Top 5 luxury lodges on New Zealand’s North Island

A country famed for its rugged and varying landscapes, extreme sports and Maori heritage, New Zealand is also home to a vast array of welcoming accommodation options, where you can enjoy a touch of luxury coupled with wonderful Kiwi hospitality. Here are my top five luxury lodges on New Zealand’s North Island:

Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay

Kauri Cliffs is best known for its award winning, international golf course, but also offers opulent accommodation in the scenic Matauri Bay. It’s in the perfect location for exploring the Bay of Islands – close to the bustling town of Paihia, where most boat trips go from – but also offers access to many secluded bays and beaches where you can get well away from the crowds. Gentlemen, don a jacket for dinner; this lodge is amongst the most exclusive and luxurious in all New Zealand, and the gourmet dinners are worth making the effort for.

Kauri Cliffs

Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua

In a gorgeous location on a private peninsula, overlooking Lake Tarawera on the North Island, Solitaire Lodge has recently undergone a significant refurbishment which has modernised this local landmark property. Offering contemporary cuisine and local wines this is the perfect place to experience some wonderful Kiwi hospitality. You can’t go wrong with any of the rooms either, as all provide incredible views across the peaceful surroundings – in fact, you’ll probably struggle to find a reason to leave.

Solitaire Lodge

Huka Lodge, Lake Taupo

If it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for us . This is Her Majesty’s accommodation of choice when visiting New Zealand’s North Island and therefore the standard of service and accommodation is fit for royalty. Overlooking the tumbling Waikato River this is one of New Zealand’s most iconic luxury lodges, where 20 suites sit secluded along the riverbank. As you would expect from a property of this calibre, meals are prepared using only the freshest local produce and can be enjoyed in various locations around the lodge, including the wine cellar, library, terrace and within the grounds.

Huka Lodge

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Napier and Hawkes Bay

Situated on 6,000 acres of rolling pastureland which looks out over the Pacific Ocean, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers a luxury retreat in the heart of the Hawkes Bay wine producing region. As you would expect the property houses an impressive wine cellar with tasting rooms, as well as a spa facility and beautiful outdoor pool area. The traditional farm-style exterior belies the five star service and comfort that guests experience as soon as they step through the door.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Wharekauhau, Palliser Bay

This lodge sits on a 5000 acre working sheep station in remote Palliser Bay, about one and a half hours from Wellington. It offers total seclusion, well off the beaten track. A grand building, Wharekauhau was designed in the style of an Edwardian mansion, with cosy fireplaces, mullioned windows and a warm country style kitchen. You need not leave the property with so many activities on offer here, but the location also makes it the ideal place in which to rest and relax. Country hospitality blends seamlessly with elegance and graceful luxury – this is the perfect place in which to end a trip around the North Island.

Palliser

Craig Burkinshaw is a Founder Director of Audley Travel.

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