This itinerary has been designed for those willing to experience the best accommodation and experiences NZ has to offer, as part of a memorable self-drive trip through the most beautiful regions of Aotearoa.
Arrive Queenstown domestic or international airport (if flying direct from Australia)
We will provide you with quotations for spacious, quality rental vehicles including SUV's or a private car service with driver.
Day 1 to 3: Mahu Whenua
Allow 1hr 30 min from Queenstown Airport or 30 minutes from Wanaka township.
Stay 3 days in this ultimate mountain retreat and live a luxury high-country farm experience. On top of its wonderful location, this stunning property offers a whole range of top-end activities for families and honeymooners alike: horse-riding, helicopter flight to Milford Sound, hiking, 4WD tours… But guests can also relax and enjoy amazing food, swimming in the pool, or soaking in their private outdoor bathtub while taking in unforgettable views...
Day 4: Pen-y-bryn Lodge
Built in 1889 during Oamaru’s flourishing years, Pen Y Bryn is a genuine piece of New Zealand culture and history. Being the largest single-storey Victorian house built in Australasia, the lodge is also a perfect base to discover Oamaru’s incredible features: wildlife with the presence of iconic little-blue and yellow-eyed penguins, culture with the Steam-punk museum and history with the stone built Victorian precinct. Epicureans will also enjoy beautiful gourmet cuisine made out local ingredients.
Day 5 and 6: Annandale Villas
A working sheep and cattle coastal farm, Annandale whisks you away from the world. Each of the four private and secluded luxury villas have their own feel to it. Seascape is an ultra-modern escape perfect for honeymooners, and Scrubby Bay is a magical and completely private modern house, ideal for a large family or group of up to 14 guests. While it offers every luxury and comfort on the inside, it is the nature that really sets Annandale apart, with great hikes, wildlife cruises and activities to encounter little-blue penguins, NZ fur seals and Hector’s dolphins.
Day 7 & 8: The Marlborough Lodge
Built in 1901 with native timber such as Rimu and Kauri, The Marlborough Lodge was originally a convent. Located near Blenheim in the heart of the most famous wine region in NZ, The Lodge is the perfect escape for those willing to relax and enjoy fabulous food and wine, as part of an off the beaten track experience. The lodge is also a great base to go and explore the Marlborough sounds, these valleys flooded by the sea, with a whole range of activities at your door step: scenic or epicurean cruises, hiking, or why not cycling among the vines.
Day 9 & 10: Wharekauhau Country Estate
Wharekauhau began life as a sheep station in the 1840s, and it remains a working sheep station to this day. Nestled at the Southern end of the Wairarapa Valley, the property offers a luxurious experience of seclusion in an untouched and beautiful part of New Zealand. Enjoy memorable sea views, pristine nature, a complimentary 3 hour tour of the farm and a private wine tasting in this award winning wine producing region.
Day 11 & 12: Treetops Lodge
Nestled in 2,500 acres of native bush, Treetops is a unique New Zealand retreat and a sanctuary, only minutes away from Rotorua, one the biggest attraction of New Zealand. On top of offering top-end luxury accommodation, the lodge will have its guests experience a true immersion, in the 800 year old native forest, with dozens of kilometres of private walking tracks on the property. Perfect for couples of honeymooners craving for isolation, the property is also ideal for families who want to enjoy activities: walking, mountain biking, horseriding, fishing, glow worm spotting, and go for a 4WD safari around the estate.
Day 13 to 15: The Landing
Before becoming one the most luxurious accommodation in New Zealand, the Landing is a place of rich history: this is where the European pioneers first settled in New Zealand. The guests can choose between four residences, each offering total privacy, as well as fully privatised experiences: wine-tasting, the property being an award, winning boutique vineyard, kiwi spotting with 120 birds living on the property which is pest-free, and mountain biking.
Located in New Zealand's South Island just 20 minutes drive from central Wanaka or 10 minutes helicopter transfer from Queenstown Airport, the Mahu Whenua Ridgeline Homestead and Eco Sanctuary is easily accessible while giving you the feeling of seclusion and privacy on what is virtually your own private national park.
Inside the Homestead you’ll find a large living area multiple open fires and panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and the mountains. A sprawling farmhouse kitchen, cosy dining room, and media and games room complete the main lodge.
Outside guests may unwind in privacy beside the outdoor fireplace or in the heated swimming pool or spa pool.
To ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible, all meals prepared by Mahu Whenua Chef are included your stay (breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon teas, refreshments and picnics), as is a concierge service, housekeeping with turn down and WiFi.
