Have you had enough of 2020? Set sail away from it all this summer on board a luxurious super yacht.
With it looking like skiing in Aspen and Japan is off the cards this year, how about taking the family sailing in the stunning Bay of Islands on your own private yacht instead? Jump in the ocean and snorkel in the clear blue sea around Great Mercury Island or throw the rod over and do some deep sea fishing off Great Barrier Island. When you look around our own amazing country, who needs St Barths or the Maldives?
Partnering with some of New Zealand’s most exclusive super yacht providers, we have something to suit your every need, want and desire. Whether you’re looking to get away on a week-long charter with private chef and staff on board or looking for an exclusive day trip to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, our Travel Designers have their little black book of kiwi providers at the ready to give you and your family a getaway in 2020 to remember. It's about being able to go above and beyond in your backyard and doing it in ultimate luxury!
Prefer to keep your feet solidly on the land? Stay in one of our exclusive Private Villas or Luxury Lodges and spend your afternoons paddle boarding or sunbathing, while sipping a freshly made margarita indulging in that well-deserved dose of 'vitamin sea' while you wait for lunch. With the option to dock super yachts at a selection of our Villas on Waiheke Island and in the Bay of Islands, relaxing in a luxurious villa after a week at sea has never been so easy.
If you are not quite ready for summer but looking to celebrate a special occasion, our collection of Private Yachts and Villas as Venues make for an unforgettable setting to celebrate in style with those that matter most. With private chefs, waitstaff and our events team on hand, no occasion is too big or too small for us.
Whatever your style, get ready to set sail in 2020. Get in touch with the team today to find out more about exclusive itineraries, short breaks and day packages.
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
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you ready to ‘burst’ that Covid-19 bubble with a well-deserved winter break? Serving up some of the best 'pow pow' in New Zealand, get ready to discover a wintery playground, sip some complementary bubbles and SAVE up to 30% on our selected Private Villas as you do it!
For all the snow & ski junkies amongst us - there is no better place to be than Queenstown this winter. After patiently watching the snow land on Coronet Peak and The Remarkables from the Touch of Spice office, opening day is almost here and we can feel a buzz in the air!
Over the last few weeks we’ve been sharing some of our most exclusive Winter Wonderland Experiences and our Photographers Guide to winter in New Zealand, but what’s a winter getaway without a stunning home away from home? And we’re not just talking about a place to rest your head after a day on the slopes - it’s about having a home to spend time with the family, sink into the hot tub, indulge in a chef prepared dinner and leave the kids in the cinema room as you enjoy some well needed (and deserved) you time!
Thinking about getting away for the winter school holidays? With limited availability in our Private Villas, now is the time to get booking! With Stay, Pay Deals now available and savings of 15% on shorter stays in some of our selected villas, we have something to suit everyone.
· Stay 7 | Pay 5 for the ultimate family getaway - that's two FREE nights
· Stay 10 | Pay 7 and make it one to remember - that's three FREE nights
· Looking for something shorter? SAVE 15% on stays between 3-6 nights
Get in touch with the team today and quote ‘WINTER 2020’ and arrive to a complementary bottle of bubbles to really celebrate that Covid bubble popping - available on stays this July. We’ll do all the hard work for – you don’t have to lift a finger - so you can raise a glass instead.
Check out some of our favourite Private Villas included in our Special Offers below and let us make Winter 2020 one to remember.
Queenstown Central Apartment, Sleeping 4 guests, From $805 per night
Queenstown Private Villa, Sleeping 6 guests, From $595 per night
Queenstown Hill Private Villa, Sleeping 8 guests, From $630 per night
Queenstown Hill Private Villa, Sleeping 8 guests, From $630 per night
Queenstown Hill Private Villa, Sleeping 8 guests, From $630 per night
They say a picture says 1,000 words but in New Zealand, it usually brings one to mind – WOW! Oozing natural beauty, adventure and delicious food and wine, New Zealand is a photographer’s playground. Whether you’re a landscape pro, travel blogger, Instagram foodie or looking to bulk out the family album - you could have all the gear or no idea, New Zealand naturally puts on a show you can’t help but snap up.
