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ARCHIVES: July 2020

Discover New Zealand: Honeymoon Itinerary

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Did you have your dream wedding planned earlier this year? With Covid-19 keeping our boarders closed for the foreseeable future, our events team have been busy rescheduling, planning, and curating stunning weddings throughout New Zealand. From Unique Villas as Venues to bespoke locations and styling, they have been kept busy! But what’s a wedding without a luxurious honeymoon to follow it? With Europe and the U.S. out of reach for, our Travel Designers have also been kept on their toes, planning some out-of-this-world Honeymoon’s discovering the beauty in our very own backyard. Just like tasting the wedding cake, sampling the music and finding the perfect fit in your dress, we thought you’d need a little sample of what we can offer for the ultimate romantic getaway – 10 days from north to South.

 

Waiheke Island Day 1 – 3

The Boatshed

This boutique, seaside hotel is inspired by the early 1900 boatsheds that scatter the countries shores. Offering panoramic views over the ocean, the island invites you to rediscover the simple pleasures. Take a stroll amongst an eclectic mix of award-winning vineyards, sophisticated alfresco restaurants, artists' studios and galleries or along one of the many deserted, golden, sandy beaches. Dining is a relaxed affair - indulge in a memorable Mediterranean feast or a private seafood platter on the balcony. Whichever you choose, expect fine hospitality and exceptional service.

Day 1: Upon arriving in Auckland you will be transferred to the ferry for Waiheke Island.  A 40-minute boat ride from Downtown Auckland will have you at The Boatshed. This afternoon is at your leisure.

Day 2: Today we suggest taking a full day winery tour with local resident and guide Chris Palmer. Explore some of the island’s best wineries, tasting as you go. Stop for lunch at one of the many picturesque wineries where you can sample some of the area’s finest produce.

Rotorua Day 3 – 6

Treetops Lodge

Treetops Lodge Estate provides the ultimate luxury lodge and nature experience surrounded by vast 800-year-old forests valleys streams and lakes. Treetops is an ecological triumph that acknowledges the debt mankind owes nature by regenerating with wilderness and its native wildlife. Nearby is Rotorua world famous for its geothermal phenomena still water lakes and its centre of Maori culture. The Lodge is a haven of luxury crafted from natural materials - rock stone and timber blended into the 2500-acre natural wonderland of cascading springs and virgin forest.

Day 3: Today you will take the ferry back to Downtown Auckland where you will be transferred to your flight to Rotorua. This flight is approximately 45 mins. From here you will be transferred by private vehicle to Treetops Lodge. This afternoon is at your leisure to explore your surrounds. We can organize any additional activities should you wish.

Day 4: Explore the onsite wilderness spa and discover luxurious interludes and rejuvenating experiences. Go for their special hot stone massage. Sense the warmth of heated stones on your skin and catch the alluring scent of native plants. Perhaps try their Detox Seaweed Body Wrap. Stimulating and invigorating organic seaweed, and essential oils of Cypress, Juniper and Lemon help to encourage toxin removal leaving you feel refreshed and revitalized.

Day 5: Today is at your leisure in Rotorua. You may like to enjoy a cultural excursion or a visit to the geothermal parks of Te Puia and Wai O Tapu. If adrenaline pumping activities are more your style, head out for a day white water rafting or experience the Lost World excursion in Waitomo (start with a 100m abseil into a cave, and then walk out seeing glow-worms on the way).

Mount Cook Day 6 – 8

Mount Cook Lakeside Retreat 

Quiet and close to nature, this is the perfect place for you to relax and revive. Your stay in this rural location will be a unique experience. Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is set in a forest wilderness overlooking the turquoise blue waters of Lake Pukaki. It is right on the doorstep of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park located in the beautiful and unique Te Te Whipounamu World Heritage Area. From your room, you can enjoy uninterrupted views up Lake Pukaki to the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook. New Zealand's highest mountain and the night sky is a spectacular outlook from the property's own onsite Observatory located within the gold level Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.

Day 6: This morning you will be transferred to Rotorua Airport for your flight to Christchurch. A flight approximately 1 hr 45 mins. At the airport collect your rental vehicle and drive to Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat. This drive is approximately 3.5 hours. Tonight, participate in the unique dark sky experience in the Pukaki Observatory and adjoining wine cellar. View the Milky Way Galaxy, stars and planets through their telescope or explore your astrophotography skills.

Day 7: Fly from Mount Cook airport over the gorgeous Tasman Glacier Lake and ice formations on the lower reaches of the Glacier to a location 3000m above sea level. Venture on to the surprisingly undulating ice terrain in the shadow of the highest peaks of the Southern Alps. Equipped with glacier boots and crampons and spend the next 2 hours in another world in the mountains. On the return flight home, you’ll fly close by the massive 1,000-metre-high (3,200 feet) Hochstetter Icefall on the eastern face of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

Queenstown Day 8 – 11

Azur Lodge

A distinctively contemporary luxury lodge located overlooking some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. The best of both worlds – the feeling of privacy and remoteness, yet in 5 minutes be part of the local dynamic scene in downtown Queenstown. Azurs private villas are designed to let you absorb the incredible views in chic luxury and total privacy. The floor to ceiling windows frames the outstanding views perfectly.

