New Zealand is famed for its rugged landscapes, adventure activities, and down-to-earth locals. But it’s also a land of stunning contrasts. Nestled within the soaring mountains, glittering glaciers, lush forests, and windswept fjords are the most luxurious experiences offering the perfect balance between opulence and authenticity. New Zealand’s luxury experiences not only offer indulgence but also allow you to forge a deeper connection with the country’s landscapes, people and traditions. As you get to know the outdoor-loving locals and the wild landscapes on a trip to New Zealand you’ll see how they harmonize with the luxurious side of this extraordinary country.
Experience it: The Long White Cloud
Luxury nature retreats
A bush retreat doesn’t typically conjure up images of high-end luxury, but in New Zealand, that’s exactly what you’ll get. The country’s most remarkable luxury lodges are immersed in breathtaking scenery. These retreats are intimately entwined with the outdoors, yet they’re sophisticated, with world-class services, cuisine, and design. Our top picks are the Te Waonui Forest Retreat and the Milford Sound Lodge.
Located in Franz Josef, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is an eco-friendly, five-star oasis, submerged in the pristine wilderness. The elegant rooms have plush beds and large private bathrooms, along with a private balcony or courtyard that places you within reach of the lush forest. With its impeccable service and earthy ambience, this is rugged luxury at its best.
The Milford Sound Lodge is another gorgeous retreat. Located in the heart of the Fiordland National Park, right on the doorstep of Milford Sound, this lodge is completely surrounded by natural beauty. You’ll stay in either a Riverside or Mountain View chalet, each beautifully designed with unparalleled views of the scenery. You’ll also be steps away from the famous lakes, mountains, glaciers and valleys of the Milford Track, where you can get swept away in nature’s wonders.
Read more: The ultimate nature retreat: welcome to Milford Sound Lodge
Fine dining and wining in the wilderness
New Zealand’s culinary scene showcases the best of its local produce, with mouthwatering lamb, beef, seafood, and fruit and vegetables, all grown in the surrounding regions. In Dunedin, you’ll dine on local favorites such as braised lamb and the catch of the day at Parcels Restaurant at the heritage hotel, Distinction Dunedin.
In Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s Art Deco capital and world-renowned wine country, you’ll enjoy a dinner with wine pairing at Craggy Range Winery. With the rugged backdrop of Te Mata Peak and golden vineyards, you’ll feast on locally-grown produce and award-winning wines in this family-owned winery.
Keep the wine exploration going with a boutique wine tour in Queenstown. You’ll savor the best Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc of the Central Otago wine region. If beer is more your speed, we’ll take you to Emerson’s Brewery to sample Dunedin’s best local brews with a tour and tasting session. You’ll witness each stage of the brewing process, from the malt room to the bottling area of this exceptional microbrewery.
Read more: 5 Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences to Have in New Zealand
Relax in nature’s spa
Mother Nature loves to show off in New Zealand. She also loves to nurture, offering up her very own natural spa baths. On your trip to New Zealand, you’ll find geothermal pools throughout the country. The therapeutic hot springs offer a serene experience in the wild landscapes.
Sink into the bubbling pools and mud baths of Rotorua, or indulge in the luxurious Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown. As you soak in the mineral-rich waters while taking in the wilderness, you’ll strike the perfect balance between luxury and the great outdoors.
Read more: Reconnect with the great outdoors at these luxurious back-to-nature retreats
Bespoke adventure experiences
New Zealand is the adrenaline capital of the world, and we elevate these experiences with a more intimate atmosphere. Enjoy private guided walks along the Milford Track and Franz Josef Glacier or a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail in Queenstown. Whatever your speed, there are endless opportunities for bespoke adventure on your trip to New Zealand.
We’ll visit the subterranean Waitomo Cave and take a private boat tour. As you coast through the extensive underground caves, you’ll marvel at the dazzling resident glowworms. In the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area, you’ll enjoy a Haast River jet boat safari. Cruise past pristine forests and snow-capped mountains as you hear fascinating stories of the communities in this valley. From the Queen Charlotte Sound cruise to the TranzAlpine train journey, you’ll experience outdoor adventure in style.
Read more: Six Stunning Filming Locations To See In New Zealand
Māori cultural experiences
A luxury travel experience is also about immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of your destination. The Māori, New Zealand’s Indigenous people, have a deep connection to their land and traditions. You’ll get a richer insight through tailored cultural experiences. In Rotorua, you’ll wander through the ancient forest village with your local Māori guide and learn about Māori art forms and traditions. You’ll then experience a Hāngī feast, cooked traditionally in a pit oven using geothermal steam at Te Pā Tū, and witness a captivating Māori cultural performance as you dine.
Experience the rugged luxury on a trip to New Zealand and embark on our The Long White Cloud luxury tour. In 19 extraordinary days, you’ll go from the Southern Alps and Franz Josef Glacier to the waterfalls of Milford Sound. Discover the volcanic craters of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the wineries of Queenstown, and beyond.