Fifteen Unique Stays with Breathtaking Views of New Zealand's South Island
From rugged secluded cottages to luxurious lakeside retreats.
February 07, 2023
Any great trip to New Zealand's South Island should include at least one stay in accommodation with a fantastic view. Luckily, in this stunning part of the world, that's not hard to do.
To help you plan, we've put together some of our favourite South Island offerings with views of the island's stunning mountains, valleys and coastlines — and even the night sky. From rugged secluded cottages to luxurious retreats, here's where to soak up incredible views of the South Island's world-famous natural beauty.
REMARKABLE VIEWS, QUEENSTOWN
After a day of hiking, skiing, or exploring Queenstown, return to this gem you'll find less than a ten-minute walk from town. The combination of the stunning mountain views from the deck alongside a convenient location makes this truly a one-of-a-kind find.
How much? From AU$324 per night, sleeps 4
Within easy walking distance of downtown Queenstown, the star of this lakefront tiny home is its living area, which has massive sliding glass doors that open to the deck outside.
How much? From AU$279 per night, sleeps 2
WOODPECKER BAY BACH, WEST COAST
This rustic bach is located only steps from the water but half an hour away from the nearest shops, making it the very definition of a secluded getaway. There are lots of gorgeous outdoor attractions near the cabin to explore — that is, if you ever want to leave the beautiful bathtub with stunning water views.
How much? From AU$177 per night, sleeps 3.
OLIVE COTTAGE, MARLBOROUGH
This remote rental features unobstructed ocean views — and a solar-heated infinity pool from which to enjoy them. Because of its remote location, guests can enjoy a true immersion into local flora and fauna and see the stars in a pollution-free night sky.
How much? From AU$232 per night, sleeps 6
KIWI BACH, CANTERBURY
Located in the small beach community of Te Onepoto/Taylor's Mistake, this 1920s bach is the perfect surfer's vacation rental. Watch the waves roll in beneath rolling green hills from the cabin's windows or outdoor areas, or walk directly down to the beach to see them up close.
How much? From AU$112 per night, sleeps 2
ROCKY POINT HUT, NELSON
The 90-minute trek to this hut is worth it for the panoramic views alone. Situated on its own portion of Pepin Island, this rental has complete privacy. Explore, relax, and gaze out to the Abel Tasman sea from this cabin's solar-heated outdoor bathtub.
How much? From AU$176 per night, sleeps 2
Nestled into the beautiful rocky shoreline of a coastal farm, this cosy chalet and nearby sleep-out is a ten-minute walk from the sea. Both buildings, which are about 30 metres apart, can be included in the booking, bringing the total capacity to six people.
How much? From AU$167 per night, sleeps 4/6
MOONSOUNDS SIERRA, MARLBOROUGH
Less than a ten-minute drive from Picton's shops and restaurants, this relaxing retreat is perfect for those looking to get in touch with nature, without sacrificing their creature comforts. Guests can spend their time here relaxing and taking in the views from the beautiful back balcony, or exploring the area by hiking or biking the nearby trails.
How much? From AU$236 per night, sleeps 2
STARGAZER'S LUXURY RETREAT, LAKE TEKAPO
This aptly named cabin is, indeed, luxurious. With a king-sized bed and wood-fired hot tub, this Airbnb is intended to be cosy. If stargazing up at the Milky Way from this hot tub is not on your trip agenda, you're doing it wrong.
How much? From AU$431 per night, sleeps 2
PISA CABIN, OTAGO
A wine lover's paradise, this cabin is situated right amongst the vineyards in this South Island wine region. Designed to fit into the hillside without a major environmental footprint, this AirBnB is the perfect place to unplug, pour yourself a drink, and relax.
How much? From AU$203 per night, sleeps 2
SKYLARK CABIN, TWIZEL
This luxurious cabin is located in a stunning, sun-soaked valley in backcountry Ben Ohau. The star of the house is a circular window in the roof, which allows guests to stargaze from the warmth and comfort of their king-sized bed.
How much? From AU$400 per night, sleeps 2
HIGH COUNTRY CABIN, CANTERBURY
Whether you're seeking adventure on the nearest hiking trail or curling up by the fire in this rustic cabin, the Southern Alps will make the seclusion-seeking traveller feel at peace. You'll just have to put up with the "neighbours": grazing sheep and other local wildlife.
How much? From AU$417 per night, sleeps 5
TAKAHOPA BAY RETREAT, OTAGO
This secluded home in the Catlins offers sweeping views of the surrounding forest and ocean. Although it's fully off the grid, this home is powered by an emission-free hydro system that gives it all the conveniences of city life — with significantly fewer neighbours. If you're lucky, you may even see Aurora Australis from your back porch.
How much? From AU$367 per night, sleeps 4
COSY THREE-BEDROOM HOUSE, LAKE OHAU
This three-bedroom home boasts waterfront views and a toasty indoor fireplace — the perfect getaway for any time of year. If you're looking for outdoor activities, there are many close by — including an A2O cycle trail or a ski field that's 15 minutes away — or you can choose to stay in for the stunning mountain-range views, best enjoyed from the outdoor spa.
How much? From AU$363 per night, sleeps 7
TOM'S HOUSE, QUEENSTOWN
Last — but certainly not least — this rental home features award-worthy architecture alongside its breathtaking views. With many technological luxuries included, this rental proves that you do not have to sacrifice comfort for natural beauty.
How much? From AU$697 per night, sleeps 8
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Images: courtesy of Airbnb.
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