Winter Wellness at Te Moata
If you’re looking for the perfect place to get off the grid and away from the hustle and bustle, strip back to simplicity and take yourself away on a digital detox to Te Moata. Enjoy walking trails, birdlife, glow worms and the rustic simplicity of a stay at one of Te Moata’s independent retreat cottages, situated within 344 hectares of regenerating native forest.
Te Moata Retreat Centre , just ten minutes drive north of Tairua, was built in the late 1980’s and originated as a Buddhist meditation centre. The centre’s property includes five streams, several waterfalls and a number of sacred circular spaces where people can come and contemplate. Bird life is plentiful, including kiwi, which can often be heard in the still of the night.
These days, Te Moata has opened itself up to a diverse community and is a welcoming place for wellbeing across all spectrums of faith, philosophy and discipline. It exists primarily to help people connect with themselves, and with nature. They can do so by attending a retreat hosted by the centre and facilitated by specialist educators. Or, they can simply come and stay at one of the cottages on-site, and experience a winter wellness retreat of their own design, in a pristine, natural environment.
There are two cottages at Te Moata available for anyone to enjoy an independent winter getaway. Earth Hut is rustic, warm and cosy, with shower, fridge and gas hobs and plenty of firewood to keep the log fire blazing. The cottage has a sunny deck and startling views. A carpark is available next to the cottage.
Phoenix Cottage is a newer, more modern accommodation, a few minutes walk through bush from a carpark. It boasts a sun-drenched deck and views onto bush and farmland. Along with a log fire (wood supplied), shower and fridge, Phoenix Cottage does have wifi, and home comforts also include a gas oven and toaster.
Guests at both cottages can access the retreat grounds, sacred sites, creeks and bush tracks at Te Moata. There are also three remote huts on the property, where people can undertake personal retreats. Access is by bush track, they are hike-in, hike-out only, and not for the faint of heart.
Te Moata is off the grid and uses solar energy. It is an alcohol, drug and smoke free environment and is an ideal space for a personal retreat or rejuvenation. Te Moata’s managers Lorraine Rastorfer & Mark Sweeney live on-site and are available to answer questions and assist guests should they require it. There is also a massage therapist on-site to further deepen your relaxation during your time at Te Moata.
Many people who have experienced a stay at Te Moata tend to return and want to give back in some way, because of the positive impact the place has made on their lives. Volunteers are central to the centre’s operation and maintenance, with the spirit of generosity at its core. Te Moata also makes its courses and teachings accessible for many people, through its volunteer participation programme.
Though Te Moata feels like a million miles from anywhere, it is only 30 minutes drive from the cafes, shops and tourist hotspots of Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove, Hahei and Whitianga.
From mid-June, the centre will be taking a break from hosting courses, and the cabins will be available for winter bookings. Due to the many natural hazards on the property, Te Moata is unsuitable for children, however it is a wonderful place for adults and teens to come away for a winter wellness weekend.
Te Moata also hosts Sangha; a community night on Thursdays from 6pm-9pm, where anyone is welcome to gather for meditation, a shared silent meal and an opportunity to share and connect with like-minded people.