Five Luxury New Zealand Escapes
Trans-Tasman travel is back, start booking.
This afternoon, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the quarantine-free Trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will open in two weeks, from April 19.
To mark the announcement, here at Robb Report we’ve put together a considered, luxurious list of lodges for your trip across the ditch.
Huka Lodge, Lake Taupo
Good enough for the Queen and good enough for us. Tucked into the heart of the North Island, on the outskirts of Lake Taupo, this acclaimed lodge offers sojourns framed by an accessible if sophisticated sense of luxury. Beyond the lavish location – think manicured grounds covering 17 acres and which rest on the banks of the fast-flowing, turquoise waters of the Waikato River – Huka is about time spent relaxing in the main ‘house’ or simply listening to the waters from the bed, or deck, of exceptionally appointed and private accommodations that runs from oversized suites with large, separate bathrooms to multi-room cottages with spas and private pools.
Try fly-fishing out front, practice your return of serve on the tennis court or head to nearby Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park for a memorable track day racing open wheelers. Then there’s pétanque, swimming, mountain biking or simply indulging what are the wondrous menus on offer across each day.
From approx. $1800 a night; hukalodge.co.nz
The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley
The Lindis is a gorgeous example of wild luxury, with a swooping, curved roofline that blends seamlessly into the majestic terrain of the South Island’s remote Ahuriri Valley bordered by conservation parks on three sides, and surrounded by snow-peaked mountains, beech forests, wetlands, and tussock grasslands.
The activities at The Lindis are pretty epic, with fly-fishing on the Ahuriri River (ranked one of the world’s best), high-country horse trekking and gliding above the Southern Alps, with trips as far as Milford Sound or Mt. Cook. Also, e-bike, off-road buggy adventures, and a ‘walk menu’ that offers guided and self-navigated jaunts, including the Canyon Creek ‘Heli Walk’ which lifts off from The Lindis and returns by 4WD vehicle.
The Lindis is all Kiwi all the time: Chefs harvest from an on-site garden to create a local menu that also showcases venison, beef, and Mt. Cook alpine salmon while the wine cellar is stocked with top New Zealand wines. After dinner, head outside to check out a sky full of stars with the remote area known for its lack of light pollution.
Min. 2-night stay, approx. $1705 per night; thelindisgroup.com
Minaret Station, Queenstown
New Zealand’s most exclusive private offering, Minaret Station is a 50,000-acre working property located in a glacial valley between Wanaka and Queenstown. Accessible only by helicopter, the property features four individual chalets each comprising of either a king bed or twin sleeping arrangement, separate sitting area, spacious dressing room, ensuite bathroom with skylights and private patio with spa.
Central to the Alpine Lodge is the Mountain Kitchen, with two separate living areas, wood-burning fires and first-class dining facilities all included. For those looking for a heightened adventure experience – guided heli-skiing is available on private fields.
Approx. $2750 per night, not including transfers; minaretstation.com
Te Kahu Lakehouse, Wanaka Bay
Set on 50 acres of natural bush 20 minutes drive outside Wanaka, this private architectural wonder seamlessly blends into its surrounds that spill down the waters of Lake Wanaka. The award-winning home can accommodate six adults (across four bedrooms) and is close to Treble Cone as well as Cardrona and Snow Farm. A helicopter pad means easy and quick transfers, with private chefs also available to ease into any evening after a day on the slopes.
Further, the lodge has access to hiking tracks, local wine tastings, award-winning restaurants with a local Wanaka Travel Fixer on hand to organise a road trip around the Southern Lakes, Champagne lunch atop a snowy mountain, or a Heli-charter to Milford sound.
Min 14-night stay, approx. $3600 per night; releasenz.com
Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown NZ
Just 10 minutes from Queenstown, Matakauri is a breathtaking five-star experience that’s long drawn international guests to the region. A series of eight single-bedroom external designer lodges as well as suites in the main house (or go for Robb Report’s preferred four-bedroom Owner’s Cottage), the property offers incredible views over Lake Wakatipu to the imposing Remarkables ranges, in-house fine dining, spa, pool, sauna, fitness centre and a level of service rarely achieved – making it sometimes difficult to hit the slopes, even on enticing bluebird days.
Beyond the lodge itself, Matakauri offers guided tours of Lake Rere, A Southern Lakes art and wine tour, helicopter golfing experiences at Cecil Peak and more.
From approx. $1300 per night; roberstonlodge.com