More than just luxurious accommodations and fine cuisine, luxury lodges offer a total experience. Relax and enjoy your surroundings in your private hideaway.
Come and experience the awe-inspiring scenery of the South Island, from remote white sandy beaches lush native forest and impressive mountain ranges. Stay at some of the best luxury lodges in the country ‘off the beaten track. Tailor-made experiences, sometimes available only to lodge guests, characterise the hospitality unique to New Zealand lodges.
Location: South Island
Departing/Finishing: Nelson - Queenstown (Itinerary can be reversed)
Accommodation: 5* quality Premium Lodges
Next Departure: Departs Daily
Golden Bay - Westhaven Retreat: The Lodge has been delicately hand built by its owners to embrace the beautiful surrounding Wilderness views in every room. It is a masterstroke of design, featuring pleasing decors, exposed timbers, soft colour schemes and natural fibres. Sauna, Spa and Indoor Pool. The 404.6 hectare (1000 acre) private peninsula is a natural wilderness sanctuary. Bordering as it does, the protected Marine and Wildlife Reserve as well as the Kahurangi National Park. Hiking in this, one of New Zealand’s most dramatic coastlines, you will find secluded private beaches, incredible rock formations and the largest Nikau Palm forest.
Or: Abel Tasman - Slitt Apple Lodge: The retreat, located near Nelson, is renown for its gourmet Asian-Mediterranean fusion cuisine where every ingredient has been selected for its positive contribution to health and wellness. Indulge in the spectacular setting, original art and antiques, and unparalleled service. With the Abel Tasman National Park at your doorstep, pristine nature presents a kaleidoscope of constantly changing colours and patterns.
The Banks Peninsula - Annandale Villas: A working coastal farm and four luxury villas are nestled between the rolling hills of the Banks Peninsula and the sparkling water of the Pacific. These private locations feature award-winning architecture and a unique experience we refer to as "gumboot luxury". Enjoy the exclusive use of the property you choose, where privacy, stunning scenery and the smell of fresh air are guaranteed. From sunrise to sunset, your private retreat at Annandale is authentic and unforgettable. Built in the 1880s, The Annandale homestead has been lovingly restored to create a luxurious five-bedroom home in a private and tranquil setting. A working coastal farm and four luxury villas are nestled between the rolling hills of the Banks Peninsula and the sparkling water of the Pacific.
Or: Christchurch - Otahuna: Set in pastoral surroundings against the fluted cone of an ancient volcano, Otahuna Lodge is a beguiling Victorian mansion that offers its guests a unique sense of wonder and discovery. New Zealand's largest private historic residence has been revitalised with luxury accommodation, glorious gardens and sophisticated cuisine. In its patrician sense of calm, the grace and charm of its grounds and its refined yet personable service, Otahuna combines the romance of the past with the cosmopolitan pleasures of the present - the very best of both worlds.
Wanaka - Mahu Whenua: As a guest, you will enjoy total privacy, unforgettable experiences and exquisite food and wine in a setting which spans over 55,000 hectares (550sq km or 200sq miles) of majestic beauty – towering mountains, lush green valleys, native bush, forests and meandering rivers. Located in New Zealand's South Island just 20 minute’s drive from central Wanaka, the Ridgeline Homestead and Cottages at Mahu Whenua are easily accessible while giving you the feeling of seclusion and privacy on what is virtually your own private national park. Mahu Whenua has four individual Ridgeline Suites, two Homestead Suites and two Cottage Suites.
Or: Minaret Lodge - Minaret Station is only accessible by helicopter, therefore, treats guests, both those staying at the luxury lodge as well as those enjoying an Alpine adventure, to an authentic Alpine experience. The Alpine Chalets feature a king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom and a hot tub on adjoining private deck, where they can relax and recline beneath the stars. Central to the Alpine Lodge is the Mountain Kitchen. Linked to the chalets by a series of raised wooden boardwalks, the Mountain Kitchen features two separate living areas, wood-burning fires, a well-stocked library and cellar and first-class dining facilities. Unquestionably, the experience of staying at Minaret Station Alpine Lodge is both unique and inspiring.
