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.