And what’s the best part? Capturing it of course. From soaring peaks and glassy lakes to active volcanoes, wildlife, tropical bays and unforgettable starry nights, you really do have to experience it to share it. So we thought we’d do something a little different in this weeks Discover New Zealand Series – we’ve already covered The North Island, The South, A Foodies Guide to Queenstown and our Favourite Winter Experiences, this week we’re going to show you the places to go, the things to experience and the foods to taste to get that ultimate shot! It’s about experiencing the best and capturing memories that really do last a lifetime.
1. Sleep in a Glass Pod at the foot of the Ahuriri Valley at The Lindis for an unimaginable starry night. Sink into the private hot tub and leave the time lapse to work its magic.
2. Soar to a glacier peak and trek through the glassy ice tunnels with mountain top views that will leave you speechless – an adventurous landscape lovers dream.
3. One for the food bloggers – indulge in a delicious degustation dinner at Amisfield Bistro and Winery. A taste sensation that will leave your followers craving for more and trying it for themselves.
4. Station to station bike tour in Queenstown. Queenstown is renowned amongst travelers for a reason – no matter what way you look, whether you’re hiking or biking, you’ll realise every trip takes twice as long when the camera comes out.
5. Dive into the depths of the world at Lost World in Taupo for a shot of drama.
6. Go above and beyond with Over The Top Golf knocking biodegradable golf balls into the dramatic backdrop of Queenstown.
And just like that, winter is almost here! With Queens birthday weekend just gone, it was amazing to see so many of our clients and our team take advantage of the freedom of the long weekend. A buzz returned to Queenstown, the restaurants and bars felt alive, our guides were back to doing what they do best, and our Travel Designers got more excited than ever about the winter season ahead.
With snow predicted to fall by next week, the wintery playground of Queenstown will be coming to life. Whether you’re a skier, boarder, dog-sledder, ice driver or glacier rock climber, Queenstown and the South Island has the powder for every snow junkie – but what’s a getaway without some luxurious accommodation to retreat to after adventurous days?
We know time is precious which is why we want to help you make the most of it. With Exclusive Stay | Pay Deals and Offers now available on selected Private Villas, you can get away for longer and treat the family to free nights whilst you do it! Think shredding by day, sinking into the hot tub by evening and relaxing by the fire or in the media room at night – before doing it all over again!
So whether you’re looking for a short break, week long getaway and more, our Travel Designers can take care of all the arrangements for you, booking your luxury accommodation and treating you to some world class experiences that most will only get to dream of this winter.
Need some more inspiration? Check out the team’s favourite snow day activities below and let’s get ready to make this winter one to remember.
Soar to remote and exclusive ski fields and shred in complete privacy on the untouched powder of the day. Your pilot will be waiting to serve up a delicious glass of local mulled wine for an apres ski and view to remember.
Fly by private heli to the Isobel peak for a challenging yet insanely rewarding day. Grab your ice axe, don the crampons, get the harness connected and set off along the alpine trek with a specialist private guide. Discover the crevasses, keep your balance as you walk along the ridges and embrace the views that only most can dream of.
Experience the thrill of a sled dog team as you run through the high trails of the Southern Alps. Whether you’re driving yourself or riding along in the basket with an experienced musher at the helm, you’ll feel like a slice of Alaska has landed in your backyard.
Cruise across pristine snow at an altitude of up to 6,000ft above sea level in a private snow mobile tour exploring the dramatic landscapes and taking in the views whilst on the move. The day will be finished with a private heli flight back to Queenstown to make sure you don’t miss out in any of the picture-perfect moments.
Whatever your style, New Zealand has it. Get in touch today and let's get planning!
For the last seven or so weeks, the Touch of Spice teem have become pro bakers, homemade wine connoisseurs and the private in-house chefs. Alongside learning how to use that slow cooker that's been sitting in the cupboard for months, I also learnt how much I missed wining and dining around Queenstown and Central Otago.
