New Zealand

All Destinations

New Zealand

New Zealand is a small country, similar in size to Great Britain or Japan and with a population of only four million, it’s also gloriously uncrowded.

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Active volcanoes, island sanctuaries and history top the list when visiting New Zealand’s North Island. Journey through landscapes that blend magnificent coast, sprawling farmlands and geothermal wonders where Maori culture is rich and ever-present in many parts..

A palette of dramatic scenes, New Zealand’s South Island hosts the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience, showcasing the very best of nature’s assets. Towering alps meet peaceful sounds, rugged coastlines merge with sweeping plains and you will meet some of the most down-to-earth locals you’ll ever encounter.

With their emerging world-class cuisine and spectacular wines, New Zealand really is one of the most diverse and exciting holiday destinations in the world.

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Quick Facts

Capital
Wellington

Population
4.7 million

Area
270,534 sq km (104,454 sq miles)

Major Languages
English, Maori

Major religion 
Christianity

Monetary Unit 
New Zealand dollar

Flight time from London
24 hours

Time Difference 
GMT + 12

When to go 
New Zealand has four seasons, broadly opposite to ours, but generally mild and temperate: the north is usually warmer than the south, and the central mountain ranges tend to cause a ‘rain shadow’, with eastern areas being drier than the western coast, an effect particularly pronounced on the South Island.

Summer, from December to March, is ideal for water activities with temperatures averaging from the mid to high 20s°C. Spring, from September to November, is good for exploring, with the countryside blooming into life and temperatures from 15-20°C. Autumn, with its turning leaves and gentle sun, is in April and May and tends to be a little warmer than the spring. Winter, from June to August, is perfect for skiing in the mountains though at sea level temperatures rarely fall below 5°C. The North Island, in particular, is mild year-round while there’s always snow dusting New Zealand’s highest mountain peaks.

New Zealand attracts a huge number of visitors during the peak months of January and February, filling the best accommodation; you’ll need to book the more popular places in advance. By waiting just a little longer, you can take advantage of the lack of other visitors, enjoy the pick of the accommodation and experience New Zealand as it should be – peaceful and untouched.

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Highlights

Bay of Islands & Northland

The subtropical Northland region of New Zealand stretches upwards from Auckland to the very top of New Zealand.

The Twin Coast Discovery Highway journeys you to the iconic Bay of Islands, as well as the Kauri Coast, the Far North, and Whangarei.

Northland is a story of two coastlines – the west coast is rugged and soulful while the east coast it is relatively more sophisticated and urbane.

In the beautiful Bay of Islands you can take a boat cruise, swim with dolphins, dive, fish or just relax in the sun. Be sure to visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of New Zealand’s most significant historic sites.

On the west coast you’ll encounter magnificent Tane Mahuta, the biggest kauri tree in existence. Then venture north to Hokianga Harbour and Ninety-Mile Beach, areas with huge white sand dunes and laid back beach communities.

At the northernmost tip of the country, Cape Reinga, you can watch the seas of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea collide.

Northland’s only city, Whangarei, has plenty of accommodation and is an excellent place to enjoy the Northland lifestyle. Sit at a quayside café and watch the yachts or visit the farmers’ market on a Saturday morning and stock up on the freshest local food.

Canterbury & The West

The Canterbury plains stretch down the east side of the South Island and are home to the small town of Kaikoura, famous for its abundant marine life.

Join in a boat trip to view the resident sperm whales, which feed in the deep waters of the Hikurangi Trench, or swim with pods of hundreds of dusky dolphins, which frequent the area.

Head further south to Christchurch where you can enjoy some city life and shopping for the night before taking in more New Zealand’s famously beautiful scenery by taking the Transalpine train across the snowy peaks of Arthur’s pass to Greymouth on the west coast.

From here journey to the small township of Franz Josef, at the foot of the mighty ice monolith of Franz Josef Glacier. Take a helicopter to the higher reaches of the glacier where the ice is brilliant blue and explore the ice caves, peaks and seracs with your knowledgeable guide.

The West Coast, or ‘the Coast’ as locals call it, is a wild place of rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures. Never more than fifty kilometres wide, the whole stretch down the West Coast of the South Island is home to only 31,000 people and there’s a lot to see.

