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Now that the world is standing still, what are you dreaming of?
Relaxing Comes Naturally in New Zealand
Relaxation and romance go hand in hand with nature in New Zealand. Away from the crowds, New Zealand’s natural beauty and gentle vibe offers the perfect settings, by day and night, to put life’s cares aside and to refocus on what’s important. From secluded beaches to soothing thermal pools, tranquil forest sanctuaries and outdoor adventures in pristine landscapes, to exceptional hospitality and accommodation, New Zealand has all it takes to create unique and intimate experiences such as:
- Escape into the hills
- Soak your cares away
- Relax and recharge
- Gaze into the universe
- Paradise for foodies
- Secluded hideaways
Bespoke Experiences and True Warmth
Discover New Zealand’s unique and beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture and authentic experiences when you come for a luxury vacation. The breath-taking landscapes and undiscovered corners of New Zealand are the perfect places to escape in laidback luxury. Discover through tailored excursions and one-of-a-kind adventures.
Explore vast wilderness areas
Exploring New Zealand’s walking and hiking trails is one of the most rewarding ways of seeing the country’s outstanding natural beauty. Spend a day with a fantastic guide or host who can take you from your lodge for an intimate, authentic outdoor experience.
Fly over Middle Earth
Take off on a stunning scenic flight for the best views of New Zealand’s monumental mountains, volcanos, lakes and coastlines, melting into panoramas of scenery.
Golf courses designed by nature
New Zealand is home to some of the most magnificent golf courses in the world. Try your hand on the world-famous cliff-top courses in the Bay of Islands and Hawke’s Bay.
World-class Cuisine & Wine
Welcome to a food and wine lover’s paradise, where innovative ingredients freshly harvested from garden, land and sea are skillfully combined and vineyards stretch throughout every region.
Nature’s spectacles and unique wildlife
There are few places in the world where within a space of one day you can experience mountain vistas, ancient forests, volcanic landscapes and stunning coastlines, all while spotting the New Zealand wildlife found nowhere else on earth.
Experience unique luxury lodges
In a class of their own, Luxury Lodges are extremely accommodating and cater to the most discerning visitor. Have your every need taken care of, dine on fine gourmet cuisine and enjoy the highest standard of hosting and facilities.
New Zealand Luxury Escapes for Families
Discover luxurious places to stay in New Zealand where the kids will be just as happy as the parents and grandparents. When it comes to travelling in a family group, perhaps the most important aspect is including activities to suit everyone, from toddlers to grandparents. Luckily in New Zealand you can do this in style by booking luxury accommodations with memorable experiences tailored for the entire family.
Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua
Billed as a “natural theme park,” Treetops is set on a 6100-acre estate with a primordial native forest where you’ll encounter wild deer and water buffalo. The renowned “Five Star Kids” program includes everything from horse treks to high-tech treasure hunts using GPS equipment, but the most popular activity is the Junior Master Chef session. Kids ages five to 11 don their own chef’s jacket and join the lodge’s executive chef to learn to make dishes using ingredients grown right on the property, such as lavender, dill and native blueberries. Culinary-minded older children, adults and grandparents can join the lodge’s half-day wild food cooking class where they’ll forage for indigenous herbs and spices before cooking with them in the lodge kitchen.
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland
While Kauri Cliffs is better known for having one of the top, globally-ranked golf courses in the world, it is also a 6000-acre working sheep and cattle farm. Children and adults alike will enjoy joining the farm manager for a 4WD tour of the property. They might help to muster sheep (or watch one being shorn) and, in Spring, may even get the chance to feed a new-born lamb. With three private beaches, including one made of minute pale-pink shells, children and teens can revel in simple pleasures such as swimming, beachcombing and using a rope swing hanging from a magnificent native tree while the adults kick back with a gourmet picnic hamper. For something more active, there are walks to suit all ages, ranging from a 10-minute bush stroll that passes the property’s 700-year-old kauri tree, to a two-hour trek that includes a visit to a small-but-beautifully-clear waterfall.
