In a world where it seems every corner has been affected by human touch, New Zealand remains one of the few places where raw, natural beauty abounds. The country’s population is tiny in comparison to its awe-inspiring glaciers and sweeping vistas.
The North Island’s The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is your Pacific-side homebase for an exploration of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Modern New Zealand was born on this patch of land in 1840 when the British Crown and Maori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, the country’s founding document. Visit the traditional carved meeting house to learn about the country’s Maori cultural and social life.
Cruise the Lake
Cruise along Lake Taupo—the largest crater lake on the planet—fringed by native forests, massive rock formations, and sandy bays. An experienced skipper and crew navigate the waters as you kick back with a glass of wine. A massive Maori rock carving is etched right into an alcove jutting from the deep emerald-green water. Its tattooed face greets you as you float by.
Disembark on the remote Western Bay to trek through the bush, yet another top experience in New Zealand. Learn some catch-and-release techniques with a private lesson in Lake Taupo—Australasia’s largest self-sustaining trout fishery. After all the day’s adventures, settle in for a restful night at Huka Lodge, a boutique property nestled on the edge of the Waikato River.
Explore the Captivating Coastline
Sail aboard a scenic cruise of the Queen Charlotte Sound and Marlborough Sounds, only accessible by water or helicopter. Float among the sheltered inlets, sandy bays, and forested hills that rise from the sea. Kayak to find a new secluded spot every day. Birds thrive in Motuara Island’s natural paradise, a predator-free bird sanctuary. Stretch your legs on a bush trail leading to a spectacular 360-degree view of green tree tops and deep blue water. Unfurl a picnic up top, or dine on fresh seafood on the ship. The wine keeps flowing at the Bay of Many Coves where you will pop open a bottle of Marlborough Savignon Blanc paired with a gourmet platter of tasty bites.
Head Up in a Helicopter
Soar above Milford Sound in the heart of Fjordland National Park in a helicopter. There’s a lot to admire for up here: sheer cliffs plummet into deep blue water, soaring mountains rise to the heavens, and waterfalls gush out to the Tasman Sea. Land right on the Mt. Tutoko glacier, a winter wonderland of crisp white snow set against a backdrop of bright blue skies. Land on a wild West Coast beach for a walk and stop to take plenty of photographs. Despite roughing it in the wild outdoors via helicopter, your nights will be nothing but luxury at Blanket Bay on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. And for a little more luxury, the nearby Queenstown wineries will quench your thirst with a glass (or two).
Many thanks to ID New Zealand, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Huka Retreats, Bay of Many Coves, and Blanket Bay for their continued partnerships. Read more about their incredible support during the WildAid Gala 2018.
Are you ready to take on a luxury, adrenaline-filled adventure to far-flung New Zealand? Contact a Ker & Downey to designer to plan your own once-in-a-lifetime trip of our top experiences in New Zealand.