Te Arai – north of Auckland, North Island
If you’re starting your trip in the North Island, you could do worse than begin your itinerary with a stay at stylish Te Arai, just one hour north of Auckland, where international flights land. Even better, if you’re a fan of golf, then Te Arai has two architecturally designed golf courses that sculpt themselves around the natural beauty of this low-lying coastal hotel.
If you’re not teeing off, then you could try your hand at surfing, as Te Arai opens out onto a stunning white sand beach, which is also one of New Zealand’s best surf spots. Aside from activity, you’ll find Te Arai to be a relaxing place to while away a few days. The modern design of the suites and cottages, crafted from blonde timbers, are created with contemporary simplicity in mind. Hugging the coast, the accommodation merges into the low sand dunes and allows you to wander directly to the beach. With a sociable clubhouse, restaurant and more informal pizzeria, life at Te Arai is chilled.
Lake Hawea Station – Queenstown Lake District, South Island
Queenstown is probably one of new Zealand’s most famous towns – known for its thriving nightlife and wealth of opportunity for getting out into nature for high-octane sports. But word is that Queenstown has become rather a victim of its own success and discerning travellers are opting to stay outside of the city, dipping in as and when they need the buzz.
A smart choice, therefore, is to stay at Lake Hawea Station, which borders the south of Lake Wanaka and is part of Queenstown Lake District. With a focus on sustainability, Lake Hawea feels very off-grid, surrounded by verdant valleys, distant mountain peaks and the shimmering lake Hawea. The accommodation exists around an ambitious rewilding project including replanting of native trees and grasses, halving their cattle and liberating of deer and sheep. That’s not to say you’ll have to rough it – quite the opposite – the cottages, shepherd’s huts and lake house are masterpieces of modern design with wood fired hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, movie rooms and underfloor heating.
Minaret Station – South Island
Perhaps one of new Zealand’s most famous lodges and with good reason, Minaret Station is unforgettable – largely because of its unique and exclusive position, which means it is only accessible by helicopter, giving it the feel of a once-in-a lifetime experience.
A family-owned alpine lodge surrounded by isolated wilderness; Minaret Station is located in a remote glacial valley surrounded by towering peaks in New Zealand’s South Island. Ideal for those that value privacy and seclusion, you’ll spend your days exploring the national parks including the beauty of Fiordland and Milford Sound. Hike, bike or explore by helicopter, fish in pristine rivers or ski on untouched powder. Come home to your comfortable chalet set in a meadow, where log fires, private decks and hot tubs keep you cosseted in cosy-luxe. Across a boardwalk you’ll find an excellent restaurant that has an adjoining library and wine cellar.
Mahu Whenua – South Island
Sparsely populated and with endless landscapes, one of New Zealand’s selling points is being able to really get away from it all. Step forward Mahu Whenua, a vast ranch where you can stay within its 136,000-acre property which stretches from Wanaka to Arrowtown in the South Island.
With only six rooms, your experience will be intimate and largely based outside enjoying a range of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing and horse riding. The lush valleys and jagged mountains offer endless scope for adventure amid the spectacular alpine scenery. Back at the ranch, expect a high level of comfort with free standing copper bathtubs, picture windows that frame the view and beds loaded with wool blankets. All your meals, wine and snacks are included, and you’ll be very well looked after – you won’t need to worry about a thing.
Stay in Style New Zealand
Alongside exploring gloriously diverse landscapes, the joy of travelling around New Zealand is staying in characterful properties that help immerse you in the locale.