Mindful Moments Retreat

mindfuol moments (by the pool)


By Rachel Grunwell

Life can get chaotic and stressful. It’s easy to lose our “spark”.

So when the chance came to unwind, de-stress and relax at a ‘Mindful Moments Retreat’ at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa, I jumped at the chance.


makaia in pool

Pictured: one of the spa’s blissful pools.

There was a “no pressure” approach. But it was hard to resist anything on the programme because it was all so good for the mind, body and soul! 

The itinerary included the Redwoods Treewalk, which is a walk over 21 suspension bridges between giant redwood trees. You are up to 12m off the ground at some points.

mindful moments (tree)

The workshops included clean-eating inspiration, mindfulness, yoga and chances to do mindfulness colouring or just chill out on a bean bag. 

mindful moments (trio)

Pictured from left to right: Rachel Grunwell, Hollie Beau, and Makaia Carr.

You could opt in, or out, of the group dinner at a restaurant, and I loved that we could organise our own accommodation to suit our own budget. I stayed at the Millennium Hotel Rotorua, which has magnificent lake views and is just a short stroll from the city centre and the Polynesian Spa.

The spa trips, of course, were a highlight. Soaking in the spa’s mineral pools (of varying temperatures) among native NZ flora, natural rocks, waterfalls and a grotto, is bliss. Here I relaxed, let go, felt grounded and calm. And then after soaking my body on the Saturday, I was pampered with a 60-minute spa therapy, which was included in the retreat cost. During this therapy, my body and head was massaged and mud and Manuka honey were applied to my torso and limbs (to detoxify, revitalise and moisturise).

mindful moments (massage)

Pictured: Rachel getting a pampering at Polynesian Spa.

Another highlight was getting an incredibly generous goodie bad worth hundreds of dollars. This alone would have almost covered the cost of the retreat.

goodie bag

I loved meeting other wonderful women on the retreat too.

Retreat manager Helena Keenan lead the mindfulness part of the retreat and talked about techniques like focusing on different parts of the body and bringing awareness to our breathe to de-stress. She offered insights like how to change our focus from “expectations to contentment”. She mentioned stress “sneaks up on people until they find they’re unable to cope”. She taught us some techniques to help us put the brakes on “before you get to that point”.

  •  Rachel Grunwell is a magazine wellness columnist and writer, marathon runner, yoga teacher and the director of this website inspiredhealth.co.nz
  • Follow InspiredHealth on Facebook and Instagram for health-inspired giveaways and lifestyle inspiration 

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  • This story was published in NZME newspapers nationwide 



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