Self-created mini retreat in Pauanui

Pauanui Harbour

Pauanui Harbour

Ever felt like a mouse is running around in a maze in your head, not sure which way to go?

Need a bit of clarity?

Literally just need to get away from everything?

Well then, I have the cure for you. I recently organised my own mini-retreat to try to get some clarity in my life and thought I’d share my recent retreat and a few tips with you.

Start on Friday night with plenty of car music and a not too long drive

I opted to do a 2.5 hour drive after work on Friday night to drive from Auckland to Pauanui. Yes, I may have spent an hour in traffic on the motorway, but I had my phone playing all my favourite tunes to keep me happy. These ranged from summer weekend songs from the Black Seeds and Bob Marley to ones with more of a beat, just when I needed a bit more of a reminder to get amped for the weekend like Swedish House Mafia and Muse, not to forget those memories from South America with a few Latin tunes too.

Arriving in Pauanui, I already had a self-made frozen pre-cooked meal ready to go, I just had to heat it up and get my bed ready. I am lucky enough that my sister has a cabin walking distance from the beach in Pauanui so I was grateful to be able to stay there for the weekend! Given that it is winter there were hardly any people (stark difference to summer) and it was lovely and peaceful!

Start Saturday right with good food

Relaxing breakfast to start the day

Relaxing breakfast to start the day

Coffee in bed with a book is always the best way to start the weekend, so that’s exactly what I did. Once that was down, it was time for a yummy paleo cereal with kiwifruit and herbal tea with my favourite ‘Good Health’ magazine to read.

Relax and take in calm

With one of my favourite apps ‘Calm’ I spent 10-15mins doing a guided meditation, then followed up with a bit of yoga. I had the aim of not expecting any answers this weekend, just to relax and hope that parts of my life I’m not sure about would surface themselves with clarity.

Beach walks and meditation

Pauanui Beach on a Winter's Day

Pauanui Beach on a Winter’s Day

If there is one favourite thing I have to do in New Zealand it would be to go for walks along the beach. While it is winter here, I was lucky enough to have a stunning weekend with mostly blue skies that allowed me to go for a few nice slow walks and pause at the odd park bench and listen to the waves as they crashed on the beach.

Pauanui Harbour

Pauanui Harbour

I managed to fit in a meditation session after each meal and a bit of mindfulness colouring in and reading throughout the day between my beach walks. Ah the zen…

Quiet night in

A treat for me is always fish n’ chips by the beach – I missed proper newspaper wrapped fish n’ chips when I lived in the UK, so whenever I go away somewhere in NZ I like to treat myself. Pauanui’s takeaways did a great job with fresh snapper and a yummy potato fritter. Yes, my tummy didn’t quite agree with the deep-fried meal choice, but it was definitely tasty!

Sunday morning pancakes

Yes, I may be somewhat paleo-ish but I can make buckwheat pancakes and be naughty with jam on top! Sunday morning consisted of pancakes and coffee, followed by more yoga and meditation.

Big walk before heading back to the city

Pauanui Beach

Pauanui Beach

The sun was shining even more on Sunday, so I ventured out for a big loop around what felt like the entire coast of the Pauanui township and waterways. It was really lovely and with the hard sand it was nice to be able to walk on the beach in winter with the sun shining down.

Post-lunch it was time to pack up and clean before driving back to Auckland. The hardest part about my mini-break was leaving the calm and peaceful scene by the beach, but life calls and work awaits…

Park bench at Pauanui beach

Sunshine in Pauanui on a Winter’s Day