Fiordland - Cabot Lodge: Located at the centre of Cathedral Peaks Station and bordering the Fiordland National Park, Cabot Lodge provides the luxury of seclusion. The Lodge accommodates a maximum of ten guests with a focus on authentic New Zealand experiences. Guests are provided with full farm-style breakfasts, pre-dinner drinks, and canapes daily. Guests are able to request lunch hampers, designed to be enjoyed while exploring Fiordland and can also arrange for dinner platters to be enjoyed on the property. 4 Suites all with king size beds. There are opportunities for guest to participate in daily on-farm activities with tours of our beehives, 4WD tours of the property, whip cracking classes, and watching our top staff member, Sam the sheepdog, in action.
Or: Fiordland Lodge - The Lodge was constructed in 2002 and sits on a superb rural site with rolling grasslands and has commanding views out across Lake Te Anau. Inside the open architecture of the Lodge reflects the vastness of the Fiordland National Park and echoes of the forest are found in the striking natural timber construction. In the lounge, a latticework of huge log trusses soar to over thirty-six feet above and surround a large open fire, clad with local river stone.
Transfer to Westhaven Retreat with a scenic flight over stunning scenery including Nikau palm groves and secluded beaches. Flying north along the coast, you get a bird’s-eye view of the world-famous Abel Tasman National Park with its beautiful golden beaches, lush native bush, and clear blue waters.
Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park- but it's perfectly formed for relaxation and adventure. A coastal paradise that you can walk through or explore by cruise boat, sailing catamaran, water taxi or sea kayak, visitors love the way the Abel Tasman National Park mixes physical exertion with beach life. Here, inviting sandy beaches fill the spaces between trees and tide line. Crystal clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to join the ocean. Granite and marble formations fringe the headlands, which are cloaked in regenerating native forest. Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery. Tui and bellbird song fills the forest; shags (cormorants), gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner; fur seals lounge on the rocks around the edge of Tonga Island.
Use the lodge facilities to invigorate and rejuvenate yourself. Take time to just relax. There’s nothing better at the end of a day after exploring the wilderness at our doorstep, than to give your body a treat. Spa and Sauna - Relax in the Lodge hydrotherapy spa or detoxify your system with our Infrared Sauna. Feel your tensions and aches dissolve away.
Accommodation: Westhaven Inlet
Westhaven's privately owned 1000-acre peninsula is seen by guests as Hiking in New Zealand's most stunning regions. It is truly a wonderful area to explore for everyone, with a huge variety of scenery. Take short or longer walks, with ever-changing scenery everywhere you look! The 350-ha private peninsula is a true Natural Wilderness Sanctuary, bordering protected Marine and Wildlife Reserve as well as the Kahurangi National Park. Your will be Hiking in New Zealand's most dramatic coastline, secluded private Beaches, astounding Rock formation and largest Nikau Palm forest.
Or: If you prefer, you can join our guide on a hiking tour for an introduction to New Zealand’s plants, animals and Maori traditions. Explore more than seven wide and easy walking tracks, ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours walking. Or: Kayaking - Enjoy a peaceful paddle through the Marine reserves and one of New Zealand's most spectacular coastal forest. Your kayaking guide helps you explore the secretive tidal arms and channels flanking the inlet. Suitable for all ages and ranging from 2 hours to 6 hours.
Or: The most spectacular hike and walk, featuring a scenic helicopter flight across the rugged expanse of Kahurangi National Park, our second largest, landing on a high, broad mountain ridge near the centre of the park, and also at beautiful Boulder Lake, before flying down to hike on the stunning subtropical lower Heaphy river and the wild sea coast trail of the last day of the Heaphy track. Many people consider the Heaphy Track to be the greatest of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, combining alpine environments and a primaeval, palm-fringed coastline.
Accommodation: Westhaven Inlet
The 404.6 hectare (1000 acre) private peninsula is a natural wilderness sanctuary. Bordering as it does, the protected Marine and Wildlife Reserve as well as the Kahurangi National Park.