With level two finally here (well done New Zealand!) and the opening of bars this evening, we thought we’d serve up something a little different for this week’s Discover New Zealand Series. Over the last two weeks we’ve explored 5 days in The North and 5 days in The South – this week we’re adding our 5 favourite and most adventurous Queenstown foodie experiences to the menu.
Beyond having access to some of the most exclusive tables in town, we also work with amazing local suppliers and partners that are able to serve up something you've never seen (or tasted) before. Whether you have a thirst for adrenaline, a taste for adventure or just enjoy the simplicity of being wined and dined with the finest produce, our team of Travel Designers know all the secret spots and delicious treats that the guidebooks don’t even know about!
So here it is, the dish of the day - A Taste of Adventure in Queenstown to feed your inner foodie, quench your thirst for adventure and guarantee to leave you craving for more!
The Taste of Adventure
1. Apres Ski in Style
2.Progressive Dinner Tour
3. Dine and Dine in Dusky Sound
4. Forage to Fork in Wanaka
5. Sip and Sail on the Fiordland Jewel
Apres Ski in Style with Alpine Luxury Tours
Coming to Queenstown looking for that dose of ‘vitamin ski’? Shred the slopes in the morning before jumping in a private heli and flying out to the remote Earnslaw Burn Ski – an iconic glacier with stunning waterfalls just west of Queenstown. Soar above Lake Wakitipu before landing in the valley. Discover the area and feel the spray from under one of the falls before sitting down to a glass of hot mulled wine straight from Gibbston Valley paired perfectly with a gourmet platter showcasing some of Otago’s finest produce. Finish the day back on the slopes before returning to your luxury Private Villa for an après ski bottle of wine.
Progressive Dinner Tour
One of the team’s personal favourites – join private local guide Lee from Alpine Luxury Tours and taste some of the finest flavours on offer. Start your evening at Canyon Brewery for a flight of craft beer that has been perfectly matched with a selection of nibble starters in a relax spot on the side of the famous Shotover River. For the main course you with drive through Gibbston Valley to Kinross Winery. Here you will indulge in a some of the freshest seasonal produce on offer whilst sampling a selection of the regions finest Wines. Lee will be sharing stories about the wine and winemakers themselves (and cracking out some of his own) before taking you to the renowned Aosta in Arrowtown for dessert. A must try on the menu is the tiramisu – your waiter will construct the dish at the table as you sip on the dessert wine, eagerly waiting to dig in. This tour is great if you’re short for time – three locations, local beer, wine and a delicious selection of food all in one evening.
Dive and Dine in Dusky Sound with Alpine Helicopters
Take off in a private heli from Queenstown and fly towards Dusky Sound, one of Fiordland’s most isolated a remote inlet’s in the southwest corner of the South Island. Soar over the mountain peaks and lakes before arriving at a floating helipad to transfer to a custom-built boat, ready and waiting to explore Dusky Sound. Once you’re settled on board and have taken in the stunning surroundings, your private guide will don all the gear and dive and dish up a crayfish lunch paired perfectly with some of Queenstown and Central Otago’s finest wines. If this isn’t a lunch with the ultimate view, we don’t know what is!
Forage to Fork in Wanaka with New Zeal
Fly by private heli or drive from Queenstown to Wanaka with Paul from New Zeal, your private guide for the day, for a day of hiking, rafting and drift fishing. Upon arriving at Makarora and the Haast Pass, enjoy a gentle hike down the Haast Pass Bridle Track, the first link between Otago and Westland, to David Flat where you will find rafts awaiting. Jump in and roll with the grade two waves down the Makarora River arriving at the stunning Blue Pools – a truly magical spot in the West Coast. Once through the rapids it’s time to catch some lunch. Drift fish for approximately 15km before stopping to cook up the catch of the day on the embers of an open fire for a feast that’s well deserved. Once back to Lake Wanaka, why not stop by a local venison farm to pick up some fresh produce for dinner? We can organise for a private chef to do all the work for you in your private villa to finish off the day in style.
