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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Global travel may be out of our hands right now, but discovering New Zealand is well and truly in our grasp. With four weeks of lockdown under our belts and world-wide recognition around the success of New Zealand’s fight against Covid-19, the reality of domestic travel finally feels like it’s on the horizon.
Like many, my 2020 international trip has been put on hold, and I’ve found myself back at the drawing board, trying to find the perfect dose of vitamin 'sea' and 'ski' to cure my itch to travel. Which got me thinking - getting away doesn’t have to mean going far. I started daydreaming of the hidden gems that lie in my own backyard and it's unique destinations - for the world renowned wines I could sip, the tropical bays I could make a splash in, for the Jurassic inspired parks that I’ve never explored, the flavours I’ve yet to taste and the adventures I’ve still to take. It made me realise how much I’ve still to experience at home. How New Zealand really does have it all, and most importantly, the Kiwis who know how serve it up in a truly epic style!
Staying home for now simply means discovering later – and what better place to start that your own backyard? So, let’s get excited ready to discover New Zealand and the places that most will only get to dream of in 2020!
2020 is the season to go above and beyond your usual ski season in Queenstown. Ever tried your hand at dog-sledding through a glacial valley? What about ice driving? One day in neighboring Wanaka and you will have both ticked off your bucket list! Looking to go to new heights? Join a private guide and fly to a peak in the majestic Mount Aspiring National Park for a day of ice hiking before relaxing with a well-deserved and perfectly chilled glass of bubbles at the top. Looking for a day away from the snow? Take advantage of the world-renowned Gibbston Valley on a privately guided tour. Gain access to some of the most exclusive cellar doors in the region, meet the wine makers themselves and find your favourite to take back to your Private Villa Collection home for an evening around the fire with friends ands family.
Discover the Garden City and experience it’s natural beauty like never before. Ever soared above the famous hector dolphins and blue whales of Kaikoura? What about indulging in a freshly caught seafood lunch by an alpine tarn? Let your private guide prepare the feast whilst you try your hand at clay-bird shooting before getting active on a hike along a ridge line. Looking for luxurious accommodation? Stay at the stunning Dancing on Moonlight and have access to your own private 9-hole golf course, orchards, cabana spa pool and tennis court – for a Short Break in Christchurch to remember.
Bay of Islands
Escape to our very own Bay of Islands where crystal clear waters, blue skies, tropical bays, and world class diving await. Fly by private heli from Auckland airport, taking in all the sights from above and regaining that feeling of ultimate freedom. Land on your own private beach and indulge in a gourmet picnic with only the dolphins knowing where you are. SUP in the bay or jump in a kayak to explore further afield before jumping on board your privately chartered boat for a spot of deep-sea fishing at Poor Knights Islands. Return to ‘Somewhere’ in the Bay of Islands where your private chef will cook up the catch of the day as you sit back with a G&T as the sun goes down.
Fiordland National Park
Discover the Jurassic Park in your back yard as you fly over the majestic and mystical mountains of Fiordland National Park. Never visited? Do it ultimate style – fly from Queenstown over the cascading peaks and falls of Milford Sound, landing on The Fiordland Jewel – a luxurious privately chartered boat in the middle of the sound for a delicious three-course lunch. Feast on the freshly caught crayfish as well as the unforgettable sights as you cruise through Milford like a VIP. Finish the day with an alpine landing for that picture postcard shot, with nothing and no one between you and an unforgettable view.
I think we can all agree that 2020 will be the year of change. There is no doubt that Covid-19 has changed, and will continue to change, life and business within the tourism industry on a global scale. We’re seeing, and personally experiencing, this ‘new world’ way of working – where being at home, in isolation - some with the kids running around, is the new business as usual.
Last week, following government advice in the fight against Covid-19, we temporarily closed our office in Queenstown. The benefit of doing what we do is we can do it from anywhere! Seven days into lockdown here in New Zealand and our team are now fully set up and working from home.