Coastal Fishing: Your guide picks you up from Westhaven Lodge and takes you to a very special fishing spot on the Peninsula.
Wilderness Safari: Our guide will show you the most beautiful regions of the property, describing its interesting history and New Zealand fauna and flora.
Cape Farewell Horse trek: Have a number of treks to select from including riding along Wharariki Beach.
Accommodation: Westhaven Retreat
The idyllic charm and lifestyle of Golden Bay attract an interesting variety of artists and crafts-folk. In this hidden corner of New Zealand are the world-class Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks and the famous Farewell Spit and Waikoropupu (Pupu) springs.
From there we take you over the Takaka Hill. The Nelson district is known for its irresistible blend of lifestyle and stunning landscape at the top northwest corner of the South Island. Apples, cherries and classic wine varietal grapes are well suited to the mild climate around the Nelson areas.
The most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa will have you entranced with its historic buildings, magnificent harbour and a passion for fine food. An easy drive south-east of Christchurch, Banks Peninsula is the South Island's most interesting volcanic feature. Originally an island formed by two volcanic cones, the peninsula has two dominant craters which form Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. The peninsula was named for botanist Joseph Banks, who sailed with Captain James Cook on the Endeavour. Located on the south-east side of the deep, sheltered Akaroa Harbour, the charming township of Akaroa has a special point of difference - it was the only French settlement in New Zealand. The best way to explore Akaroa is on foot. Visit local restaurants with their focus on French cuisine and head along to Barry’s Bay Cheese, where they've persevered with original methods for over a century. Take a self-guided walk to see historic cottages. If you have time, take a harbour cruise to view dolphins, penguins and fur seals.
Accommodation: Banks Penisula
Not surprisingly, with such amazing scenery all around us, walking and biking are hugely popular in New Zealand. There are several spectacular tracks on the Annandale property itself, varying in length and terrain, including the 14km Pigeon Bay Walkway. On arrival, guests will receive a map of the farm, detailing trails and interesting features. They would be happy to provide you with complimentary bikes to use on these trails and can even arrange a picnic along the way of your hiking or biking. Beyond the Annandale farm, the greater Banks Peninsula is renowned for its hiking trails, with expeditions ranging from 10 minutes to several hours. We would be delighted to help you decide which walks would suit you best.
If you wish to spend some of your time at Annandale improving your kitchen skills or finding out more about New Zealand cuisine, take advantage of a cooking class with our on-site chef. Without even having to leave the property, you can specify what you’d like to learn about and spend a wonderful day transforming fresh produce into delicious dishes with the help of a professional. Alternatively, for an off-site experience, nearby Akaroa has its own cooking school, offering popular themed courses during which a guest chef inspires his or her students with fresh, local ingredients and expert techniques. Contact us to find out more about these tantalising options.
Accommodation: Banks Peninsula
Explore Pigeon Bay and the surrounding waters of Banks Peninsula in Annandale’s own powerboat to view the friendly Hector’s dolphins, fur seals in their natural habitat, bird colonies around the coastline and other wildlife. This cruise also provides an excellent aspect for you to see the fascinating volcanic topography and geology that created the Banks Peninsula millions of years ago.
Spend some time relaxing at the lodge. Indulge yourself with a luxury massage treatment of your choice in the comfort and privacy of your villa. Our qualified masseuse will be happy to discuss and tailor treatment to your preference. What better way to relax and unwind.
Or: Traveling to your villa, locally acclaimed artist Anna Dalzell will teach you skills in capturing your favourite view or special memory. Working with pencil, charcoal or pastels, let your creativity sing. We are happy to post your art piece home or package it for you to take on your travels
Accommodation: Banks Peninsula
Queenstown is one of New Zealand's top visitor destinations and if you come to the region you'll understand why. Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu amidst dramatic mountain ranges; this stunning location will blow you away. Queenstown is suited to all kinds of adventures – especially throughout summer. Treat yourself to some boutique shopping and be sure to experience the excellent local food and wine. A popular holiday spot at any time of the year, Queenstown is renowned for its four distinctive seasons. Winter brings crisp, blue-sky days, spring retains the snow but blooms into longer, warmer days, summer offers sunshine and long twilights, and autumn a burst of brilliant red and gold.
