We are just back from one of the most remarkable lands we’ve ever experienced…New Zealand. We explored the breathtaking landscapes of the North and South Islands by way of two of the best luxury lodges in the country, Wharekauhau & Otahuna! We hope our little photo journey captures a fraction of the beauty! P.S. If NZ isn’t on your bucket list, it definitely should be.
First stop: Wharekauhau Country Estate, on the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island! The oldest (and still working) sheep station on the island! It’s spring time here so there are babies everywhere.
A beautiful 90 min drive from Wellington or a quick, 15 minute heli ride, you arrive at the beautiful 5,500 acre estate of Wharekauhau, situated on the ruggedly wild and beautiful coastline of Palliser Bay!
On arrival you’re greeted in the gorgeous and grand main house, which is the centerpiece of the farm! Guests can sit by the fire with a glass of wine or dine in one of the many special dining rooms. The Lodge is surrounded by 13 large and cozy cottages, each with a view of the sheep paddocks and overlooking the pacific ocean.
Let The Simple Sol Create Your Perfect New Zealand Luxury Adventure!
The cottages here have to be one of our favorite spaces we’ve ever stayed in!! Sea views, a cozy fireplace (that we left on throughout the night) and a bath menu for ordering up your favorite kind of bubble bath make you never want to leave the room.
Every night just before sunset we’d walk out on our balcony to watch the sheep line up and head for a nearby paddock over the hill, as the colors in the sky turned to pink and orange!
My very first Helicopter rides were on this trip! It was such an amazing way to see the country. And those views! We definitely recommend keeping room in your budget for at least one helicopter ride while you are in NZ!
The New Zealand terrain is made up of mountains and coastline and sometimes a helicopter is the very best way to get around. We took an amazing heli ride to a private home (this is her back yard view) for a picnic and to view her seaside gardens.
Next stop, The South Island to Otahuna Lodge, a 100 year old estate rich with history. Wow, all I can say is it felt like coming home. It’s the service, attention to detail and the amazing organic and locally sourced food and fine wine that make this Lodge one of the best we have ever stayed in.
Each of the seven suites are different at Otahuna Lodge, and every one contains a magical bathroom perfect for an evening soak. This is New Zealand’s most luxurious boutique hotel, and is the creation of Americans turned Kiwis, Hall Cannon and Miles Refo.
The Rhodes Suite, my favorite room in the house and it’s beautiful veranda.
After breakfast on our first full day at Otahuna, a Helicopter landed on the front lawn and took us on an adventure of dolphin watching and wine tasting! Did you know New Zealand has more than 6 wine regions? My favorite in the Canterbury Wine region was Black Estate!
An amazing boating adventure off the coast of Akaroa, where we found the Hector Dolphins, the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin! We had at least 10-15 of them swimming along the boat with us!
Otahuna has one of the most amazing fine dining and wine pairing programs we have ever experienced. Their head chef, Jimmy McIntyre, known to be one of the best in the country, took us on a culinary journey through NZ each night with his six course menu. Each course was paired perfectly with NZ wines.
New Zealand has just moved to the top of our list! We were blown away by it’s beauty and the warmth of it’s Kiwi people! We can not recommend Otahuna Lodge & Wharekauhau enough! Thank you Janine Cifelli Representation for the most amazing trip. Your properties are incredible!