Day 8: Today you will take a scenic drive to Queenstown. Approximately 2.5 hours. Stop in at the stunning turquoise Lake Tekapo and visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd. This afternoon is at your leisure to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Your Touch of Spice guide can assist with any additional arrangements you would like to make.

Day 9: Fly across Lake Wakatipu into the heart of Fiordland National Park to the breath-taking Lake Quill and the 1900ft Sutherland Falls. Fly the length of Milford Sound past sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls. Experience an exhilarating flight past spectacular mountains and blue-green ice falls, and amazing glacial ice formations. Continue onwards to an alpine picnic while enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the wilderness.

Day 10: Today is at your leisure in Queenstown. You may like to enjoy one of the many activities on offer. We recommend enjoying a private tour of the wineries, get adventurous with a bungy or simply relax and take in the views from the bathtub! We can assist with any additional arrangements you would like to make.

Day 11: Today you will be transferred to the airport to check in for your departing flights homewards.

Get in touch with our team today to find out more or check out our Instagram for a daily dose of wanderlust. 

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Queenstown Events with a Touch of Spice

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Last week we partnered with Destination Queenstown who brought 17 domestic corporate guests to Queenstown to showcase the best of the best and it’s brilliant operators over a three day stay.

Guests were given a whirlwind tour of Queenstown, showcasing so much of what makes it such an enticing location to domestic corporate businesses. From dinner at the Sherwood in one of Gather and Golds tipi’s,  a ride on the famous Shotover Jet, an alpine landing with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters to a lunch served up at The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa Three, our guests got to experience why Queenstown is the number one spot for New Zealand corporates looking for a destination with a difference.

Touch of Spice was involved in 2 parts of this Famil; the first was a tradeshow where each operator had 7 minutes with each buyer to show off exactly what we do. This was where we could share our new look book of previous events to showcase that we are a ‘DMC with a difference’ (Destination management company); looking to create those once in a lifetime moments, may they be an evening event, executive retreat or incentive program. The second was the next day at our event, the finale lunch.

The Finale Lunch

Touch of Spice partnered with Artisan catering to host the finale lunch at The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa Three, one of our exclusive Villas as Venues on the edge of Lake Hayes overlooking the Coronet Ski Field. After a very hectic 3 days for the buyers, we wanted to wow the guests with a beautiful setting which would live long into the memory and put Touch of Spice and Queenstown front of mind when the clients were planning their next event. The Elms at Lake Hayes Collection makes a perfect place to hosts a private or business event - with a capacity of 50 people for a long lunch, and 10 opulent double bedrooms spread across three adjoining apartments, this is a versatile venue for clients looking for luxury to either stay or host a dinner.

Artisan, as always, was very impressive, coupling superb food with excellent service. Beautiful platters and a superb walk and fork menu received compliments all round, with one guest remarking that ‘Touch of Spice and Artisan is truly a world-class combination’. That is the feedback we will not argue with.

As the event began to wind down, guests helped themselves to some Touch of Spice branded goodies from our friends at Buzz Stop - Queenstown’s local bee farm serving up the finest bee’s wax and honey experiences and produce, giving the guests a little sample of Queenstown to take home with them.

Get in touch with our events team today and make Queenstown your next destination for a truly out-of-this-world event with Touch of Spice. 

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Discover New Zealand: Unique Luxury Stays

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Beyond our Private Villa and Exclusive Residences, we partner with New Zealand’s finest and most exquisite Luxury Lodges and Boutique Hotels, creating unique stays that only most get to dream of.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic short break or a full lodge hop from north to south discovering the beauty in your backyard, our team of Travel Designers are here to show you the best of what New Zealand has to offer. Sleep at the foot of the Southern Alps, in a luxurious tree top house, on top of a mountain peak or in an ocean front paradise - All the lodges and hotels in our portfolio are set in outstanding locations. Offering onsite and local activities, experiences, and excursions, no two lodge stays are ever the same. Every lodge and unique stay is complimented by world-class cuisine and exceptional hospitality, serving some of New Zealand’s finest produce paired perfectly with local wines.

With the school holidays finished, we’ve handpicked our favourite unique stays for a couples getaway, leaving the kids at home and giving you some of that well deserved (and needed) you time, each with exclusive experiences served up by the kiwi’s that know it best.

The Lindis

Set at the foot of the mountains on 6,000 acres of the Ahuriri Valley, The Lindis is the ultimate retreat within absolute seclusions. Rise and shine from one of the deluxe suites to views of the valley before enjoying brunch in the lounge. Guests can take advantage of one of the top 10 fly fishing locations in the world, which is but a short stroll down from the lodge. Hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, horse riding will also be available, or guests can simply choose to unwind and relax in this idyllic setting, see the Milky Way at night and listen to the sound of silence.

