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FOOD & DRINK

Six New Zealand Luxury Experiences to Plan If You Have Cash to Splash

From fancy retreats to helicopter tours, here are the best New Zealand experiences to book when you want to treat yourself.
By Catherine Reisima
September 12, 2019
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Six New Zealand Luxury Experiences to Plan If You Have Cash to Splash

From fancy retreats to helicopter tours, here are the best New Zealand experiences to book when you want to treat yourself.
By Catherine Reisima
September 12, 2019
  shares

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It's widely known that New Zealand is a bit of a stunner of a travel destination. Overflowing with majestic terrain, impeccable wine and warm hospitality, there are a few reasons why this little corner of the world makes it onto many a bucket list. Whether you're seeking an adventure or want to wine and dine your way around, the South Island, in particular, is a mecca for visitors looking to indulge in the finer things in life. 

From helicopter flights over glaciers to sailing day trips, we've rounded up some of the South Island's most luxe experiences for when you're feeling a bit flash.

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SLEEP IN STYLE AT A LAKESIDE LODGE

A great holiday starts with a great night's sleep and Whare Kea Lodge is the perfect spot to catch some quality zs during your South Island adventure. Nestled on the edge of Lake Wanaka, this luxurious, private retreat boasts eye-popping vistas of the lake and mountains. Whare Kea is small but perfectly formed, with each of its rooms offering postcard-worthy views that'll be the envy of all your friends back home. Relax and unwind in the stylish surrounds where you'll find loads of light-filled nooks and cosy spaces. On-site, you'll also find a massage room and an outdoor spa pool, so you'll slip into holiday mode in no time. The lodge offers a full kitchen so you can cook up a storm, too. Otherwise, you can treat yourself to a private chef for a real foodie experience. With its five-star views and home comforts, you won't want to leave.

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SIP TOP DROPS AT A STYLISH WINERY

A visit to New Zealand wouldn't be complete without sampling some of the country's famous vino, and Central Otago is the perfect place to enjoy a grape escape. Head for The Shed, the gorgeous, new cellar door by celebrated winemakers, Cloudy Bay. Located in the heart of wine country, just an hour's drive from Queenstown, The Shed is a stylish sanctuary perched amongst stunning South Island scenery. With touches of rustic New Zealand charm, The Shed blends seamlessly into the landscape, and is an unforgettable spot to discover Cloudy Bay's wine range.

Book a private tasting tour to get to know the wines and the story behind them. Take a stroll through the vineyards with a Cloudy Bay ambassador to learn about the terroir and the connection between the land and the brand. Afterwards, settle into the private tasting room to savour some of Cloudy Bay's finest, while lapping up the dazzling vistas of Lake Dunstan and the rugged ranges beyond.

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FORAGE FOR YOUR LUNCH ON AN EPIC HELI TOUR

If you thought the South Island was mind-blowing from the ground, just wait until you see it from the sky. Take your trip to the next level with the ultimate experience for adventurous food lovers — a helicopter and foraging tour through the majestic, untamed landscapes of the remote south with Alpine Helicopters

Begin your adventure with a stop on the edge of Lake Wanaka, where you can try your hand at trout fishing. From here you'll be whisked into the Southern Alps, where you'll land smack bang on a glacier for the ultimate photo stop. After the obligatory selfies, fly out to the wild west coast to gather fresh crayfish for lunch. Next, you'll be flown deep into a lush valley for a lunch stop like no other — a Kiwi bush barbecue, featuring smoked trout and premium Te Mana lamb and washed down with local wine. With happy bellies, enjoy a final flight over more epic nature before returning to base. 

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SAIL AWAY IN THE MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS

Marking the gateway to the South Island, the Marlborough Sounds is a sparkling labyrinth of winding waterways and bush-clad hills. With its hard-to-reach bays and beaches, the best way to discover this scenic playground is from the water. Get your sea legs on and sail away for a day on a luxury yacht, hosted by Cloudy BayCruise the turquoise waters of the Sounds, visiting quiet coves teeming with untouched nature. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins along the way, too. Fancy yourself a bit of a sailor? Get stuck in and be part of the crew. Or if that doesn't float your boat, simply sit back and relax — with a glass of Cloudy Bay vino, of course. At lunchtime, tuck into delicious locally caught seafood with matching wines served against a backdrop of pure New Zealand beauty. 

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GET BACK TO NATURE AT A SECLUDED RETREAT

Nestled into a lush hillside, in a remote bay that's only accessible by boat, Bay of Many Coves is the retreat of your dreams. Luxury villas pepper the hillside, offering knockout views of pristine waters and bushy peaks. Stay a night or two to truly experience the magic of this secluded paradise. During the day, go for a dip, dine out on the water's edge, or get your walking shoes on to explore nature trails that teem with wildlife — don't worry, New Zealand's bush is proudly snake free. If that's just a bit too active, take it down a notch, listen to the bird song and relax in the serenity. It doesn't get more zen than this.

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ADVENTURE OFF-ROAD AROUND ONE OF MARLBOROUGH'S FIRST WINERIES

If you're a wine enthusiast there's a mighty good chance you've heard of a wee region called Marlborough. Famous for its top-notch sauvignon blanc, Marlborough is the ultimate destination for any wine lover. Experience a taste of the region by visiting one of the very first wineries to put down roots here. The original Cloudy Bay Cellar Door is a chic spot to try the brand's diverse wines, from the iconic sauvignon blanc to the lively pinot noir and crispy Pelorus bubbly. Taste your way through the range in the spacious cellar door before grabbing a glass of your favourite and settling into a hanging egg chair in the leafy courtyard. For a unique adventure, take a vineyard tour by car — jump into a custom-restored 1985 Land Rover Defender and discover the vineyard sites with the Cloudy Bay crew as you learn how these distinctive wines make their way from grape to glass.

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Discover more about Cloudy Bay wines and the tailor-made experiences you can have in New Zealand here.

Published on September 12, 2019 by Catherine Reisima

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