New Zealand Road Trip
Waiheke Island, Rotorua, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Queenstown
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WAIHEKE ISLAND, New Zealand
Situated in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand just off Auckland, Waiheke makes for the perfect escape from the busy city life.
Fly into Auckland and settle into your day room at The Sofitel to freshen up post flight. Spend your afternoon on an exhilarating sailing trip around Auckland to breathe fresh air into your lungs and see the city from the water. For dinner, head to the capital’s foodie capital, Ponsonby. From here, catch the ferry from Auckland Harbour to Waiheke Island for three nights at The Boatshed. With its own microclimate, receiving 100 more hours of sunshine a year than Auckland, Waiheke is the perfect seaside destination for relaxation, brimming with vineyards and art galleries. Before lunch, we can arrange a cellar tour of Mudbrick Vineyards with a private sommelier.
ROTORUA, New Zealand
A small lakeside town, Rotorua is equally famous for its geothermal activity and prevalent Maori culture.
Take a ferry back to Auckland and self drive to Rotorua, the country’s geothermal wonderland and the cultural heart of the nation. Spend three nights at Wildwood Lodge, nestled away on the shores of Lake Rotoehu. This is one of our favourite properties, where you can spot the island’s volcanic nature in action, with spouting geysers, boiling mud pools, and hissing fumaroles. Take a walk through the area in Hongi Hika’s steps to see the sight of the famous canoe battle of 1823. Alternatively, wander further afield for a quick dip in Soda Springs, a natural thermal spring renowned for its healing benefits.
TAUPO, New Zealand
For a tiny lakefront town, Taupo is filled with life and boasts a huge range of water sport activities.
Continue driving south to Taupo, a buzzing town where the Waikato River meets the sparkling turquoise waters of Lake Taupo. Once here, you’ll spend two nights at Huka Lodge for ultimate privacy in seventeen acres of perfectly manicured grounds. Within the grounds, enjoy a game of tennis, petanque or croquet, or relax on the dedicated Yoga Lawn. In summer, enjoy a round of golf or go trout fishing on the lake. In winter, the lodge can be used as a springboard to explore New Zealand’s premier ski slopes.
NELSON, New Zealand
Occupying a prime position on the bay, Nelson is the perfect destination to take part in all of the water-based activities you desire.
Next stop is the South Island. Arrive into Nelson following a couple of short flights and spend three nights at Edenhouse, a luxury lodge set in the spectacular scenery of the Orinoco Valley. Shadowed by mountain ranges, Nelson offers a Mediterraneanesque climate with year-round sun. Similarly, it boasts a laid-back atmosphere thanks to its boutique wineries, shoreline cafes, national parks, fresh seafood and beaches. Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring vineyards and nearby fishing villages to catch brown trout for dinner. We can arrange a private boat trip for an adventure into Abel Tasman National Park, past Split Apple Rock to hidden coves where you’ll delight in spotting seals and dolphins.
KAIKOURA, New Zealand
Kaikoura is home year-round to sperm whales, and is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with dolphins in their own habitat.
Drive down the coast to the little town of Kaikoura for two nights at Hapuku Lodge, a fabulous property made up of luxury tree houses. Well known for its abundant marine life, Kaikoura is a phenomenal place for whale watching, with other species regularly passing through the waters. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Kaikoura’s aquatic residents, we can arrange for you to swim with pods of wild dolphins in their natural habitat. Similarly, upgrade to a fishing trip to catch crayfish in the Pacific Ocean. From Hapuku, explore the local trails by mountain bike or contribute to your dinner by joining the lodge’s farmers picking olives in season.
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand
A quick stopover in Christchurch allows for exploration of the vibrant, cosmopolitan city as well as a relaxing break back in the privacy of the lodge.
Travel south to Christchurch for a night at Otahuna Lodge. After the earthquake in 2011, many historical buildings were damaged with remains still present today; drive around the city to witness an important part of Christchurch’s modern history. Home to a thriving street food scene, indulge in some of the excellent restaurants found in the city. Back at Otahuna, upgrade to a cooking class to understand the lodge’s celebrated food philosophy or feast on a picnic prepared by the chefs. After much indulgence, let your private guide lead you through some of the area’s most stunning gardens, with exclusive access to locations not usually open to the public.
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand
Queenstown is considered the country’s home of outdoor activities, ranging from the extreme bungee jump to the more laid-back aquatic adventures such as sailing.
Finish your trip in Queenstown, a vibrant little town home to many adventurous sports and a multitude of activities. Spend your final four nights at Eichardt’s Private Hotel, set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Known for luxury experiences, the hotel charters cruises on their own super yacht to explore the beauty of Lake Wakatipu with all the onboard amenities you’d wish for. Onland, upgrade to a private helicopter flight to explore the spectacular wilderness of the Southern Alps and Milford Sound. Whilst on this journey, land in an exclusive location where you’ll dine in the remote reaches of a glacial valley for the ultimate privacy.
Lesley & Harry
We had such a wonderful holiday. Katie put together a brilliant itinerary, which we tweaked a little in places, and the accommodation she chose was first class. She gave us great recommendations of activities and the whole trip went smoothly. Timings worked well between destinations because she had good knowledge of New Zealand, and the driving distances, car changes, ferry crossings, meeting points for activities were all easily achievable.
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