Relaxing at Olly's River Retreat

Olly’s River Retreat and Canopy Camping

Picture yourself sitting on a deck, wine in hand, overlooking a vast forest. The only sound surrounding you being the river below and birds chirping in the trees. You feel a wave of relaxation wash over you. It feels like you have the whole world all to yourself, and time is standing still.

This is how it feels being at Olly’s River Retreat. We found this fantastic spot through Canopy Camping which connects people with a curated collection of unique places across New Zealand. Olly’s River Retreat was the first location I’ve experienced, and I could not recommend it more. It was the perfect place to hit pause and take a break.

The cabin is owned by Gill and John on their stunning 10-acre property. They built it during the 2020 lockdown and did an amazing job. They’ve done everything possible to ensure the place oozes quality and charm.

The cabin is incredibly private, with the only evidence of other life being the native birds chirping in the trees and Roxy, the dog who might occasionally come to visit. If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, then you can’t go past Olly’s River Retreat.

Getting to Olly’s River Retreat

Olly’s River Retreat is in Horowhenua, about 15 minutes from Levin. We drove from Wellington after work on Friday, leaving at about 6pm. The drive took 2 hours which included stopping at the supermarket to pick up some supplies.

The cabin is very remote, so driving is the best way to get there. Gill and John greeted us when we arrived, showed us around the cabin and made sure we had everything we needed before leaving us to settle in and enjoy the sunset.

View from Olly's River Retreat

Things to do

Olly’s River Retreat is the perfect place to focus on unwinding and slowing down. Start the day lounging on the deck with a book or coffee in hand. Then head for a walk around the property and down to the private swimming hole. If your feeling adventurous, you can head off into the Tararuas for a day walk.

Keep the theme of relaxation going with a soak in the outdoor bathtub as the sun sets. Finish the day by cozying up with a glass of wine in front of the fire or playing one of the board games provided

Outdoor bath at Olly's River Retreat

Where to eat

The cabin is set up with a BBQ and all the cooking utensil you could need. The supermarket is 15 minutes away in Levin, so pick up some supplies on your way if you want to make your meals.

If you don’t feel like cooking, there are plenty of places to get takeaways. Or you can head to Foxton beach, which is 20 minutes away, and grab a meal at Little White Rabbit or Ocean Beach Eatery.

I would recommend grabbing some deli meat and cheese to make a charcuterie board. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a chill afternoon enjoying the beautiful view.

Charcuterie board we made at Olly's River Retreat

Olly’s River Retreat goes the extra mile

One thing that makes Olly’s River Retreat so unique is all the little details that take it to the next level. First off was the homemade pancake mix and fresh berries that were left for us to enjoy; they were delicious. And the small touches didn’t stop there.

The bathroom was equipped with super comfy robes and bath salts, making the outdoor bath even more luxurious. The gave us some treats for our dog who joined up on the trip and even let us give our electric car a top-up in the garage next door.

Does feeling like you have the whole world to yourself and having nothing to do but relax sound like your kind of holiday? Then give Olly’s River Retreat ago. If you want to discover more unique locations across New Zeland, then make sure you check out Canopy Camping; I’m sure you’ll find something you love.

More New Zealand travel

Hanging with my puppy at Olly's River Retreat
Bath Salts provided at Olly's River Retreat
Cooking at Olly's River Retreat
Bath and view at Olly's River Retreat

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