Whilst we cannot physically transport you to our destinations themselves at present, we would like to offer you a little virtual escapism. We do hope that they will be a welcome distraction as we sit out these extraordinary times, and act as an inspiration for your next adventure.
In our fourth Isolation Escape we invite you to take a journey through New Zealand, a small, gloriously uncrowded country with a population of just four million. Boasting active volcanoes and breath-taking landscapes combined with its unique and rich Maori culture as well as its world-class cuisine and spectacular wines, New Zealand ticks all the boxes.
We start our trip in the iconic Bay of Islands, in the subtropical Northland region of the country. Known for its impressive variety of marine wildlife, not to mention the adventure to be had on and under the water, this breath-taking landscape, is etched with undeveloped sands and rock faces edging 144 lush, hilly islands. Known for its Maori cultural artefacts, it is also home to Waitangi where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840.
The next stop on our journey through New Zealand is the Bay of Plenty. South of Auckland, the North Island forms a cradle of spectacular beaches on its east coast, noted by James Cook to be ‘full of plantations and villages’, ‘a bay of plenty’. Boasting hectares of plantations growing everything from kiwifruit to avocados, local brewery’s and a magnificent supply of delicious seafood, this is an epicurean’s delight. The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, and living Maori village provide a detailed insight in to the life of the island’s indigenous, inhabitants, while geothermal wonders such as Rotorua’s geysers and bubbling pools of mud, as well as White Island, an active marine volcano, entertain the geologically minded.
As we continue south through New Zealand’s North Island, Taupo and the magnificent Huka Falls are our next port of call. Lake Taupo, a volcanic caldera and the country’s largest lake, is the size of Singapore. Surrounded by hot springs, the lake’s crystal blue waters drain into the dramatic Huka Falls where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second. The lake’s Mine Bay boasts Maori rock carvings which can only be seen from the water, while the forests circling the lake allow a connection with nature like no other.
Heading to New Zealand’s South Island we arrive in Marlborough, famous for its exquisite Sauvignon Blanc’s, this is the country’s largest wine growing region thanks to its many hours of sunshine and temperate climate. The Marlborough Sounds comprise 1500km of winding coastline. A collection of ancient sunken river valleys filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, punctuated with isolated bays, historic sites and marine reserves home to dolphins, whales, seals and seabirds. Rising steeply from the waters, dense forests line the hills which have historically provided shelter and food for the Maori people and it’s visitors such as Captain James Cook.
The final stop on our journey through New Zealand brings us to Queenstown, set on the shores of South Island’s crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, against the theatrical Southern Alps. Celebrated for it’s for adventure sports, the surrounding landscapes, many of which can be recognised as locations from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, lend themselves well to both the adventurer and those who prefer to take it more gently. From bungee jumping, skiing and skydiving to visiting the historic Gold Rush town of Arrowtown and the wineries of the Central Otago region, Queenstown undoubtedly ends one’s trip on a high.
If you’d like to start planning a holiday to New Zealand while waiting for this storm to pass, please drop us a line and we’ll be delighted to send you further information on this spectacular and exciting destination.
‘I still think New Zealand the most beautiful country I have ever seen. Its scenery is extraordinary … Everywhere the beauty of the countryside is astonishing.’