Sip and sail on the Fiordland Jewel
Last and by no means least, explore the renowned Milford Sound by heli and boat. Fly from Queenstown over the soaring peaks, landing on top of the sound for the picture-perfect shot before touching down on the private heli-pad of the Fiordland Jewel. This luxurious private yacht will then take you around the sound, under the iconic waterfalls and right up to the Tasman Sea where you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for the migrating dolphins and whales. Once docked up in the bay indulge in a freshly caught and prepared sea food lunch – three delicious courses served up with a side of unforgettable views. After lunch, take off from the top deck to return to Queenstown. Feel like staying longer? Enjoy a nights stay on the Jewel - kayaking, dining and relaxing in the rooftop hot tub on the perfect slice of floating luxury in the sound.
It’s time to try and taste something new. Get in touch with the team today and let us serve up something truly epic.
Wow – how are we almost at seven weeks of lockdown already? Part of me is questioning where the time has gone - the other part is questioning how on earth I’ve managed to stay somewhat sane! After reading my stack of travel magazines front to back, watching all the wanderlust documentaries on Netflix, changing my desktop background to a paradise beach and contemplating afternoon margaritas on an almost daily basis, I think it’s safe to say I’m more than ready to get away!
Whether you’ve been working from home, spending all your time with the kids or itching to get space from your other half (or all three), the freedom to get away from it all is almost here. With the outlines of Level Two released this week and with domestic travel soon to be open for business, now is the time to get excited about getting out there and seeing what all our international travellers have been ranting and raving about for years!
With that being said, I'm excited to share our second itinerary in our Discover New Zealand Series – a selection of exclusive experiences and itineraries we are sharing weekly here and on our Instagram and Facebook, to spark up that imagination and get you ready to explore New Zealand in 2020.
Last week we shared a South Island Itinerary and it seems only fair that we show some love to the North Island this week. So here we have it – The Best of The North, five days making a splash in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where you can forget the desktop background and dive straight into paradise as those afternoon margaritas are served up in style!
Discover the North Island
DAY 1: Arrive Auckland, New Zealand – Private vehicle transfer to Bay of Islands and The Glasshouse (2 nights)
DAY 2: Discover The Glasshouse with guided kayak tours, fishing charters, scuba diving, a round of golf or guided Kauri forest walks
DAY 3: Transfer to Eagles Nest after enjoying a boat trip to Poor Knights Island (3 nights)
DAY 4: Northland heli excursion with gourmet lunch
DAY 5: Enjoy a day at leisure at Eagles Nest with a round of golf, a bike ride through Russell, horse trekking, fishing and nature cruises on offer
DAY 6: Depart from Kerikeri
Touch down in Auckland, the City of Sails of New Zealand, and prepare to discover the North Island. Arriving in Auckland, you will experience a Maori cultural welcome by your private guide who will transfer you to The Glasshouse, Northland. Enjoy an Auckland tour, learning of the culture and history along the scenic drive taking in the coastal views as you approach The Glasshouse. Embrace the tranquility and natural beauty that surrounds you as watch the sunset over the Pacific from the comfort of this retreat.
ACCOMMODATION: THE GLASSHOUSE
From the moment you pop your welcome Champagne and get lost in the spectacular 180-degree panorama – you’ll realise you’re in for an unforgettable stay at The Glasshouse. This spacious and architecturally designed one-bedroom retreat has everything you need to spend time exactly how you choose - whether it’s getting cozy by the outside fire, enjoying a long shower with ocean views or napping in a hammock. Enjoy a private chef cooked dinner from the comfort of The Glasshouse or indulge in an inhouse massage – all available through the onsite team.
Discover the glasshouse. Whether it’s getting active exploring or relaxing with a book, The Glasshouse has something for everyone. If you’re able to tear yourself away from the comforts of The Glasshouse, there’s so much to enjoy on Kauri Mountain Point and beyond. Explore the 20-acre peninsula itself, with its own tracks and secret coves from which you can swim, fish, kayak or simply take in the views. There’s also some large natural rock pools, which gently warm in the sun and are perfect for taking a dip.
