Over the last few weeks, we have featured short breaks in Queenstown, Muriwai and Waiheke Island. We thought we would bring things back to the South Island this week with a focus on the patchwork plains of stunning Canterbury. A truly unique destination where the mystery of the alps meet the majestic ocean, Canterbury is Famed for its lush vineyards, glacial lakes, farmland and coastal towns – making it the ultimate short break for a foodie looking to discover a true taste of New Zealand.
Accommodation: Seascape – Annandale
What’s a getaway without a romantic luxury stay in a bay of your own. Seascape is a sparkling jewel in Annandale's crown: a picturesque private bay, above which an ultra-modern retreat provides a truly romantic experience for two.
Accessed by helicopter or by a 40-minute transfer in a 4WD Annandale vehicle across the cliff-top farm tracks, this awe-inspiring setting offers couples the chance to make memories around the clock. As you approach the bay, with its dark pebbles and azure waters, it is clear you are somewhere timeless and unique. The turf roof, stone walls and glass façade of the contemporary accommodation discreetly add another dimension to the landscape.
Inside, a king-size bed sits upon a dais, a step up from the living area and fireplace, so the incredible view dominates the space. The modern bathroom matches the rest of Seascape for drama – an arrowslit window capturing a view of the dramatic rock formations along the coast and leading to the outdoor spa.
From within, it appears you are floating on the open sea, in thrall to its ever-changing moods, yet safely embraced by luxury and modern comforts. Outside, dolphins and seals often frolick in the glittering water, with only you and the tussock grass to witness them.
Feel the power of Seascape: take your time, breathe deeply and let instinct guide you.
Day 1: Arrive & Sip Champagne By The Ocean
Arrive to Seascape to champagne and a delicious platter overflowing with local Canterbury delicacies. Sit back, relax and watch the waves roll in as you sink into a feeling of true escapism at Seascape.
Day 2: Rise & Shine With Ocean Views
Enjoy a coffee in bed as you watch the sun rise over the ocean. Roll out of bed and start the morning feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to seize the day with a private couple’s yoga session on the deck. After breakfast, take to the water on a private kayak tour or nature cruise and get up close and personal with dolphins that call these waters home.
That afternoon head out to Te Mania’s Saloon at the farm just up the road. Get up close with some of New Zealand’s finest Angus Bulls and pick up something to enjoy on the barbecue that evening. Enjoy farm to table dining and barbecue up your own Canterbury fayre or why not get a private chef to do it for you?
Day 3: Taste the Canterbury Region from Mountains to The Sea
Rise and shine ready for a big day out with Christchurch Helicopters. Lift off over the green patchwork of the Canterbury Plains. With the wine country ahead and the Southern Alps on your tail, head towards the sparkling east coast and start you adventure spying on the sunbathing seals from the air. Following the shoreline you will head out to sea to look out for the blow holes and scout the migrating whales from above.
After a short break hop back on board with an array of freshly prepared local delicacies like crayfish, whitebait, mussels and prawns, experiencing Kaikoura’s indigenous meaning ‘Food from the Sea’. Flying west, soar to the Seaward Kaikoura Range and touch down at the exquisite Lake Sumner to enjoy a traditional picnic and relish the seafood delights, complimented by a selection of delicious New Zealand wine and beer.
Feeling full of delicious food and in awe of nature, it’s time to head down from the peaks. Tantalise your taste buds at the famous Pyramid Valley Vineyard to savour some of their most spectacular wines. Pick up a bottle or two to enjoy in the spa pool at Seascape on your final evening - savouring the flavours and the days gone by.
Day 4: Depart feeling refreshed & refueled
After a relaxed morning it’s time to embark on the journey home, or your next adventure. Why not combine this Short Break with another in Queenstown or even the North Island? Check out more of our Short Breaks here.
I don't know about you, but if 2020 has taught me anything, it's to take that well needed (and deserved) me time - and nothing quite says that like a stay on Waiheke Island. Sink into slow island life with a short break in paradise, indulging in delicious local produce and treating yourself to some R&R with the sound of rolling waves in the background. Only a short boat ride from Auckland, Waiheke makes for the perfect weekend escape. Leave work in the office, grab those closest, and forget about the stress of the months gone by with our exclusive Waiheke Short Break.
Accommodation: Mudbrick – The Beach House
The Beach House offers three levels of luxury living, situated on the famous white sand beach of Oneroa, a vibrant, beautiful, holiday hot-spot on Waiheke Island.
Take your pick of three luxurious bedrooms and marvel in the perfect views across the bay from the wrap-around deck and living room. The top, master bedroom has an en-suite shower room and King bed, private deck and ocean views. The second bedroom is located off the lounge and has a queen bed, sea views and doors that open to the main deck. The third bedroom is located on the bottom floor and has a split King bed (King or two singles) with doors that open to the outside and the spa. The house also offers a shared bathroom, separate toilet, and an outdoor shower for days at the beach.
