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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Six Extremely Cosy Cabins Around New Zealand for Your Next Winter Escape

Instead of hibernating at home, head to an off-grid hut, a secluded glass-roofed cabin, or a bush dwelling with a fire-heated outdoor bath.
By Stephen Heard and Concrete Playground
May 11, 2020
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Six Extremely Cosy Cabins Around New Zealand for Your Next Winter Escape

Instead of hibernating at home, head to an off-grid hut, a secluded glass-roofed cabin, or a bush dwelling with a fire-heated outdoor bath.
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Domestic travel is now allowed under current COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand, as long as you follow good personal health measures and keep track of where you've been and who you've been in contact with. Bookmark this for when you're ready to explore once again.

Winter calls for snuggling up in front of a roaring fire with a glass of wine in your hand — but you've probably spent enough time hibernating at home. Luckily, New Zealand has plenty of luxurious and off-the-radar escape options to choose from. Cross-country ski to a backcountry hut, star gaze from a secluded glass-roofed cabin, or slink into a rustic fire-heated bath in Marlborough — it's all good.

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SKYSCAPE, TWIZEL

This unique building has been architecturally designed so guests feel like they're sleeping under the stars. The windows are quite literally 'floor-to-ceiling', covering the roof of your bedroom and opening up panoramic views of the dark sky reserve and scrub of the Mackenzie Country. Skyscape is perched on the slopes of the Ben Ohau Range on a 6000-acre sheep and beef farm. Guests can hike or use the free bicycles around the property, take a farm tour or stay put and enjoy the stunning scenery. Continental breakfast is provided and there's an optional evening dinner platter with local meat and produce available on request.

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Lake Wanaka Tourism.

MEADOW HUT, CARDRONA

If it's snow you're after, then how about a visit to the suitably titled Snow Farm? Following an afternoon of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or dog sledding across the Pisa Range, you'll be ready to hunker down for an overnight stay. The alpine resort has three backcountry huts to choose from: Meadow, Bob Lee and Daisy Lee. While each features a gas cooker and log burner, the former has room for 20 people. All you need to bring is food, drinks, a sleeping bag and your overnight things. For those who haven't been to a backcountry hut before, there's no mains electricity, no running water and a long-drop toilet outside.

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AZUR LUXURY LODGE, QUEENSTOWN

Talk about a room with a view — and a bed and a bath, too. If it's a private villa with stunning lake and mountain sights available from every available floor-to-ceiling window that you're after, then Azur Luxury Lodge has you covered. So it's not exactly a 'cabin', but when you're hanging out by the fire with a glass of wine, you're not going to be concerned with specifics. Plus, for those who just can't unplug from the outside world completely, the Queenstown resort offers the best of both worlds, with all the mod cons like wi-fi in the middle of a gorgeous natural setting.

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Justin Muir.

FOSSICKERS HUT, MARLBOROUGH

Want to go off the grid? Well you've found your place. Fossickers Hut is located just an hour from Nelson in Marlborough, but it feels at least nine hours away from any kind of civilisation. The stunning early settler-style hut is the perfect perch in the middle of the bush right next to the amazingly clear water of the Wakamarina River. Along with a cosy kitchen room and bedroom (with a loft up top for a few extra mates), there's also a fire-heated outdoor bath. It doesn't get much better than that.

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KINLOCH LODGE ECOSCAPES, CENTRAL OTAGO

John and Toni Glover became owners of Kinloch Lodge in 2000. The building itself is much older and an important part of pioneering history in New Zealand. The Heritage lodge was built circa 1868 to house timber workers and early tourists in the Upper Wakatipu area. Alongside the lodge sit two 'Ecoscapes' — which have been designed to blend in with the environment and provide a slice of lakefront luxury. Each cabin offers spectacular views across Lake Wakatipu — which you'll have plenty of time to soak in while enjoying the provided breakfast.

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ISOLATION BAY, TEKAPO

For extended bubbles, Isolation Bay offers a luxury high country experience for up to 16 people. The secluded five-bedroom lodge can be found on the western shore of the Mackenzie Basin's Lake Tekapo and inside the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve — making it ideal for budding landscape and night sky photographers. The expansive living area comes with a massive wood-burning fireplace. Sink into one of the leather sofas and soak up the panoramic views.

Published on May 11, 2020 by Stephen Heard

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