It’s got mountains, beaches, fjords, and heart-pounding adrenaline junkie citizens; with a mixed bag like New Zealand, there’s something for everyone. Pack, plan, and go with us for one heck of an adventure.
Grasmere Lodge, The Southern Alps
Amidst rolling pastures, backed by towering ranges and punctuated by stands of beech and evergreen you will find the historic Grasmere Lodge. Built in 1853, the original homestead still stands at the heart of this impressive lodge, a hub of activity and effortless relaxation in New Zealand’s quiet countryside. Travel off-road to remote vantages at the station, points varied in elevation but consistently striking in incredible natural beauty. Endless trails are part of an unforgettable expedition, enhanced by the company of a surefooted Kiwi horse or one of the lodge’s friendly golden retrievers. Nearby Arthur’s Pass National Park offers opportunities for hunting, fishing and kayaking in the magical alpine scenery.
Favorite Activity: Scenic flight through the Alps with picnic lunch
Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay
Set in 6,000 rolling acres of stunning pasture-land in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers affords spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. The perfect setting for romance, the luxury lodge is suggestive of a working farm – a marriage of river stone and weathered wood, rustic and textured. Lovers of the links will delight in the challenging par 71 course, ranked among the best in the world by Golf Magazine and designed by the renowned course architect Tom Doak. This working sheep and cattle farm imparts a bit of New Zealand’s agricultural history to guests amidst amazing views – a tour of the property by foot or ATV quadbike is not to be missed.
Favorite Activity: Biking the rolling landscape of the Cape
Spectacularly situated on Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge offers stunning views from every angle of the Remarkable, Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges. Just seven minutes from Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge will provide an alpine lakeside retreat nestled in one of the world’s most serenely beautiful landscapes. Whether relaxing fireside in your generous suite or in the main lodge, floor-to-ceiling windows capture every detail of the scene at Matakauri Lodge. No shortage of excursions can be found at the lodge’s doorstep, the global hub for outdoor adventures large and small. Ker & Downey guests experience an exclusive helicopter flight over Milford Sound and the surrounding glacial peaks that melt into the emerald valleys. Daring visitors may brave the rapids of the nearby rivers or simply cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the vintage TSS Earnslaw steamship.
Favorite Activity: “Carpe diem – ing” in Queenstown
Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay
Set on 6,000 acres near Matauri Bay, Northland, The Main Lodge at Kauri Cliffs affords spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. Cape Brett and the offshore Cavalli Islands are part of the panorama which can be viewed from the verandas, lounge, card and dining rooms. Every suite is nestled in a native forest overlooking the golf course and the Pacific. Aside from the spectacular view of the Cavalli Islands offshore, Kauri Cliffs’ paramount attraction is its par 72 golf course that weaves through the forest, marsh and undulating hillsides near Matauri Bay. Tee off on the dramatic holes, six of which are played atop a cliff that plunges into the sea below. The location is ideal for spying New Zealand’s varied endemic birdlife on one of the many trails that snake through the grounds. In addition, remote private beaches and the Rainbow Falls beg to be explored and hunting and fishing excursions are convenient on the 6,000 acres encompassing the lodge.
Favorite Activity: 18 holes at the lodge’s world-famous course
Day 1-4: Begin the north-to-south trek through Godzone in Auckland, enjoying views of the Auckland Harbor at Mollies boutique hotel. Take a tour of the city sights before a scenic drive to the Bay of Islands, stopping at Waitangi Treaty House en route. On to Kauri Cliffs, a destination prized for the panoramic views of Matauri Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Spend two full days at leisure in this coastal haven.
Day 5-7: Next fly to New Zealand’s Art Deco capital, Napier. Following lunch at a local winery, continue to Te Awanga, where The Farm at Cape Kidnappers waits cliffside. Set on a 6,000 acre sheep and cattle station, guests are invited to explore the diverse terrain by foot or with an ATV quadbike jaunt around the farm. Play a round at Cape Kidnappers on the cliffs 800 feet above the crashing waves, navigating course architect Tom Doak’s challenging and breathtaking par 71 opus.
Day 8: Head south to discover the second half of New Zealand’s mainland playground, beginning in Christchurch, nicknamed New Zealand’s Garden City for its many green spaces and serene parks. Guests will enjoy a cycling tour of the pedestrian-friendly streets surrounding Hagley Park, Cathedral Square and New Regent Street. The tour is capped off by lunch and a punter ride on the Avon River – a relaxing farewell to the friendly, cosmopolitan city.
Day 8 – 10: Continue on Day 8 into the Southern Alps to Grasmere Lodge, a 19th-century homestead perched on pasture land below the Puketeraki Range. Ker & Downey guests are treated to an off-road farm tour to take in the 13,000-acre view of the entire Grasmere Station. Spend two full days exploring the grounds and private trails, or venture further afield to Arthur’s Pass National Park for fishing and kayaking.
Day 11-14: The Kiwi holiday ends near energetic Queenstown at Matakauri Lodge. Designed by award-winning interiors artist Virginia Fisher, the view of the snowcapped Remarkable, Cecil and Walter Peaks through the floor-to-ceiling window is the focal point of the inviting suites. Lake Wakatipu, hikes through the Kiwi Birdlife Park, jet boating, and a helicopter ride over Milford Sound are among some of the adventures to discover.