The Landing Residences, Bay of Islands
With four beautifully appointed stand-alone residences set on a 1000-acre conservation estate, The Landing is ideal for extended family groups. Book one of the larger houses such as the Cooper (sleeps 12) or reserve more than one house so that everyone has their own space. Grab a fishing line and equipment and head down to the jetty to fish for snapper, trevally and kahawai in the clear waters on the tip of the Purerua Peninsula in the north-west of the Bay of Islands. More active family groups might want to head out hiking on the 1.5 miles of boardwalks and tracks that criss-cross the fertile wetlands on the property. There are also six private beaches with great snorkelling and safe swimming spots for young children.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay
A spectacular 6000-acre sheep station overlooking the Pacific Ocean, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers a rare opportunity to meet a kiwi – the unofficial emblem of New Zealand. There are more than 120 kiwi in thick regenerating native forest on the property and your guide will lead you to the birds’ nesting site where you can have your photograph taken. Adults will also enjoy the challenging golf course – designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak – with its spectacular ocean views, as well as a menu featuring exceptional produce (much of which comes from the lodge’s own vegetable garden), incredibly fresh seafood and beef and lamb. Want to get everybody moving? Consider hiring mountain bikes to explore the property or take a horse trek. From November to April, the lodge hosts stargazing and a sheep show featuring the farm’s working dogs.
Extraordinary wildlife encounters in New Zealand
From the fjords to beaches, and the forests in between, New Zealand is the place for diverse wildlife opportunities. From the fjords to beaches, and the forests in between, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to get up close with extraordinary wildlife in Aotearoa New Zealand.
New Zealanders are lucky enough to share their home with some fascinating and diverse creatures, and for visitors there are plenty of opportunities to spot them year-round. Watch for pods of dolphins following a boat or a ferry, and it’s not unusual to see whales and orca within sight of Auckland’s shores or little blue penguins on Wellington’s city fringe – but there are also many special places to see them up-close.
One of the best times to observe any wildlife is during the breeding cycles from spring through to early summer (August – January). Some experiences are more seasonal but there’s always something to see and a guided tour is the best way to find wildlife at home, like Zealandia’s twilight and night-time tours.
Penguins – Oamaru
Many different species of these comical birds – clumsy on land, graceful in the water – can be found on the cooler fringes of New Zealand’s South Island, from the Marlborough Sounds to Otago Peninsula and Fiordland.
One of the best penguin visitor attractions is at Oamaru, which has a resident population of the little blue penguin. Watch the little blues come home from the sea each night at the Oamaru Blue Penguins colony on the edge of town.
Dolphins – Marlborough Sounds
From the tiny and rare Hector’s dolphin to the compact common dolphin and the sleek grey bottlenose, New Zealand’s coastlines are home to several dolphin species. These playful marine creatures seem to love visitors as much as visitors love them.
Whales – Kaikoura
Whales are giants of the sea but with many qualities that seem to make them human, something recognized in Māori myth and legend. Kaikoura is an iconic destination for those wanting to catch a glimpse of these incredible animals.
Pods of sperm whales can be seen year-round off Kaikōura but between June and August, things get really interesting with the arrival of other species, such as the humpback on their yearly migration from the Antarctic up to warmer climes. Go whale watching by boat or, for a different perspective, experience these majestic creatures from above with Wings Over Whales Kaikoura.
Albatross Colony – Otago Peninsula
Famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has described the Otago Peninsula as “a very special place” and it’s not hard to see why. With the world’s only mainland breeding albatross colony at Taiaroa Head, it’s possible to see these majestic seabirds with a wingspan of more than three meters soaring at speeds of up to 120 km per hour.
Visit between September and November to see the breeding birds arriving at the headland and building nests. Chicks hatch from late January to late February and, aided by a strong gust of wind, take their first flight in September.
Kiwi – Pukaha Mount Bruce
For such a well-known New Zealand icon, the kiwi can be surprisingly elusive. This bird’s shyness and nocturnal habits can make spotting one a challenge and, as they are endangered, seeing one in the wild is something only the lucky experience. They can be spotted in their native habitat at night on Stewart Island, off the bottom of the South Island, with the help of the experienced guides at Real Journeys.
Some wildlife parks, such as Christchurch’s Willowbank, have created artificial night-time environments, so visitors can walk (silently) through an enclosure within meters of the birds. It is also possible to see them in captivity at Auckland Zoo, Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, and Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown. If you want to see cute chicks in the breeding facilities, the best time to visit is September to April. Pukaha Mt Bruce near Masterton is home to rare North Island Brown kiwi, and Zealandia in Wellington offers night time tours into the forest.
Download this handy map to remind you of where to find Aotearoa’s prolific wildlife – just about anywhere.
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