Make use of the two paddle boards at The Beach House during the day and the BBQ for lazy evenings in the setting sun – board games and books are available for indoor days. Oneroa village is easily accessible from the property, with cafés, restaurants, art galleries and shops just a few minutes’ walk away.
When you arrive in Auckland, a driver will be waiting to take you to the ferry. 40 Minutes later, you will set foot on Waiheke Island. In landscape, lifestyle and experience, Waiheke is a world away. Enjoy local wine while looking out over vine-covered valleys to the blue sea beyond.
Arrive at The Beach House to a gourmet platter and bottle of champagne to cheers to the days ahead. Jump into your swimmers and get the sand between your toes before jumping in the spa pool as a private chef prepares the feast for the night. It's about taking a deep breath, taking it easy, and knowing we've got everything covered!
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.
Day 3: Relax
After you wake up, enjoy a 60 minute massage and a yoga class from the comfort of your home away from home. Spend the rest of the afternoon lying on the beach, swimming in the ocean or exploring by SUP for the ultimate day of relaxation. Continue enjoying down time with those closest as the sunsets over the ocean and a private chef prepares a full BBQ feast for you to indulge in.
Day 4: Art, Nature & Adventure Tour
Waiheke offers many pleasures besides food and wine. Visit some top New Zealand artists, galleries and exhibitions, sculpture and garden parks; walk in a pristine native bird reserve, an ancient volcanic field or on a scenic coastal track; or ride the EcoZip above some luxuriant New Zealand bush. The choice is yours!
In the afternoon, you will prepare to depart and make your way homeward bound.
With spring here, it means one thing – summer is on it’s way! The days are getting warmer and I don’t know about you but the ocean air is calling me. Having spent majority of this year in the South Island, I’m itching to get away for the perfect dose of vitamin ‘sea’ in a few weeks’ time – and what better place to discover than stunning Muriwai.
Only a short drive from Auckland Airport, Muriwai makes for the ultimate weekend escape - whether you’re flying from the South Island or driving from your home in Auckland CBD, Muriwai is perfect for a Short Break to celebrate and spend time with family and friends.
Last week we explored a four-day Queenstown Getaway, so we thought it only fair to show some love to the tropical north this week. From the mountains to the ocean, we have our second Short Break: Discover Muriwai.
Reduced from $15,300, stay for 3 nights and pay for only 2, meaning for only $165 per person, per night you can live like a VIP and experience New Zealand luxury like never before. Arrive to a bottle of bubbles, a selection of New Zealand’s finest wines and an artisan platter of local produce to really get the celebrations underway. This three night stay includes a breakfast basket packed full of nutritional goodies for your first morning, bespoke teas and Nespresso coffee for throughout your stay, luxurious bathrobes and slippers for getting from the sauna to the hot tub and plenty of pampering toiletries to revive yourself.
Only a 40-minute drive from Auckland Airport and placed on 6.6 hectares of stunning coastal land, Muriwai Estate is the ultimate haven to escape the everyday. With an effortless and breezy atmosphere combined with every luxurious touch you could imagine; no expense has been spared in the crafting of this Mediterranean inspired home. Host the full family for a long lunch in the gardens, cheers a glass of bubbles by the pool with your friends and watch the sunset from the rugged black sand beach with your other half – there’s always something to celebrate at Muriwai Estate.
Day 1: Welcome To Muriwai Estate
Arrive to Muriwai Estate to champagne and delicious platter. Feel the stress of everyday life melt away as you take in the breath-taking West Coast and view of the Southern Ocean – the sunsets are out of this world. If you can tear yourself away from the view; feel inspired as you wind your way through the luxuriously appointed interior of the stunning estate you get to call home.
Unlike a hotel stay a private villa will let you escape and really catch up with family and friends in the privacy of a true home from home. After a relaxing afternoon and a good catch up, we recommend popping some dinner on the barbecue and dining al fresco on the terrace as the kids amuse themselves in the play park.
Day 2: Explore the Wild West
Wake up in one of the sumptuous bedroom suites and enjoy a coffee with views of the ocean as the waves’ roll in. Roll out of bed and start the morning feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to explore the wild west of the North Island with our expert guide. 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 of Muriwai Surf Beach.
Park up on one of the many secluded sand dunes, take a breath, enjoy a gourmet lunch and get lost in the panoramic views of the clear ocean in front of you. Catch your breath after an adrenaline fuelled morning and take a more leisurely approach to discovering the 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 – keep on the lookout for native birds and marvel at nature.
Enjoy a traditional Maori waiata (song) and exquisite kiwi style BBQ for a truly moving and tasty experience to finish your day before heading home to relax.
