops and has a calm, thoughtful way of engaging with each of us.

The food equally is a stand out. Beautifully presented, it is based on a vegan paleo diet (apparently only 1200 calories a day). You can actually taste the love (and nutrition) in each mouthful caringly prepared by chefs Debbie and Rani.

Groups are small. Ours was a group of 10. There are 22 staff to look after us. The property can sleep 32, but the intention is to keep groups to around 12 guests, 16 at a maximum. Aro Ha provides all the details, water bottles for each guest, wet weather gear is available in the dry room, jandals for the sauna and spa areas, and a particularly efficient laundry service for your hiking clothes. All you need to do is turn up and leave yourself in their capable hands.

Skip to the end, my husband now laughs he’s glad I didn’t go on a religious retreat as I have come back with such zeal, he and my daughter are taking bets on how long the health binge is going to stick. Josephine is hoping it wont see out the month. They want to relax back into their comfort zone of potato chip snacks and chocolate. (They are not that unhealthy, but you know what I mean, our habits generally could do with improvement.)

But I tell you what.

We are not going back.

I have skirted around the periphery of organics, permaculture, earth & straw bale building, yoga, meditation and exercise for many years, but this is the first time I have put them all together as a practice at the same time.

The results:
I have lost 4 kilos.
My asthma has abated.
I too have shiny eyes and a healthy glow.
I love my husband and daughter more than ever.
I am really happy.
Nothing else to say, except...

I wish everyone could experience the Aro Ha effect.

Aro Ha Retreat, Glenorchy, South Island, New Zealand, 45 minutes drive from Queenstown.

Getting there
Air NZ flies non-stop direct to Queenstown from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Daily connections are available via Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch. See www.airnz.co.nz
How Much

Aro Ha offers a seven day, six-night Delve Deep Retreat from $NZ6250.00 a person and a four night, five day Invigorate and Enrich Retreat from $NZ4550.00 a person.
Posted by leonie on 2014-08-15 08:44:58