Explore Poor Knights islands. Transfer from The Glasshouse to Eagles Nest with splash of adventure.
Twenty three kilometers off New Zealand’s Tutukaka Coast and washed by warm currents swept south from the Coral Sea, the Poor Knights Islands are an international icon. A total marine and nature Reserve - and pending World Heritage Site - the 11 million year old Islands’ volcanic origins provide spectacular drop offs, walls, caves, arches and tunnels. Board your privately chartered boat and choose from snorkelling, diving, kayaking, paddle boarding or fishing for an afternoon that will be remembered!
ACCOMMODATION: EAGLES NEST
With a horizon lap pool splayed out across the front of the villa overlooking the ocean and private spa alongside, Eagles Nest creates seamless flow between living and the stunning surrounding environment. The walls of Eagles Nest are adorned with art by famous New Zealand artists, and with the property overlooking the historical site of Waitangi, it is the perfect place to reflect, be inspired and unwind.
Take to the air and explore the rugged coastline of Bay of Islands. Departing from Eagles Nest, fly high over spectacular harbours and beaches for a birds eye view of this amazing region and its 144 islands. Land at a private airfield and enjoy a luxury vehicle tour to the tip of New Zealand where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch at the serene Tapotupotu Bay.
The next flight leg is over spectacular and remote scenery such as the white silica sands of Parengarenga Harbour and Great Exhibition Bay. Land at Hole in The Rock and experience the islands unique history, culture and ecological significance.
Fly back down the east coast over the Kerikeri Peninsula and the stunning Cavalli islands before landing back at Eagles Nest.
Discover Eagles Nest. A day at leisure here will allow you to explore the wilderness of the Bay of Islands – it’s tropical beaches and secluded bays, its cuisine and the nature that makes this one of New Zealand's hottest spots.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, foodie or explorer, a day at leisure at Eagles Nest will have something for everyone. Get active on the bike tracks around Russell, tee-off in one of the many surrounding world-class golf courses, relax on a horse trek, fish for your dinner or simply let the flavours of the North come to you in one of the many markets. Whatever leisure means to you, Eagles Nest can make it happen.
Depart from KeriKeri Airport in awe of the five days of adventure gone by.
With almost six weeks of isolation and lockdown under our belts, it’s safe to say the team have learnt a few things – yes you can run out of things to watch on Netflix, daily yoga does in fact help keep you sane, we might not all be pro bakers, we aren’t all naturally blonde and that Will our Events Manager can grow a rather healthy beard!
We’ve also learnt that cabin fever really does leave you itching to get away! As a team who spend most of the hours in the day dreaming up some of the most out-of-this-world experiences and stays throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific, I can confidently say that lockdown has got us dreaming more than ever before.
We’ve been working hard alongside many of our local and nationwide suppliers and Luxury Lodge partners over the last week, brainstorming a variety of day experiences, short breaks and immersive itineraries that will show New Zealand in a way that even the locals have never seen – after all, what better place to start exploring than your own beautiful backyard?
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing a variety of exclusive experiences and itineraries to spark up that imagination and get you pondering about wandering around New Zealand in 2020.
First up: five days going off the beaten track in the South Island, where being in the wilderness has never felt so luxurious and a trip from Queenstown to Christchurch has never looked so tempting.
Discover the South Island
DAY 1: Arrive Queenstown, New Zealand – Fly by private heli to Minaret Station (2 nights)
DAY 2: Discover Minaret Station with heli hiking, biking, fly fishing, jet boating and ridgetop Champagne
DAY 3: Explore Wanaka with your private guide before transferring to The Lindis (1 night)
DAY 4: Heli transfer from The Lindis to Seascape Annandale via Mount Cook (2 nights)
DAY 5: A day at Seascape – mountain biking, yoga, clay target shooting, farm tour and 4WD ATV adventure followed by a private chef
DAY 6: Depart from Christchurch
Welcome to queenstown. Touch down in the adventure capital of New Zealand and prepare to discover the South Island. Stepping out of Queenstown Airport you will be welcomed by stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains – a quintessential South Island view.