Everything about Amisfield is of the earth, including the stone building that houses our acclaimed Bistro and Cellar Door. Formed from local schist, with a sharply-pitched copper roof and recycled timber, the building cuts a silhouette as sharp as the mountains that surround it. The scene is dramatic. And while the structure is at first imposing, you’ll discover welcoming New Zealand hospitality inside.
45 kilometres long and covering 193 square kilometres, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka are perfect for jetboaters, sailors and kayakers to explore. Nestled below towering mountains, Wanaka is the most tranquilly set of the South Island lakes. is much more than a winter destination. Year-round activities include fishing, hiking, canyoning, climbing and skydiving. Excavated by massive glaciers more than 10,000 years ago, Lakes Wanaka and Hawea lie side by side. At a sliver of land known as The Neck, which is just 1000 metres wide, the glaciers were once joined. Lake Wanaka is the source of New Zealand's largest river, the Clutha. Lake Hawea feeds into the Hawea River, which joins the Clutha at Albert Town. Ringed by pebbly beaches and with magnificent views to the surrounding peaks, both lakes offer a variety of adventures, especially during the long, hot months of summer.
Accommodation: Lake Wanaka
Stretch your legs and feed your soul in this beautiful wilderness of native forests, towering mountains and long river valleys. Named for Mt Aspiring, one of New Zealand's highest peaks, this park is a dreamland of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes. A hiker's paradise, Mount Aspiring National Park offers a large number of short walks that are mostly concentrated at the end of the park's access roads.
Explore Wanaka by mountain bike or, for a more unique experience, have a helicopter pick you, your guide and your bikes up from the on-site helipad and drop you atop a mountain. Enjoy the fun trails as you descend while taking in the incredible scenery. Guided Heli-biking can be tailored to your skill and confidence level. A picnic can also be prepared for you to enjoy before you descend the mountain.
Or: Take an Aspiring Glacier Flight. Take in the braided river valleys and native Beech forests of Mount Aspiring National Park as you make your way up the Matukituki River by jetboat to the top where you will be met by a helicopter. Having experienced the unrivalled natural beauty from the water, this combo trip also enables you to see Mount Aspiring, the surrounding snow-covered mountains and ice-blue glaciers from the air. The flight includes a glacier landing before you make your way back down the river by jetboat.
Or: Whare Kea Chalet offers luxury accommodation and a spectacular base for those looking for the ultimate alpine adventure in an exclusive location high in the mountains on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park. Located at 1750 metres (5700 feet) in the Albert Burn Saddle on the north side of Dragonfly Peak, Whare Kea Chalet is a 15 minute scenic helicopter flight from our Matukituki Valley base. With two double bedrooms and a spacious loft, the chalet provides comfortable accommodation for up to six guests, and a bunkroom for two staff. Relaxed yet luxurious, the Chalet has power, a hot shower and large windows framing astounding views of Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring with its tumbling glaciers.
Mahu Whenua consists of four high country sheep stations - Motatapu, Mt Soho, Glencoe and Coronet Peak - stretching between Wanaka and Queenstown over 55,000 hectares. Since purchasing the property in 2005, the owner's vision has been to regenerate the land after a history of extensive high country farming on the property. While introducing sustainable farming practices, the owner has also started a plant regeneration and native bird breeding programme. Healing the Land.
Horse trails: With the impressive stables just a short walk from the Homestead, it is hard not to get involved with the beautiful horses. If you have little experience with horses, you may wish to just pat them at the stables or be led around the grounds. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of trails designed for horse trekking taking you through river crossings, native beech forest, over rolling hills and up valleys stopping half way for morning or afternoon tea.
Fly Fish: We can design fly or spin fishing trips as you wish. There are some fantastic fishing spots nearby where you can fly or drive in with your guide. Enjoy a delicious packed lunch prepared by Mahu Whenua chef as you break on the river’s edge.