We’ve moved out the boardroom and taken our morning coffee chatter and meetings online, using Zoom, Trello and various other online platforms to stay connected, updated and ensuring our communications are as strong as ever. Our daily brainstorms have also moved from the office sofa to online (still from a sofa), getting our creativity and ideas flowing as well as that daily dose of daydreaming that we all need. Our Friday evening Cheers to FRIYAH are still in the team calendar – we know it’s as important now more than ever to enjoy our social time, a glass of wine and take the time to talk about the wins of the week- you’d be surprised how many there really are when you think about it!
Outside of keeping ‘business as usual’, the team are finding their feet in their new routines, taking on some healthy new habits and finding inspiration in their new home offices. With the team based between Queenstown and beautiful Matakana in the North Island, it’s safe to say we don’t have to look very far to feel inspired by the beauty in our backyard.
So, we’d like to take this opportunity to reassure our global clients and partners that although we are staying home, we are still very much here. It’s in times like this we need to think about what we CAN do, not what we can’t, and as always – the Touch of Spice team can do it all! We’re as online and on-call now as always, ensuring our current inhouse and future clients are taken care of from enquiry to departure.
We’re here to inspire you and remind you that we really are all in this together. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Linked In for daily updates and give yourself that well needed (and deserved) daily dose of daydreaming. From all the Touch of Spice team – we hope to see you soon!
We can’t think of a better time to take a well needed ‘staycation’ or that well deserved hop across the ditch for a short break. With fresh mountain air, white sandy beaches, blue skies, lakes and multiple hiking trails – New Zealand really does have it all!
Now is the time to do something different! Throw off the shackles of an ordinary stay. Eat breakfast in your bathrobe and dinner in your board shorts, run down the hallway and make a splash in the pool, celebrate with friends and family with a classic kiwi bbq on the terrace – all made possible in the ultimate home from home.
Whether you’re a beach side lover or mad about the mountains, The Residence Collection and Private Villa Collection by Touch of Spice has something to suit your every need, want and desire. To make things a little easier, we asked our Travel Designers for their favourite villas for the ultimate ‘staycation’ or vacation in New Zealand – and wow do they not disappoint! Check them out and get inspired to getaway!
The newest villa to The Residence Collection, Kowhai Retreat is the most luxurious villa in Matakana. Only a 1-hour drive from Auckland CBD, this coastal escape has space for up to 16 across the main house and the additional boat house and shepherd’s hut, meaning no one needs to be left at home! With a private pool, hot tub, games room, sunken trampoline, heli-pad, petanque court, kayaks and e-bikes, there’s something to keep everyone entertained.
Step beyond the gated villa and spend some time exploring the exquisite local wineries, farmers markets, cafes and unique kiwi surf culture. Feel like getting out on the water? Set sail on Kowhai’s Retreats resident vessel – a high-tech sea legs that can be driven from the property down to the water’s edge. Let one of our experienced skippers guide you from the dock upriver to the Matakana pub to indulge in the catch of the day or head out to sea to explore the surrounding bays.
We don’t know about you, but we’re can’t think of any reason not to stay at Kowhai Retreat!
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; Muriwai Estate is the perfect place to round up family and friends and celebrate in style. With vast gardens, a saltwater swimming pool, spa pool, separate cabana pool house, heli-pad and children’s play area, there really is space for everyone.
Spend your mornings by the pool with a book in hand, take to the rugged west coast beaches for a surf in the afternoon and taste the flavours of the surrounding wineries in the evening. This getaway spot is perfect for disconnecting from the outside world and reconnecting with those closest. Let a private chef do all the hard work for you as you sit around the terrace table, sharing memories and creating more.
Just a 15-minute drive from Christchurch Airport, a long-gated driveway welcomes you to Dancing on Moonlight – the ultimate private sanctuary. This working horse stud farm comes with its own private 9-hole golf course, blueberry and walnut orchards, hot tub and of course a luxurious lodge. The best part about it all? The whole place is energy positive thanks to its innovative solar power credentials.