Met by your private guide you will take a private heli heading for beautiful Wanaka and Minaret Station. Listen to the tales of the landscape from your guide, take in the picture postcard views from above and feel at one with nature when you touch down. Settle into your private chalet, meet your hosts and embrace the tranquility of your surroundings.
ACCOMMODATION: MINARET STATION
Minaret Station Luxury Lodge, accessible only by helicopter, is set in a remote glacial valley surrounded by towering peaks. Minaret Station’s team of experienced guides are renowned for the private helicopter experiences they share with guests. Touring Fiordland and our national parks, backcountry fishing, hiking, heli skiing and guided hunting, to name a few. Minaret Station offers lifelong memories for both guests staying at the lodge, or elsewhere.
Discover Minaret Station. Explore the wilderness of New Zealand’s fiords and mountains on a range of unique experiences. Choose from private helicopter tours into the Fiordland National Park, mountain biking, guided hiking, fishing, hunting and heli-skiing on some of New Zealand’s most exclusive slopes.
Relax in the evening with a chef prepared meal, taking in the experiences gone by, as the sun sets over the valley. The lodge’s mountain kitchen follows a pasture-to-plate philosophy and offers a fine dining experience based on locally sourced, seasonal produce. A mountain escape unlike any other.
Today you will transfer from Minaret Station to The Lindis, on an adventure like no other with your expert guide.
Take off from Minaret Station by private heli, landing at Wanaka Airport to commence your journey to The Lindis by luxury 4WD via the Thomsons Gorge Track. Stop off at New Zealand’s only haunted hotel – St Bathans for lunch before continuing across to Canterbury via the Omarama Saddle and into the Ahuriri Vally towards The Lindis. A 4WD adventure that will take you well and truly off the beaten track.
ACCOMMODATION: THE LINDIS
Built to blend in and minimise its environmental impact, The Lindis is a lodge like no other. Located on 6,000 acres within the Ahuriri Valley it provides guests with a true retreat within absolute seclusion. The roof line follows the natural undulations of the land creating a sense of belonging within the valley. The Ahuriri Valley (pronounced A-hu-riri) is a dramatic landscape of rugged mountain country, wetlands, tussock lands and beech forest. In harmony with the valley the interior of The Lindis combines natural rock and timber materials with elegant furniture and artworks to create an inviting environment.
Explore Mount cook. Take off from The Lindis by private heli and head for the highest peak in New Zealand – Mt Cook.
Fly over the vast mountain peaks and dramatic valleys below as you make your way to the famous Mt Cook – a must see for any visit to the South Island. Fly around the top of Aoraki/Mt Cook viewing the unbelievable scenery that unfolds from the top of New Zealand’s highest peak.
Land on the Tasman Glacier and experiencing the “natural silence” of this very special place with so much to offer, hanging glaciers, rivers of ice and views of the incredible West Coast and Tasman Sea. From Mt Cook, fly over the carved icebergs of the Tasman Terminal Lake to your coastal accommodation – Seascape Annandale, rural Canterbury. Sit back and relax as the views hit you in continuous waves. Take a dip in the private hot tub after meandering along the ocean front bay.
Seascape Annandale is a picturesque private bay, above which an ultra-modern retreat provides a truly unique experience.
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 and to its ever-changing moods, yet safely embraced by luxury and modern comforts. Outside, dolphins and seals often frolic in the glittering water, with only you and the tussock grass to witness them.
Day of leisure at Seascape Annandale. Seascape’s magnificent location provides a wealth of opportunities for adventure and discovery right on your doorstep. Choose to explore the beautiful farm on a privately guided tour, get active with a hiking or biking adventure or get up close and personal with nature with a kayak or nature cruise, spotting hector dolphins, fur seals, blue penguins and bird colonies.
If you’re looking to go further than Seascape, enjoy an afternoon in the quaint seaside French town of Akaroa where you can relax on a day cruise, fish, jet boat, sea kayak and explore the cafes, bistros and quirky shops.
Depart from Christchurch Airport in awe of the five days of adventure gone by.