When one considers luxury, it is often that our mind wanders to the canals of Venice, or to the sun-bleached, rolling hills of Tuscany where we envision ourselves in a telenovela consuming caviar and the finest champagnes. However, seldom considered is the luxury that lies at our doorstep, in New Zealand. A veritable paradise for many, our own backyard offers much in the way of luxurious indulgence - if you just know where to look!
With, undoubtedly, some of the greatest wine regions in the world and a delectable (palate to follow, New Zealand offers a beautiful environment, clean and swimmable waters, and some of the softest grass in the world (perfect for laying down on underneath sapphire blue skies for a fresh serving of fish and chips). When it comes to exploring New Zealand, there is so much to discover of our vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes and luxury accommodation options that immerse you in the natural world.
Whether staying in a lodge in the middle of the woods, allowing yourself to be pampered in a high-end hotel in the viaduct district of Auckland, or relaxing in a ski lodge at the height of Queenstown, New Zealand offers luxury in abundance. A veritable food and wine lover’s paradise, where fresh produce meets the sea, you can indulge in the delicious combination offered by our Pacific Rim Cuisine.
Much more than this however, New Zealand boasts some of the most overwhelmingly beautiful golf courses, set amidst vistas that are awash with the setting sun in autumn, and that gaze out over the ocean as it stretches to the horizon. Walk through wilderness and come face-to-face with our beautiful wildlife, or hike through snow-laden mountainsides with guides who can provide intimate and authentic outdoor experiences. Jump into a helicopter and set off across middle-earth to discover the many volcanoes, lakes and coastlines that melt and blend into one unending panorama of wonder. Become one with our nation and enjoy unique Māori cuisine as you take on cultural and wilderness experiences, or observe Māori culture on a marae.
Family friendly kiwi exploration
Luxury holiday doesn’t have to mean exclusively kid-free, but can often be adventures that the whole family can enjoy. New Zealand boasts a diorama of experiences for the whole family and is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the world!
Offering everything from amazing cultural experiences, through to cinematic film experiences, you’re guaranteed to find fun and discovery in our small corner of the South Pacific with Abercrombie & Kent!
Start your journey from Auckland to Rotorua and dive into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien to uncover your very own Lord of the Rings experience. Guaranteed to be an ultimate family adventure that will be hard to top, this journey is magical, thrilling and sensational from start to finish.
Sail through the beautiful harbour of Auckland on an America’s Cup yacht, explore the vibrant land of volcanoes by helicopter or take a stroll through the Shire, at the Hobbiton movie set. Observe the endangered kiwi - icon of New Zealand - and experience the true power of the earth at the eruptive Rotorua.
Cast a spell on your family holiday with the beautiful world of Lord of the Rings. Taking part in a private tour through the world of Hobbiton, craft picture-perfect memories in the cinematic masterpiece homes of the Shire or pose in the gardens outside. Finish your tour with a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon and dare to “do as the hobbits do” and dance a little jig.
Travel to the earth-tremouring region of Rotorua and witness boiling mud pools, and world-famous geysers that roar to life and erupt towards the heavens. A cultural hub of New Zealand, experience Maori ceremonies, learn about the Maori culture preserved at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and observe geothermal wonders in the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley.
West coast glacier experience
Travel between historic Christchurch and Greymouth, and bewilder yourself with spectacular views of the Southern Alps and deep gorges that plummet farther than the eye can see!
Introduce yourself to a region that boasts amazing glaciers, coastlines and mountain railways. No matter which way you look at it, New Zealand’s South Island promises adventure at every single turn. Ride on the world-famous TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth and come face-to-face with glaciers that tower into the air high.
Take to the road and discover the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. Explore the rugged wilderness that lies around as you pass cascading waterfalls, and lush river scenery travelling from the coast to Queenstown, via the lakeside resort town of Wanaka.
Explore your own way through this adventurer’s paradise. Bungy jump, jet boat, raft or quad bike your way to thrills and excitement, or venture out into the tranquility of the Milford Sound for some much needed rejuvenation time. Discover beautiful national parks, coast along the stunning Dart River or simply unwind in a local spa as you rediscover luxury in this package.
Fly-fish & Dine the North Island
Fishing, food, golf and wine - what more could you ask from a private journey? Well it’s all on offer in this exclusive tour through the North Island of New Zealand, and is a must for any lover of life!
Take on a new adventure this year, and travel through the north island of New Zealand with this exclusive self-drive journey. Discover first-hand why the Tongariro River is the fly-fishing capital of the country, or view the world’s biggest mainland colony of gannets at Cape Kidnappers. Discover luxury when spending a night at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers also, staying in one of their generous suites.
Jump at the opportunity to seek your own adventures by foot or bicycle as you roam along the black sand beaches of Auckland’s wild west coast, or through the perfection of Taupo. Journey south from Auckland to discover the Huka Lodge; nestled in manicured grounds on the doorstep of the World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park, this luxury lodge is the perfect base for you to soak up the scenery over some pre-dinner beverages.
Watch the waters come to life as you fly-fish for rainbow and brown trout, with world-renowned guides, and marvel as the spectre of colour that will flash before your eyes.
Wine & dine the best of New Zealand
Step into a region that boasts authentic food, exceptional wine and refreshing morsels.
Full to the brim with vineyards offering every vintage of wine from sweet to dry, and exceptional cheese and food pairings, the Marlborough region of New Zealand is a must-visit for any keen tourist arriving to our shores, and a necessity for any kiwi to travel to.
Step aboard and come to appreciate the grandeur of the Marlborough Sounds as you embark on an adventure of deliciousness stretching from the outskirts of Christchurch right up to the Bay of Many Coves near Picton. Cruise the impossible blue waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound, before stepping ashore to wander through the beech forests and stunning ridgelines on the Queen Charlotte Track.
Arrive in Christchurch, transfer to your boutique resort and then lace up your boots savouring wines from some of New Zealand’s leading vintners through the day before kicking back at night and unwinding in your luxury accommodation. Staying at The George, a small but intimate hotel, you can experience 5-star boutique luxury at its finest! Quiet and spacious rooms exude a chic, contemporary style and have vista-style views overlooking Hagley Park and the River Avon.
Prepare to explore an adventure paradise known for its kayaking, bush walking, bird watching, sailing and fishing. Stroll through New Zealand’s second-oldest city, explore galleries showcasing the height of New Zealand art, or browse through local markets to discover fresh product and decadence that is refined, fresh and pure.
Talk to a Travel Adviser today to plan your next luxury escape in your own backyard.
This article originally appeared in the Inspirations Autumn 2019 Edition.