Day 3: From Waves to Wineries
Enjoy a slow start and a home-cooked breakfast al fresco. Relax by the pool and enjoy the breath-taking views. After a relaxing start to the day it’s time to head over to world famous Piha surf beach for a surfing lesson with your own private instructor. Catch your first wave, or if you are a seasoned pro head out and catch a wave from the head of famous Lion Rock, all the way back to shore. If surfing isn’t your thing a short coastal walk up Taitomo Island offers unrivalled views of the black sand beaches. We recommend a well-deserved lunch at the incredible Hunting Lodge Winery on your way home where you can enjoy delicious food cooked by famous chef Des Harris.
Take the afternoon to relax and enjoy each others company and your surrounds – disconnect from the real world and reconnect with those closest. Unwind and get ready for one final evening of having your mind blown with a chef-cooked meal from famous New Zealand chef Gideon – head chef at one of the top restaurants in New Zealand. Let him show you the best of what the region can offer with a degustation menu to saviour as your sip a glass of New Zealand’s finest.
Day 4: Depart
Rise and shine on your final morning with ocean views. Enjoy brunch by the pool before preparing to embark on your journey home or onto your next adventure.
Spring has sprung, longer evenings are here, warmer days are coming, and there’s a change in the air. Auckland has now joined the rest of New Zealand at Covid Alert Level 1 and it’s a continued breath of fresh air to see New Zealand thriving against the Covid battle. With the school holidays currently underway, we’ve already seen an influx of visitors to Queenstown, as well as many of our returning clients taking the time to explore the paradise beaches in the north, enjoying that well needed and deserved break away with the family.
With the return to ‘normal’ life (I hope I’m not jinxing anything here), now is the time to take the lessons we’ve learnt over the last few months and embrace the changes. Our biggest lesson? Valuing time with those that matter. We know time is precious, which is why we will sort everything for you, so that you can maximise your time away. Our phylosophy is that you don’t have to lift a finger, so you can raise a glass instead!
With that in mind, over the next few weeks we will be sharing a series of exclusive Short Breaks featuring everything from luxury accommodation to where to eat breakfast, drink wine, bungy, dive, soar and everything in-between! With New Zealand all to ourselves, it’s time to explore.
First up: Queenstown (it would be rude to start anywhere else than our very own backyard), four days, three nights in the adventure capital – perfect for the adrenaline junkies, wine lovers and fitness freaks.
What ever your style, our Private Villas and Residence Collections have something to suit your every need. From 4* to Rockstar, Queenstown has it all. One of our personal favourites – The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa one. Just 15 minutes from Queenstown International Airport and 20 minutes from central Queenstown, Lake Hayes Escape could not be better positioned for a short break from anywhere. Arrive to a bottle of bubbles and clink those glasses to you and the view from the lake front balcony.
Day 1: Welcome to Queenstown
Arrive at your luxury accommodation to a bottle of bubbles and clink those glasses to you and the unforgettable Queenstown view. With the bags dropped off it’s time to explore. Take the time to meander through the streets of the town, browsing the boutique stores, stopping for a spot of lunch at the delicious Yonder or famous Fergburger before jumping on a jet boat or off the Kawarau bridge for that first adrenaline hit. Looking for something more mellow? Take the Gondola to the top of the Skyline for your own Grand Prix on The Luge or perhaps take a walk-up Queenstown Hill for a view from the top. Enjoy a relaxed evening at home with dinner from a private chef, before soaking in the hot tub as the sun goes down on day one.
Day 2: Wine not?
Rise and shine to breakfast in the comfort of a home away from home or venture into town to try one of the many delicious cafes for brunch (Bespoke Kitchen is another personal favourite of mine), and start the day off right. What is a visit to Queenstown with a trip through The Valley of The Vines? Join Lee from Alpine Luxury Tours, one of our expert local guides, for an exclusive wine tour. Peer into the wine barrels at a private cellar door not open to the public, sip wine with the wine maker themselves and indulge in a variety of local produce served from the farm to the table. Enjoy an evening at leisure after a busy day spent sipping away on the regions finest, or perhaps dine out at the renowned Amisfield Bistro, only a stone’s throw from The Elms at lake Hayes Villa One.
It's time to get active! Join your private guide on one of the many surrounding walking tracks in Queenstown - some even the locals don't know about! Listen to the stories of your guide, take in the views, and get a real sense of being in the wild. Want to go further? Take a private heli to a remote mountain peak and hike along the ridge line for an unforgettable experience and a feeling of being on top of the world. After a day on your feet, treat yourself to a private hot pool at Onsen. Relax under the stars with a glass of bubbles and let the day’s activities melt away. For your final evening, treat yourself to Botswana Butchery or Rata for a feast to remember.
Day 4: Depart
Rise and shine to your final morning of lake views. Enjoy brunch at home or perhaps stop by Akarua wines, kitchen by Artisan for a farewell brunch (mimosa optional of course). After a relaxed morning, it’s time to embark on the journey home or onto your next adventure.
What ever your style, no matter how many guests, our Short Breaks are custom made to suit you. Get in touch with the team to find out more and watch this space for Short Breaks in the North and around the South Island.