New Zealand is known for its breathtaking landscapes, inspiring an entire rural tourism industry of farm stays and vineyard hotels. These rustic retreats do more than simply house travelers; they also honor local artisans, uphold place spirit, and rejuvenate rural environments.
This cottage near Kerikeri sits high up on a hill, affording stunning views of surrounding mountains and farmland. Inside its walls lies a welcoming macrocarpa interior complemented with minimalist design for an inviting home experience.
While New Zealand’s South Island (Te Waipounamu) tends to draw more of the tourists’ interest, the North Island also provides plenty of enthralling rural escapes with many luxury lodges taking full advantage of the country’s stunning natural surroundings.
Take a short helicopter flight from Auckland and you will find yourself standing beneath New Zealand’s tallest kauri trees in Waipoua Forest, considered sacred by Maori people. Gazing down at them from above is one of the top experiences to have in New Zealand’s North Island.
Kayak through the forests of North Island with stunningly clear water! There are several companies on North Island offering guided kayaking adventures where you can explore at your own pace along the coastline and even paddle your kayak out to a secret beach for a dip!
If you want to experience the raw beauty of New Zealand, nothing beats visiting its Far North region. This area boasts magnificent surf beaches, geothermal hot springs and mud pools as well as Maori culture – among many other attractions.
Otahuna Lodge stands out as one of our favourite luxury lodges in the Far North, as you can rent its entirety and have exclusive access to its sprawling grounds and historic Victorian mansion. Furthermore, private Maori guides can accompany you on walks through forests and coastlines of this incredible region.
Locate in the South Island high country, this hidden getaway requires some detective work to discover. When you do arrive, however, you’re met by an inviting living roof composed of dirt, grass and tussock which gives it a seamless integration with its mountainside surroundings. Inside lies an opulent suite resembling five-star hotel comfort with underfloor heating and designer kitchens; suspended sphere-shaped fireplace and an enormous bed all offering breathtaking mountain vistas beyond.
The lodge’s standout feature, however, is its grounds – among New Zealand’s largest philanthropic conservation projects. The property owners have taken great pains to ensure that 90% of their land is legally protected and that native trees are replanted – something you can experience first-hand on a guided tour through Milford Sound where seals and dolphins often swim about freely below you!
Spend your time at the lodge exploring its sprawling grounds, which feature a totara forest and sheep farms, or take a scenic flight or hike around the area’s breathtaking mountains, fjords and lakes – you could visit glow worm caves or join local Maori tribes on guided walks for cultural insight! You could also simply relax at the lodge while taking advantage of its facilities such as spa services, firepit seating areas and gourmet cuisine!
New Zealand is known for exporting merino wool, kiwi fruit and other agricultural commodities; but it also boasts breathtaking scenery such as lush rivers and volcanic landscapes that form an integral part of its natural environment. New Zealand offers visitors seeking immersive yet active vacation experiences the ideal rural retreats.
At a remote beach on North Island lies a rustic yet luxurious lodge built of three tri-modules reminiscent of old sheep barns – it provides both aesthetics and an unforgettable guest experience. Bonnifait + Giesen designed it so as to blend into its surroundings; in fact it’s almost impossible to distinguish where one ends and wild grass begins!
Hawke’s Bay Wine Region Retreat designed specifically for retreat groups and individual luxury wellness experiences. Stay in one of six en-suite bedrooms, and take advantage of amenities including salt-water swimming pool, fitness studio, infrared chromotherapy sauna, herbal medicinal garden and 16 acres of coastal view walking trails as well as an alfresco fire pit – everything needed for the perfect wellness retreat experience!
With its prime position near a national park, this rural retreat in New Zealand makes an ideal starting point for discovering both coastal and interior regions of New Zealand. Guests can embark on guided forest bathing adventures or embark on expeditions to identify plants of cultural significance.
New Zealand is an absolute paradise for wine enthusiasts, boasting newly planted vineyards that have quickly gained international acclaim with their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties gaining international acclaim while Sauvignon Blanc still tops export charts. A trip to Marlborough region–think Napa of 40 years ago in Willamette Valley today–is an ideal opportunity to sample some of this country’s most beloved vintages.
Expert Gurus frequently suggest hotels dedicated to wine tourism, like Greenhill Lodge in Hastings on a hilltop overlooking a gorge and rolling hills nearby. This elegant luxury destination features large rooms and suites with roll-top baths, huge beds, beautiful antiques, woodburning fireplaces and wood-burning fire places; in addition to offering various wine-related activities like private tastings in its cellar, guided tours and visits to nearby wineries.
If you’re visiting Nelson, The Winery Suites at Stoneridge Estate is an excellent option: this nine-room boutique hotel and vineyard offer wine-infused massages and gourmet meals paired with their selection of bottles from their personal cellar. Or consider staying at Paihia Beach Resort, featuring stylish rooms that overlook one of Bay of Islands most picturesque beaches.
Christchurch travelers seeking contemporary boutique lodging will find The George an ideal option. Light and cozy, its light interior includes two award-winning restaurants as well as a lounge bar onsite.