Aro Ha Wellness Retreat

A unique campus nestled in Aotearoa’s pristine southern alps, Aro Ha models a transitional path toward a regenerative relationship with our planet. Aro Ha was born of the intention to create a facility that exemplifies a more resilient localized living solution. From permaculture, to passive haus techniques, they've attempted to integrate best practices for solving the essentials of life. The 8.4-hectare site sits on a sub-alpine terrace with expansive views of Lake Wakatipu where ancient traditions have been merged with modern technology.  Their all-inclusive programs harness the collective wisdom of the Aro Ha Wellness Team to help you move toward to optimum health.  You will have no decisions to make, no business or family to attend to, just a step-by-step process that leaves you glowing.

Whare Kea Chalet

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. This exclusive alpine venue and it’s surrounding adventures can be enjoyed year-round by friends, families and small groups. Four months of the year the area is covered in snow making it the ideal base for heli skiing, and in summer the slopes of tussock grass are dotted with wild flowers and tarns offering a range of fantastic hiking routes, catering for all abilities.

Treetops Lodge

This uniquely New Zealand experience is a sanctuary and retreat of breath-taking terrain, offering the ultimate in world-class accommodation and adventure. Nestled in 2,500 acres of 800-year old native forest, award-winning Treetops Lodge & Estate is a life-long dream realised by owner and passionate naturalist, John Sax. Guests can choose to stay in one of their Lodge Rooms, Luxury Villas or within the Pheasant Cottage. Treetops offer seven streams, on-site trout fishing, four lakes, and over 70 kilometres of adventure trails. New family experiences include photography safaris, helicopter tours, Geocaching hunts, luxury treks to spectacular waterfalls, and a 4WD experience.

Get in touch with the team today and discover New Zealand in 2020.

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Discover New Zealand: Go Beyond The Snow

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The best thing about winter in New Zealand is that you can have a day on the ski fields in amazing ‘pow pow’ one day, and have that and so much more the next. Here at Touch of Spice, we know that not everyone is a skier. Some prefer to look at the snow-covered mountains from a heli rather than through some goggles, others might rather skip the snow altogether and head straight for the Après ski – sipping some of the finest wine available in the region. Or maybe you’re a Queenstown local and looking to escape to the winterless north for a slice of paradise for a long weekend?  

Whatever the reason, no matter your style, Touch of Spice have out-of-this-world, snow free days to let you experience something different this winter. Whether you’re planning a big family escape, a romantic weekend away, an active getaway with friends or to simply find some peace and quiet following the school holidays, the Touch of Spice Team will match your individual needs and wants with a dreamy stay for a truly unforgettable experience.

Check out our teams favourite Snow-Free Day Experiences below, get inspired and get in touch with us today to find out more!

Hike, Heli & Honey

 

Join your private guide on an exclusive walking track along Lake Wakitipu at the base of Cecil Peak. Follow the flat bush track towards McKinnons Creek for brunch before flying by private heli towards Mt Nicholas Station where you will collect and harvest honey straight from the hives. Jump back in the heli and soar towards Buzzstop in Queenstown where you will spin your honey and prepare your own sample to take home with you.

 

Ben Nevis Station

 

A High-Country adventure like no other. Experience the thrill, excitement and adrenaline rush as you conquer diverse terrain on a four-wheel drive buggy. You'll get geared up and prepared for a bit of dust, mud and a ton of fun. Once at the station, learn a new skill with clay target shooting and archery. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, coaches are on hand to help you hit the target. Next up, take a seat next to New Zealand's very own World Rally Car Champ, Hayden Paddon and experience life in the fast lane. Finish your day of adventure with a gourmet dinner and a glass of local Pinot Noir.

 

Discover the Wild West

 

Only a short drive from Auckland airport, arrive in the wild west of the North Island for a day of adventure.Take to the rugged coast and let the fresh, salty ocean air wake you up with a morning of blow-karting along the beautiful black sand surf beaches of Muriwai. Catch your breath after an adrenaline fuelled morning and take a more leisurely approach to discover this coastline. Saddle up and meander along the beach by horseback to the edges of the Waitakere Ranges, some of the most stunning bushland in New Zealand, lookout for some native birds and be in awe with nature.

 

A Taste of Waiheke

 

 

Fly or sail from Auckland to the stunning paradise island of Waiheke. Upon arrival, meet your private guide for the day Julie Biuso (Ambassador for Le Codon Bleu Institute New Zealand & award winning chef and writer) for a tour of her favourite island spots. Meet the bakers, producers and vintners as you indulge in their delights. Collect produce from private orchards, gardens and fishermen before arriving at Julie's private slice of paradise to cook alongside her or relax in the sun with a local glass of wine. Sit down in the courtyard with a delicious meal, serving up the best treats the island has on offer, with someone who knows it best.

 

Sail into Paradise

 

Take to the tropical waters in Bay of Islands in a privately chartered 54ft sailing catamaran. Choose from sunbathing and relaxing on the top deck, kayaking, snorkeling, SUP or looking out for the dolphins swimming by. Relax with a chilled glass of bubbles a a private chef prepares a BBQ on deck for a day of total relaxation and tranquility.

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