New Zealand is living up to its name with a bevvy of new seasonal attractions. As if it wasn’t already replete with sumptuous alluring landmarks and fantastical landscapes, the Antipodean destination is coming alive as the spring sunshine segues into summer. Now is the time to spot orcas around Kaikoura – the country’s whale watching capital – where it’s common for travellers to mingle with fur seals and albatross, as well as the large aquatic mammals. With longer days and flowers in bloom it’s also the best time to explore the nation’s nine Great Walks, with thousands of kilometres of walking trails around Stewart Island’s Rakiura Track and Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which can be conquered in a day.
If you’d rather put your travel plans in the hands of the experts, Frontiers is offering an extensive New Zealand package tour. The itinerary includes white-water rafting down the Rangitaiki River; hiking trips through national parks; wine tastings at historic wineries in the South Island’s Cromwell region; chopper flights; fly-fishing at luxury lodges; guided tours of Waitomo Caves and a sailing voyage through the Bay of Islands. The 35-day journey concludes with some well-earned respite in Hawaii, with time split between Maui’s Montage Kapalua Bay and Honolulu’s renowned hotel Halekulani. Travellers can customise the New Zealand–focussed trip, which starts at US $83,000 per couple, with recommended travel dates stretching from November until April.
Mark your calendars for the next Food and Wine Classic. Gourmands hurried to Hawke’s Bay on North Island for series of food and wine experiences that stretched until November. A total of 70 events took place, including vintage vertical tastings, degustation dinners, private chefs in homes and local celebrity chef appearances. From there it’s just a brief traverse to traditional ‘20s hunting property, Huka Lodge. Surrounded by lush grounds alongside the Waikato River and Huka Falls, the boutique is a top angling destination as well as a gourmet getaway, with al fresco dining under the stars. It’s also a great base for skiing in winter, with the North Island's premier slopes, undulating amid volcanic cones – all a short drive from Taupo.
Fiordland National Park (Miles Holden)