Pen-y-bryn (Welsh for “Top of the Hill”) is a unique historic building and reputedly the largest single-level timber dwelling in Australasia. A private home until 1995, today the lodge provides international guests with the ultimate relaxing retreat in New Zealand’s best-preserved and most charming historic town. Dining at Pen-y-bryn is a particular delight, with gourmet ‘table d’hôte’ cuisine prepared by your hosts, made with lodge-grown and local produce and served in our opulent dining room, accompanied by boutique New Zealand wines. Your owner/hosts delight in giving their personal hospitality – making Pen-y-bryn the perfect place to indulge, relax and unwind.
In an area of outstanding beauty and off the tourist trail lies Annandale, an iconic sheep and cattle farm offering four distinctive luxury villas with relaxed Kiwi-style informality. Developed in 1843, Annandale was one of the earliest and most renowned farms in New Zealand’s South Island. With 10 kilometers of spectacular and rugged coastline, Annandale today boasts 4,000 acres, 500 cattle and between 7,000 and 14,000 sheep. Our aim is to breed the finest stock through sustainable farming practices for the most delicious meat and best quality wool, while providing world-class luxury accommodation, farm-to-table cuisine and uniquely authentic experiences for our guests.
Ten luxury suites, spacious lounging areas and a restaurant, the former Victorian convent (circa 1901) has been beautifully restored.
Paying homage to its history by highlighting some of the historic elements of the original building and combining those with a modern décor created an eclectic mix, which is warm, inviting and the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Nestled in 16 acres of park like gardens that run onto the renowned Marlborough vineyards, there is much to do onsite with a heated swimming pool, guest entertainment area, spa, a large outdoor fireplace to enjoy in the evenings, a spring feed creek, small lake to explore, a variety of walking trails and seating throughout the grounds where you can relax and soak in the peace and tranquillity.
The Lodge is perfectly located within the world famous vineyards and is also just 20 minutes from the stunning Marlborough Sounds, three bodies of water (the Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds) offering endless outdoor and wildlife pursuits in the most spectacular setting imaginable.
Built along the lines of an Edwardian country manner, Wharekauhau Country Estate cuts an elegant figure as it presides over 3,000 acres of rolling pastureland.
The main lodge consists of a large country kitchen, wood-burning open fireplaces, formal dining room, wine cellar, games room, intimate library, heated indoor swimming pool, gymnasium and plenty of winter snugs in which to cosy up with a good book.
From the moment you arrive to the second you depart, the Wharekauhau family are here to make this your home-away-from-home.
Built on the service basis of traditional kiwi farmhouse-style service, the lodge encourages guests to join Chef Marc in the kitchen for a mid-morning coffee.
The relaxed, yet ultimately knowledgeable staff at Wharekauhau take great pride in making sure your stay is one to remember for many years to come.
Nestled in 2,500 acres of 800-year old native forest, this award-winning lodge is a life-long dream realised by owner and passionate naturalist, John Sax.
This uniquely New Zealand experience is a sanctuary and retreat of breath-taking terrain, offering the ultimate in world-class accommodation and adventure.
Located in Rotorua, the Maori heartland and trout fishing capital of the world, the Lodge presents an elegant, ecology-inspired architectural style derived from the country’s pioneering past: timber and stone finishes echo the natural beauty and simplicity of the great outdoors.
Treetops offer seven streams, on-site trout fishing, four lakes, and over 40 miles of adventure trails. Each day the lodge offers a complimentary Signature Treetops experience on the Estate. These change daily between: the Maori Indigenous Food Trail; Estate to Plate or Wilderness Safari; or the Wild Food Cooking School.
New family experiences include: photography safaris; geocaching hunts; our own on-site helicopter tours to the nearby live Volcano – White Island; luxury treks to spectacular waterfalls; and a 4WD safari experience. The recently opened Wilderness spa offers genuinely local, indigenous treatments within a choice of traditional day spa and residential wellness programs.
Treetops has a commitment to sourcing - where at all possible - estate reared ingredients for all meals, by using our 100% pesticide free game meats, poultry, seafood all cleverly blended with fresh herbs, vegetables and our very own estate-produced Manuka honey.
With six private beaches, an award-winning vineyard, lush wetlands, and four extraordinary Residences, The Landing is a unique 1000-acre property.
It was in this area that the earliest European settlers landed, meeting the Maori and beginning the story of modern New Zealand.
A unique sanctuary, The Landing’s historical significance can be explored through special walking tracks and the treasured stories of the all-local teams.
The beauty of the land is celebrated through the experiences on offer: from paddle-boarding to skippered big-game fishing, guided kiwi-spotting walks, wine tasting, garden-to-plate dining and more.
Once called “Another world, at the edge of the world”, the most unforgettable memories of New Zealand are made at The Landing.