Fiordland

Fiordland is one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand. Absorb the breathtaking treasures of this region by water, air or hiking.

Carved by glaciers over 100,000 years the landscape is one where waterfalls cascade hundreds of metres into deep black fiords; where ancient rainforest untouched by man clings to mountains and where shimmering lakes and granite peaks look as they did a thousand years ago.

Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site and includes Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. Milford Sound, Rudyard Kipling described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Take a scenic flight over it and you will understand why.

Some of the fiords can be explored by kayak but if you’d like to see the less accessible fiords, eco-tours can be arranged.

But this, really, is the place for hiking. Fiordland National Park has three of New Zealand’s ‘great walks’, the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn Tracks. Milford Track is arguably New Zealand’s most famous walk. Starting in Te Anau, it takes you, over 53 kilometres, through the most breath-taking scenery; mountains, lakes and enormous valleys right up to the Sutherland Falls, the tallest waterfall in New Zealand. Accommodation ranges from the most basic hiker’s hut to the better-than-normal level of comfort.

Lake Taupo & Huka Falls

The beautiful Lake Taupo is about the size of Singapore and was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China.

Visit the Craters of the Moon and you’ll see evidence of the lake’s fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools. At some of Lake Taupo’s beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.

Just north of Lake Taupo you’ll find New Zealand’s most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.

Taupo is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience.

Marlborough

Located at the top of the South Island, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and the home of world-renowned sauvignon blanc.
Marlborough enjoys high sunshine hours and a temperate climate so that visitors can experience all of Marlborough’s diversity through the season. No matter what time of year, there is always something going on in Marlborough, New Zealand.

There are over 40 cellar doors in Marlborough, why not take advantage of a pre-arranged wine tour with a local operator and visit a selection of the region’s top wine producers. You can map out your own route: self-drive, travel in style in a chauffeur- driven car or mix your daily exercise with your tasting in a cycle tour. Whichever mode of transport you choose be sure to stop at a winery restaurant along the way.

The Marlborough Sounds are best explored on water, with a range of cruises and activities from a self-guided kayak excursion to sailing on a luxury yacht. Get active by swimming with dolphins, diving or fishing in the Sounds. Hike the length of the Queen Charlotte Track as it winds its way through native forest, along view filled ridges and beside idyllic coves.

Queenstown

Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s top visitor destinations and if you visit the region you’ll understand why.

The town sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu amongst dramatic ranges.

The lake and mountain landscape make it suited to all kinds of adventure. There’s skiing in the winter and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. If hardcore adventure isn’t your thing, there are plenty of mellow options available. Experience one of the many walking & hiking trails, sightseeing tours or indulge yourself with spa treatments, boutique shopping and excellent food and wine.

Head out of Queenstown and the drama of the Central Otago landscape unfolds around you. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll recognize many of the locations of Middle-earth here. Twenty minutes from Queenstown, Arrowtown’s gold-mining history is alive and vibrant. Visit the Lakes District Museum or go gold panning. Forty minutes from Queenstown at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu is rural Glenorchy and Paradise Valley. From here it’s a short drive into the Mt Aspiring National Park and the start of some of New Zealand’s great walks.

The Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty region is home to spectacular beaches, juicy kiwifruit and an active island volcano.

When James Cook arrived in 1769, he anchored off a great bay ‘full of plantations and villages’ that was, he noted ‘a bay of plenty’. The Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, is no less plentiful today. Around Tauranga are hectares of orchards and gardens producing everything from kiwifruit and citrus fruit to avocados. Add to this bounty the local wines and the plentiful fresh seafood and you just know that this is a place where you will dine well.

Mount Maunganui, a short distance from Tauranga, has spectacular beaches which are a magnet for surfers all year round. For the adventurous, there’s skydiving and for those more keen on terra firma, blokarting (small land yachts) will blow the cobwebs away.

Visit White Island – a quick helicopter ride from Whakatane – and you can walk, yes, on an active volcano as it hisses, belches and rumbles. It’s that same geothermal activity that provides the hot pools and spas that you will find in many places where you can relax and let the world slide by. There is plentiful accommodation in the area; everything from bed and breakfasts through to hotels and boutique lodges.

