New Zealand’s varied landscapes and unspoiled wilderness made it the perfect setting for JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth in the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. This magical landscape therefore makes New Zealand one of the most spectacular destinations in the world.
In this article we recommend some of the most exclusive luxury wilderness lodges, including Huka Lodge in Taupo whose previous guests include Queen Elizabeth II, in some of the country’s most incredible locations. These luxury lodges along with the itinerary outlined below showcases the absolute best of New Zealand and this amazing trip can be booked through The Luxury Holiday Company.
Enjoy the easy life in the Bay of Islands
You must not miss the Bay of Islands. The fastest way to get there is by flying into Kerikeri airport. Stay at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and explore this idyll of northern New Zealand, from the lodge’s 6,000 acres – including a championship golf course, spa, and 11 cottages – to Kerikeri’s secluded sandy beaches, tranquil waters and seaside communities producing first-class seafood and wine. Try a thrilling helicopter tour to the Cape Reinga region at the very northern tip of New Zealand, passing over Northland’s harbours and the golden sands of Ninety Mile Beach.
Hide away on Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is a short ferry ride from Auckland. Sited in the Hauraki Gulf, it’s often nicknamed ‘Wine Island’ for its vineyards, but you can also discover a beguiling blend of forests, beaches and olive groves. Oneroa, the island’s main village, is a creative haunt for artists, writers and poets inspired by the easygoing energy and untouched nature preserves of this peaceful getaway.
Stay at Delamore Lodge to enjoy truly exclusive, sun-drenched hideaway with private fireplaces, an acclaimed wine cellar and an infinity pool so you can truly lose yourself in this quiet refuge.
Become part of the legend of Lake Taupo
From Waiheke Island, return on the short ferry to Auckland and drive approximately three hours south to Taupo, in the middle of the island. Stay at Huka Lodge on Lake Taupo, where 17 acres of protected gardens hide you away in an enveloping layer of deep greenery and peace. The volcanic lake last erupted nearly two millennia ago, and believed to be the beating heart of the North Island’s Maori mythology.
Drink deep the wines and natural beauty of Hawke’s Bay
Drive southeast to Hastings in Hawke’s Bay, where some of New Zealand’s most prized wines originate – grapes here seem to transform into liquid sunshine in the vineyards striping the lush slopes of the hills. Stay at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, and soak up the panoramic Pacific views while teeing off on the coastal cliffside gold course, melting into the relaxing environment of the spa or tasting award-winning wine in the on-site wine cellar. With a 600-foot drop from striated cliffs into the glittering sea and the largest mainland colony of gannets in the world, this luxury getaway is a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers like nowhere else on earth.
Turn back time in genteel Christchurch
Next, take a short flight south to Christchurch on the South Island, where natural scenery takes the prize even against the incredibly close competition of the North Island. Here, snowy alpine peaks form a backdrop for glacial valleys, emerald and aquamarine seaside rainforests and the narrow, winding paths of the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Drive up to Otahuna Lodge, the country’s largest private historic residence and one modelled on an English country estate. The gardens, influences by those at Kew Gardens, include a daffodil field that seems something from a dream, and the elegant dining room offers a daily five-course tasting menu featuring morsels grown on the estate itself.
Venture by helicopter to discover Wanaka’s hidden gem
If the powder-topped peaks of the mountains have been calling your name, today is the day you’ll get to experience them up close. Fly to Queenstown and transfer to Minaret Station in a remote glacial valley in the heart of the Southern Alps. You’ll arrive by helicopter, as it is the only way to reach this steeply-sided hideaway. Here you can enjoy the luxury of a serene landscape populated by sheep, deer and wild birds, fly fishing and guided walks through some of the world’s most remote, imposing mountain trails on Lake Wanaka.
Explore Queenstown from a quiet bolthole that feels like home
Return to Queenstown by helicopter and transfer to Matakauri Lodge on Lake Wakatipu. Once settled in here, you’ll entirely forget that you are just a short drive from the city centre, as the lodge encourages you to relax and treat it like your own home – the light and airy library welcomes visitors to sit and stay awhile, and locally-sourced menu in the dining room changes daily to accommodate what is freshest in the region. A must do trip here is to take a sunrise hot air balloon trip to the rugged valleys between Queenstown and Arrowtown.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.