4WD Adventure: Mahu Whenua stretches all the way from Wanaka to Arrowtown, so there is a lot of lands to explore! Whether you'd like to take an introductory immersive 4WD tour or to delve deeper into Mahu Whenua country, there are options for everyone - spend a half day exploring the old roads, shepherds' huts and the working farm, or a full day excursion where you find yourself in Arrowtown for lunch.
Lake Te Anau is the largest of the southern glacial lakes, covering an area of 344 square kilometres. Rolling hill country characterises the eastern side of the lake; the western side is a magnificent wilderness of forest and mountains - the Kepler and Murchison Ranges rise to around 1700 metres above sea level. The picturesque township is the main visitor base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park.
Explore the lodge surroundings. Guests will instantly feel at home, sinking into the deep leather sofas, lazing on the sumptuous day beds, and soaking in the clawfoot bathtubs looking out over the mountain ranges. The living area also boasts a library of classic literature and well-loved New Zealand authors, providing the opportunity for guests to curl in front of the open fire with a wool blanket and a good book.
Accommodation: Te Anau
Take a helicopter experience from the dramatic mountains of iconic Milford Sound to the many scattered islands of Dusky Sound. This is our ultimate flight! Fly above Milford Sound to step foot on a spectacular glacier, before making your way south to visit Doubtful and Dusky, locations rich in history. Take in the breathtaking and diverse scenery they all have to offer. Truly an experience!
Visitors feel humbled yet uplifted by the atmosphere of powerful solitude in the presence of the superb physical grandeur of Doubtful Sound. Sometimes called 'the Sound of Silence', there is a cloistered serenity within Doubtful Sound that contrasts with Milford Sound. The fiord is rich in flora and fauna, New Zealand Fur Seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins can be seen on many of the small islets at the entrance of the fiord. At 421 metres deep, Doubtful is the deepest of the fiords and is long and winding with three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean, a distance of around 40.4 kilometres. Manapouri is the departure point for Doubtful Sound excursions.
Visit the southern part of the South Island’s wild West Coast by helicopter and experience the many scattered islands and early history unique to New Zealand’s largest fiord, Dusky Sound. Your return journey will take you to the head of Doubtful Sound, through the hidden valley of Campbell’s Kingdom and back down the Southern Arm of Lake Te Anau.
Or: Explore the rugged West Coast of Fiordland National Park, with its sweeping beaches, lush rainforest and native wildlife. Fly, walk and explore the remote Hollyford and Martins Bay area, then return via the spectacular Milford Sound area for the ultimate wilderness day experience. Then you will return to civilisation via the famous Milford Sound, flying over Mitre Peak and Sutherland falls, richer in your understanding of this incredible landscape.
Accommodation: Te Anau
Sea kayaking in Fiordland is world renowned, with day trips available in Milford Sound, Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound. These breath-taking fiords provide opportunities to kayak under waterfalls and alongside dolphins and are a 'must do' Fiordland experience. Lake kayaking is also plentiful in Fiordland, with Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri on the doorstep of the Lodge. The eastern end of Lake Manapouri is possibly the best waterway in New Zealand for kayaking with over 33 islands and many coves, sandy beaches, waterfalls and channels all within a day’s paddle from the Manapouri township.
Or: There are more than 600 kilometres of tracks for visitors to explore in Fiordland, earning the area the reputation of the 'Walking Capital of the World'. Three of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks are in Fiordland - the renowned Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track. You can walk these tracks, or sections of these tracks, independently or with a guide. The Lodge works with local and knowledgeable guides who can share their knowledge of the flora and fauna in the area, as well as the local history.
Or: New Zealand is one of the world's great fishing countries and Fiordland showcases some of the best Trout fishing the country has to offer. With pristine waters and magnificent backdrops, it’s not hard to see why anglers come from all over the world to experience the world-class fishing off New Zealand. Fiordland, well-stocked with Rainbow and Brown Trout, is a fisherman's paradise. Both Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau have ample fishing locations with access to beautiful streams and rivers and offers anglers boat trolling, stream mouth, and shore fishing opportunities.
Accommodation: Te Anau
Your private chauffeur will take you to your departing flight at Queenstown airport.