1. Annandale Coastal Farm Escape
Situated amid rugged hills and rolling bays, just an hour’s drive from Christchurch, Annandale Coastal Farm Escape offers guests the rare opportunity to see rural New Zealand at its best. The 4000-acre sheep and cattle farm lies on the crystal clear waters of the Banks Peninsula and, with just four luxury villas on offer, guarantees an exclusive escape.
If you’d like to embrace your adventurous side, the resort runs everything from biking trips into the mountains and 4WDfarm experiences to guided kayaking tours and fishing charters. However, with access to your very own private chef and pantry, it’s possible you’ll never leave your villa.
Opened: December 2013
Must do: Kayak into the turquoise peninsula and observe Hectors dolphins, the smallest dolphin breed in the world.
Price: from US $528 per night (based on two sharing at the Shepherd’s Cottage; minimum stay two nights)
2. Owner’s Cottage at Matakauri Lodge
If enjoying a glass of champagne in a private Jacuzzi – surrounded by endless lake and mountain vistas – sounds like your idea of heaven, then the newly opened Owner’s Cottage at Matakauri Lodge is the perfect escape for you. Situated on the shores of Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu, the four-suite cottage sleeps up to eight guests, offering an abundance of dramatic panoramas and luxury comforts.
For the ultimate in Alpine relaxation, book an appointment at the Matakauri Spa and sample one of many holistic treatments, ranging from hand and foot therapies to full body massages. To round off your wellness experience, taste the local seasonal dishes of head chef Jonathan Rogers at the resort’s on-site restaurant.
Opened: February 2014
Must do: Get on board with a Dart River Jet Safari and see the incredible World Heritage sites of Mt Aspiring National Park.
Price: from US $485 per night (based on two sharing a Lodge Room)
3. The Lodge at the Hills
Surrounded by glacial valleys and snowcapped mountains, The Lodge at the Hills is a soon-to-open accommodation set amidst 500 acres of rolling Queenstown countryside. Part of the internationally acclaimed Hills Golf Course (inspired by St Andrews in Scotland), the lodge offers access to unlimited golf as well as a private green, reserved exclusively for guests.
With a host of introductory packages including meals by Michelin star trained chefs, New Zealand wine tastings and extreme golf tours, now is the perfect time to book your dream golfing holiday and experience what is sure to become one of the country’s premium resorts.
Opened: due March 2014
Must do: Book a private helicopter transfer from Queenstown airport with extreme golf en route
Price: Available on request
4. Aro Ha Wellness Retreat
Nestled in Aotearoa’s pristine southern alps, Aro Ha offers all-inclusive wellness adventures at the heart of Queenstown’s beautiful mountainscape. The 21-acre, eco-friendly site has been created with “Zen inspired luxury” in mind, focusing on intelligent design and connectivity with nature, rather than lavish opulence and excess.
Purity-seeking guests can choose from a range of activities on-site, including Vinyasa Yoga, sub-alpine hiking and functional strength training; all intended to detoxify and re-energize the body. With just eight private suites on offer, there is no better place to escape the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life and recharge your batteries.
Opened: January 2014
Must do: Take an early morning dip in the outdoor pool and begin meditations overlooking Lake Wakatipu
Price: from US $4,476 per person (based on an all-inclusive four night stay)
5. Treetops Lodge and Estate
Set among towering ancient pines and rumbling clear water streams, Treetops Lodge and Estate offers the very best in fishing, dining and hunting that New Zealand has to offer. With each luxury lodge boasting breath-taking views over the native forest and impressive valley, the urge to explore is likely to see even the most sedentary traveller pulling on their hiking boots.
For when you’re not traversing your natural surroundings, the lodge has launched a series of new wellness packages, encouraging guests to try traditional Maori treatments, using local thermal waters and volcanic mud. Each package offers a clean eating option, that will see you dining on nothing but the finest locally sourced ingredients.
Must do: Take part in a guided horse trek through the native bush and open grasslands of Rotorua
Price: from US $3,439 per person (based on two day wellness weekend package)