Bay of Islands & Northland

The subtropical Northland region of New Zealand stretches upwards from Auckland to the very top of New Zealand.

The Twin Coast Discovery Highway journeys you to the iconic Bay of Islands, as well as the Kauri Coast, the Far North, and Whangarei.

Northland is a story of two coastlines – the west coast is rugged and soulful while the east coast it is relatively more sophisticated and urbane.

In the beautiful Bay of Islands you can take a boat cruise, swim with dolphins, dive, fish or just relax in the sun. Be sure to visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of New Zealand’s most significant historic sites.

On the west coast you’ll encounter magnificent Tane Mahuta, the biggest kauri tree in existence. Then venture north to Hokianga Harbour and Ninety-Mile Beach, areas with huge white sand dunes and laid back beach communities.

At the northernmost tip of the country, Cape Reinga, you can watch the seas of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea collide.

Northland’s only city, Whangarei, has plenty of accommodation and is an excellent place to enjoy the Northland lifestyle. Sit at a quayside café and watch the yachts or visit the farmers’ market on a Saturday morning and stock up on the freshest local food.

Canterbury & The West

The Canterbury plains stretch down the east side of the South Island and are home to the small town of Kaikoura, famous for its abundant marine life.

Join in a boat trip to view the resident sperm whales, which feed in the deep waters of the Hikurangi Trench, or swim with pods of hundreds of dusky dolphins, which frequent the area.

Head further south to Christchurch where you can enjoy some city life and shopping for the night before taking in more New Zealand’s famously beautiful scenery by taking the Transalpine train across the snowy peaks of Arthur’s pass to Greymouth on the west coast.

From here journey to the small township of Franz Josef, at the foot of the mighty ice monolith of Franz Josef Glacier. Take a helicopter to the higher reaches of the glacier where the ice is brilliant blue and explore the ice caves, peaks and seracs with your knowledgeable guide.

The West Coast, or ‘the Coast’ as locals call it, is a wild place of rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures. Never more than fifty kilometres wide, the whole stretch down the West Coast of the South Island is home to only 31,000 people and there’s a lot to see.

Fiordland

Fiordland is one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand. Absorb the breathtaking treasures of this region by water, air or hiking.

Carved by glaciers over 100,000 years the landscape is one where waterfalls cascade hundreds of metres into deep black fiords; where ancient rainforest untouched by man clings to mountains and where shimmering lakes and granite peaks look as they did a thousand years ago.

Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site and includes Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. Milford Sound, Rudyard Kipling described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Take a scenic flight over it and you will understand why.

Some of the fiords can be explored by kayak but if you’d like to see the less accessible fiords, eco-tours can be arranged.

But this, really, is the place for hiking. Fiordland National Park has three of New Zealand’s ‘great walks’, the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn Tracks. Milford Track is arguably New Zealand’s most famous walk. Starting in Te Anau, it takes you, over 53 kilometres, through the most breath-taking scenery; mountains, lakes and enormous valleys right up to the Sutherland Falls, the tallest waterfall in New Zealand. Accommodation ranges from the most basic hiker’s hut to the better-than-normal level of comfort.

Lake Taupo & Huka Falls

The beautiful Lake Taupo is about the size of Singapore and was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China.

Visit the Craters of the Moon and you’ll see evidence of the lake’s fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools. At some of Lake Taupo’s beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.

Just north of Lake Taupo you’ll find New Zealand’s most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.

Taupo is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience.

Marlborough

Located at the top of the South Island, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and the home of world-renowned sauvignon blanc.
Marlborough enjoys high sunshine hours and a temperate climate so that visitors can experience all of Marlborough’s diversity through the season. No matter what time of year, there is always something going on in Marlborough, New Zealand.

There are over 40 cellar doors in Marlborough, why not take advantage of a pre-arranged wine tour with a local operator and visit a selection of the region’s top wine producers. You can map out your own route: self-drive, travel in style in a chauffeur- driven car or mix your daily exercise with your tasting in a cycle tour. Whichever mode of transport you choose be sure to stop at a winery restaurant along the way.