Wake up in one of the three sumptuous bedroom suites. Enjoy a coffee in bed as you watch the sun rise over the stunning gardens. Roll out of bed and start each morning feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to seize the day. Take off from the front lawn in a private heli and discover your backyard that is Canterbury. Fly to the coast for a spot of whale watching before collecting the catch of the day and flying to an alpine tarn for a delicious gourmet lunch – true flavours of the coast. Get active on an alpine hike or simply sit back and enjoy the view before flying to an exclusive winery to sip some of the finest wines the region has on offer.
Grab a bottle or two to take home, let a chef prepare dinner and relax as the sunsets over the Canterbury fields.
Only a stone throw from Queenstown Central and with historic Arrowtown just around the bend, The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa One is the perfect getaway for a group of friends looking to indulge in the flavours of Otago. With views overlooking the stunning Lake Hayes, there’s a real sense of living in a watercolour painting. Relax on the terrace with a coffee in the morning before taking a stroll around the lake – or why not meander along to Akarua Wines, Kitchen by Artisan for a delicious brunch to start the day off right.
Villa one is perfectly placed to wine and dine around. With renowned Amisfield Winery and Bistro on the doorstep, Wet Jacket Winery and Cheesery just down the road and the Gibbston Valley a short drive away – you’ll be spoiled for choice! Join a private wine tour and let the guide do all the driving. Sit back, relax and taste the finest, freshest flavours on offer before returning to your luxurious retreat at The Elms.
A slice of mountain side paradise overlooking Queenstown CBD, The Views at Aspen House will leave you breathless. With panoramic views overlooking the iconic Remarkables Mountain Range and Lake Wakitipu, feel the stress of work and city life melt away as you get lost in the majestic beauty of Queenstown. With room to sleep the full family and space to entertain in style, a getaway to Queenstown should be on everyone’s cards.
Discover all that Queenstown has to offer throughout the day – whether it’s an active adventure, ski day on the Remarkable Ski Fields, afternoon of wine tasting or a relaxing spa day, there really is something to suit everyone.
Return to the ultimate home from home - the open plan kitchen, dining, lounge and bar being the perfect to host an intimate family dinner or evening entertaining friends. Or why not cook up a feast on the private courtyard BBQ? With covered outdoor seating and fireplace, you can dine alfresco all year round. Let the children relax with a movie in the media room as you sip a glass of bubbles from the private sap pool. The Views at Aspen House is perfect for enjoying family time and that well deserved you time.
Needing a break from city life? Otaha Beachfront Lodge in the Bay of Islands is your own little slice of paradise to get away from it all. With space to sleep ten, this spacious home is the perfect spot to simply get away from it all with those that matter most.
Rise and shine to panoramic ocean views, jump down onto the beach and get a morning surf in before breakfast is even on the table. Dine on the terrace and find the perfect spot to sit back with your morning coffee, read a book or simply watch the waves roll in. Wander off on a walking track from the front door and have a day in nature or jump into a private heli from the lawn and make your way to the renowned Kauri Cliffs for an afternoon of golf.
Otaha Beachfront Lodge is a place where the whole family can feel a sense of freedom – where space, fresh air and picturesque beaches go hand in hand.
Stay on the doorstep of Central Queenstown at Hyde Loft. Centrally located overlooking lake Wakitipu, you’ll feel the buzz from the town as you settle into this luxurious two-bed apartment.
With Queenstowns signature bars, boutique stores and award-winning restaurants only a step beyond the front door, Hyde Loft is the perfect little sanctuary to jump into Queenstown one minute and retreat the next. Perfect for two couples travelling together or a small family getaway, experience Queenstown the way the locals do. Swing from the original bungy bridge, jet boat, zipline and luge or go above and beyond, heli-hiking, stand-up-paddle board on a glacial lake or indulge in a picnic of local produce on top of a mountain peak.
Whatever your style, whatever the occasion – anything is possible from Hyde Loft.
So whether you’re lucky enough to call New Zealand home or your just looking for an excuse to escape the hustle, bustle and chaos of your everyday, our team of Travel Designers know the perfect spots to make a ‘staycation’ or vacation, a getaway that will be spoke about for years to come.