Exploring New Zealand
If New Zealand’s landscape were a Hollywood starlet, it would undoubtedly be a drama queen. From snowcapped mountains and rocky coasts to lush rainforests and active volcanoes, almost every eye-popping landscape imaginable is packed into a country roughly the size of the U.S. state of Colorado. From the moment you get off the plane, you will be itching to explore. Bring your cycling shorts, your hiking boots, your skis and your sense of adventure. Tramp the world-famous Milford Track through glacial valleys and fields of alpine wildflowers. Cycle past the rolling vineyards of Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. Gasp as you dive headfirst off a bridge, tethered only by a super-strong bungee cord. Surge through churning waters on a jet boat, soar above jagged peaks in a sightseeing plane or meander along quiet rural byways in a campervan. At day’s end, relax with a long soak in a natural geothermal pool, followed by a glass of fruity sauvignon blanc. Then drift to sleep beneath crisp linens in a luxurious country inn, lulled by crashing surf and whispering winds. New Zealand is also home to the Maori, whose influence is visible in everything from musical place names to the sinuous carvings that embellish many public buildings. Thrill to a traditional welcome ceremony at a Maori cultural village and share in a “hangi” feast of chicken and sweet potatoes. That’s not the only spectacular meal you will enjoy in New Zealand. Savor the country’s world-famous lamb, fine cheeses and luscious produce in a sleek restaurant in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Explore the gentle charms of these human-scaled cities. At your hotel, revel in attentive service and superb amenities. Throughout this friendly island nation, you will receive a warm Kiwi welcome – or, as they say in Maori: “kia ora”.
Experience the unspoiled and remote wilderness of Doubtful Sound by staying overnight on board the Fiordland Navigator World Heritage-listed Doubtful Sound is an overwhelming environment. Three times longer than Milford Sound, with a surface area ten times larger, it is a place of towering peaks and bush-clad islands; of twisting, hidden arms and sheltered coves. As it is renowned for its fantastic marine life, you are likely to see seals and dolphins during this cruise. The cruise offers private cabins, spacious viewing decks, a comfortable dining saloon for dinner and breakfast and the opportunity to kayak or explore in a tender boat with an expert nature guide. It is truly a special experience.
Luxury, peace, and tranquility are yours when you stay at Wharekauhau With 13 cottages, ranging from the Wharepapa family cottage to the expansive 420sq m (4,520sq ft) Owners Cottage, opulence abounds. Set amidst the rugged, unspoiled coastline of Palliser Bay and with a backdrop of more than 2,225 hectares (5,500 acres) of native bushland to discover. For the active, try clay target shooting, horse riding, archery, ATV quad bikes and surfcasting, bike riding or bushwalking. Food is an important part of Wharekauhau and the lodge has award-winning chef Marc Soper to create some of the most mouth-watering dishes using local produce, some of which comes from the lodge’s own farm. Wash it down with some of the region’s finest Pinot Noir, recognized as being among the best in the world. Wharekauhau region is home to more than 25 boutique wineries and tours are available. The lodge hosts cooking classes which will allow you to return home and share a taste of Wharekauhau with friends and family. If that is all too hectic, relax, be pampered at the day spa which uses a range of local products to soothe and rejuvenate your mind, body, soul.
Bay of Many Coves
Where lush green hills kiss azure waters, a sanctuary awaits Bay of Many Coves Resort is a luxurious retreat in the scenic Marlborough Sounds. Relax in a spacious one, two or three-bedroom hillside apartment with an uninterrupted vista of coastline and native bush-clad hills. Or there’s the exclusive Kereru Suite where you have your own private oasis, with breathtaking views. The restaurant’s irresistible cuisine reflects the region’s superb harvests, from succulent seafood to delicious olives and fruit, complemented by excellent hand-selected wines. This exclusive picture-postcard retreat is an extraordinary playground for sailing, fishing, walking and kayaking in an unspoiled natural environment.
Grasmere Lodge – Southern Alps
Stunning alpine scenery surrounds this gracious lodge, set in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps A working farm since 1858, Grasmere allows guests to enjoy all the region has to offer or simply revel in the space and serenity. Just 90 minutes from Christchurch airport, Grasmere is tucked into a mountain landscape that will leave you with lasting memories. The 1858 limestone house has been retained within the homestead, featuring beautiful rooms such as the library, lounge, bar and evening dining rooms. Arthur’s Pass National Park, with its many lakes and rivers, borders Grasmere and offers a range of activities. Relax beside the heated swimming pool or in the spa studio, or turn your energies to kayaking or mountain biking.
Treetops Lodge & Estate
Let your time here shape you Nestled in 1,012 hectares (2,500 acres) of 800 year-old native forest, this award-winning luxury lodge is an uniquely New Zealand experience. Treetops is a sanctuary and retreat of breathtaking terrain, offering the ultimate in world-class accommodation and adventure. Located outside Rotorua, the Maori heartland and trout fishing capital of the world, Treetops offer seven streams, on-site trout fishing, four lakes and over 35 miles of adventure trails. Family adventures include helicopter adventures to live volcanoes, mountain biking, horse riding, geocaching hunts and for the smaller guests a five-star kids’ club. Treetops offers Signature Experiences; ‘Estate to Plate’ Safari, Wild Food Cooking School, and the Indigenous Food and Heritage Trail – offering unequaled personal interaction with native heritage and wilderness. Our dedicated spa offers unique health-giving Maori rituals and traditional treatments, or for golfers, a personal invitation to sister lodge, The Kinloch Club which boasts the 18 hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course.