The Marlborough Sounds are best explored on water, with a range of cruises and activities from a self-guided kayak excursion to sailing on a luxury yacht. Get active by swimming with dolphins, diving or fishing in the Sounds. Hike the length of the Queen Charlotte Track as it winds its way through native forest, along view filled ridges and beside idyllic coves.

Queenstown

Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s top visitor destinations and if you visit the region you’ll understand why.

The town sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu amongst dramatic ranges.

The lake and mountain landscape make it suited to all kinds of adventure. There’s skiing in the winter and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. If hardcore adventure isn’t your thing, there are plenty of mellow options available. Experience one of the many walking & hiking trails, sightseeing tours or indulge yourself with spa treatments, boutique shopping and excellent food and wine.

Head out of Queenstown and the drama of the Central Otago landscape unfolds around you. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll recognize many of the locations of Middle-earth here. Twenty minutes from Queenstown, Arrowtown’s gold-mining history is alive and vibrant. Visit the Lakes District Museum or go gold panning. Forty minutes from Queenstown at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu is rural Glenorchy and Paradise Valley. From here it’s a short drive into the Mt Aspiring National Park and the start of some of New Zealand’s great walks.

The Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty region is home to spectacular beaches, juicy kiwifruit and an active island volcano.

When James Cook arrived in 1769, he anchored off a great bay ‘full of plantations and villages’ that was, he noted ‘a bay of plenty’. The Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, is no less plentiful today. Around Tauranga are hectares of orchards and gardens producing everything from kiwifruit and citrus fruit to avocados. Add to this bounty the local wines and the plentiful fresh seafood and you just know that this is a place where you will dine well.

Mount Maunganui, a short distance from Tauranga, has spectacular beaches which are a magnet for surfers all year round. For the adventurous, there’s skydiving and for those more keen on terra firma, blokarting (small land yachts) will blow the cobwebs away.

Visit White Island – a quick helicopter ride from Whakatane – and you can walk, yes, on an active volcano as it hisses, belches and rumbles. It’s that same geothermal activity that provides the hot pools and spas that you will find in many places where you can relax and let the world slide by. There is plentiful accommodation in the area; everything from bed and breakfasts through to hotels and boutique lodges.

Where to stay

These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.

Annandale

Annandale is a historic homestead anchored to the rugged edges of the South Island’s, Banks Peninsula. Amble in private farmland, along kilometers of open coastline, or through the luxurious grounds surrounding the stunning property to get a real feel for countryside escapism. Switch off and log out for an authentic New Zealand experience.

take me to Annandale

Eagles Nest

This multi-award winning 75-acre estate offers five private luxury villas. Each of these villas, offer inspirational views across private heated infinity edged lap pools to the Bay of Islands. Eagles Nest is a world class retreat over-looking the spectacular Bay of Islands, designed and furnished in an eclectic international contemporary style.

take me to Eagles Nest

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Located in the Hawke’s Bay and set on 6,000 acres of dramatic coastline, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers spectacular views from every angle of the Pacific Ocean. The Lodge & Golf Course at Cape Kidnappers are set on a 6,000 acre sheep and cattle farm which encompasses land reminiscent of the American West, but plunges 800 feet into the sea.

take me to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Huka Lodge

Huka Lodge has long been considered one of the top retreats in the world, with an extensive and continuous list of prestigious awards bearing testament to this. A rich landscape of lakes, forests, waterfalls and mountains forms a stunning backdrop to this iconic New Zealand retreat, which has been delivering extraordinary hospitality since 1924.

take me to Huka Lodge

Matakauri Lodge

Spectacularly situated just seven minutes from Queenstown on the edge of Lake Wakatipu with stunning views of the Remarkables ranges, Matakauri Lodge is the stunning new sister lodge to Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. It offers luxury accommodation in just eleven suites, each with private terraces looking out to the dramatic vistas.

take me to Matakauri Lodge

Minaret Station

Minaret Station is New Zealand’s premium alpine experience providing guests the opportunity of exploring the wilderness of New Zealand’s South Island through many unique experiences including Heli-Adventures, Guided Fishing, Guided Hunting and Heli-Skiing. It is a 50,000 acre working high country farm.

take me to Minaret Station

Get in touch with us now to start planning your next journey

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