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Across New Zealand, a plethora of premier super-lodges have emerged – intimate high-end luxury retreats adorned with international accolades for their high service standards, gourmet cuisine, and exceptionally picturesque settings.

You will find lodges dotted tee side at world class golf courses, located amongst the vines of top New Zealand vineyards, perched on rivers perfect for fly fishing, in historic gardens, on the borders of national parks and conservation areas, and at the base of ski slopes.

As well as boutique accommodation in breath taking locations, activities on offer range from the adventurous such as heli-tours, to relaxing including bespoke massage and wellness treatments.

Black Label loves to share our favourite luxury spots – here are 5 of our Best Luxury Bucket List Experiences in New Zealand:

1. Heli-Experience at Minaret Station

Minaret_night sceneSet at the head of a picturesque glacial valley within the untouched landscapes and beauty of the Southern Alps and bordering the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mount Aspiring National Park, Minaret Station Alpine Lodge is accessible only by helicopter.

Located at an elevation of 915 metres, the surrounds echo classic ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscapes.

Minaret Station is a 50,000 acre working high country farm, home to some 10000 deer, 7000 sheep and 1000 cattle raised for supply to premium export and domestic markets. The station is owned and operated by the four Wallis brothers each with an affinity for the outdoors who manage a team at the Lodge to the highest standards servicing just four luxuriously appointed Chalets.

The individual Chalets are separately positioned amongst native alpine grasses and herb fields, each possessing spectacular vistas of the valley and surrounding alpine environment.

Black Label can arrange your premier alpine experience at Minaret Station, with guided hiking, fly-fishing, heli-skiing, and hunting amidst the spectacular Southern Alps.

On Saturday 14 November 2015, there is also the rare opportunity to enjoy a long lunch hosted by Stonyridge Owner and Chief Winemaker, Stephen White. Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island in the North Island is renowned for their world-class Bordeaux-style red wine, Larose.

Possibly New Zealand’s most remote winemaker’s lunch, the resident Chefs of Minaret Stations’s Alpine Lodge will present a creative menu featuring local produce matched with the Stonyridge wines.

The lunch includes a scenic helicopter flight departing from Queenstown or Wanaka.  With the added opportunity to spend the night at Minaret Station’s Alpine Lodge, this is an exceptional event in a very unique location so book with us without delay.

2. Abel Tasman National Park with Split Apple Retreat

Split Apple RetreatFound in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful regions, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track near Nelson on the South Island offers stretches of beach paradise, swathed in golden sand and lapped by gentle sea. The easy trail linking them wends through Abel Tasman National Park‘s lush, ferny coastal forest with lots of scenic lookout points. Situated here at the edge of this pristine, oceanfront setting, lies the Split Apple Retreat.

Tatler Magazine has recognized Split Apple as one of the top spas in the World. The Retreat also won the 2015 Award from Condé Nast Johansen as The Best Destination Spa in their Luxury Spa Collection, and 2015 Spafinders Award for the Best Spa in New Zealand which is a testament to their level of luxury.

Split Apple Retreat features 3 luxurious suites, all with 180-degree ocean views and vantage points across the Abel Tasman National Park. The Fuji and Lotus Suites offer bathrooms with the same ocean views as well as polished granite, Japanese-style baths (great for couples) and dual Rainmaker showers. The 95-square meter split-level Rainbow Suite which can be configured with a Superking bed and an additional Queen bed has a detached Western bathtub and an adjustable LED-light coloured shower. Each suite offers 42-inch TVs with surround sound and Apple TV as well as 2 private decks with fragrant gardens.

A salt-water, infinity swimming pool overlooking the Tasman Sea and Astrolabe Islands was created along with a Japanese Spa pool with the same outlook. Private paths lead to two beaches ideal for sea kayaking, fishing, or boating – one at the base of the property and another via a private easement through adjacent land to the beach with the famous 120 million year old Split Apple Rock, after which the Retreat was named.

Split Apple Retreat serves gourmet – yet healthy – food. Lee Nelson is a retired physician whose main interest for many years has been nutritional, wellness, and longevity medicine. Anne Pen Lee is a trained chef and culinary artist who specializes in fusion cuisine that marries the best of Asian and Mediterranean styles into delectable gourmet creations. She uses ingredients, sanctioned by Lee, that make a positive contribution to health and wellness.

As well as deluxe accommodation and healthy cuisine, the Retreat offers a sauna, steam room, gym, massage, meditation and wellness facilities.

Black Label can arrange accommodation only, or facilitate a bespoke package with accommodation plus a range of activities including stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and swimming with baby seals.

3. Golf and Ocean Views at Kauri Cliffs

Kauri CilffsUndeniably one of New Zealand’s most picturesque settings, Kauri Cliffs in the North Island is the epitome of luxury. For golfers, the par 72 championship golf course trumps all, with a cliff-top course overlooking the sea, plus a practice range, putting and chipping greens, and golf shop on site.

You can choose to stay in one of 22 suites (or a deluxe cottage) with private porches, fireplaces, and stunning views overlooking the ocean and greens.

Regardless of your golf handicap or penchant for a round or two, you have the option to enjoy three secluded beaches (where picnics and BBQs can be arranged), an infinity pool, two tennis courts, fully equipped gym, and a spa with sauna, Jacuzzi, and indoor lap pool.

Extra activities Black Label can arrange include fishing, guided bird-watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, and clay pigeon shooting.

4. Fly Fishing at Lake Rotoroa Lodge

Lake Rotoroa LodgeNestled in an unspoiled location on the edge of the Nelson Lakes National Park with beautiful lake, river or mountain views, five star rated Lake Rotoroa Lodge is one of our recommendations if you’re searching for a special lodge in a special place.

National Geographic Adventure magazine has previously named it as one of the twenty-five greatest adventure destinations in the world. It also named Lake Rotoroa Lodge as one of the two finest trout fishing venues in the world.

Ten luxurious guest rooms allow an opportunity to recharge and relax in a magnificent setting that takes advantage of mountain or lake views, and the Lodge is ideal year round with lovely gardens to stroll or a roaring fireplace for cooler months. Combined with outstanding cuisine paired with a wine cellar brimming with the best of New Zealand and Australia’s wines, you’ll find it hard to leave.

Optional activities include bush walks, fly fishing lessons, helicopter flights, quad bikes, boat trips or horse riding.

5. Gastronomy and Wine Tasting at Wharekauhau Country Estate

Wharekauhau Country EstateEstablished as a sheep station in the 1840’s, Wharekauhau Country Estate occupies a mesmerizing array of landscapes from lake-speckled forests to verdant pastures, and the windswept coastline of Palliser Bay in the Wairarapa, one and a half hours from Wellington in the North Island.

Awarded New Zealand’s first and only ‘Best Award of Excellence’ from Wine Spectator Magazine, the Estate is also listed among the ‘Top 20 International Resort Hideaways’. Thirteen cottage suites offer gas fireplaces, double spa baths, and prime perches for surveying the rolling pastureland and seascape of the vast stretch of 5,500 acres of working farmland home to roaming cattle and sheep.

The Wairarapa region is renowned for artisan food and boutique wines and the Retreat is a great option for a romantic getaway where after a long day out exploring you can indulge in the spa, then retreat to the main lodge, with its antique furnishings and roaring fires, to sample New Zealand wines and canapés, followed by a four-course dinner.

Other activities Black Label can book for you are horseback riding, ATV quad biking, clay target shooting, archery, and vineyard visits.

If your ideal Luxury Bucket List experience in New Zealand is yet to be fulfilled, get in touch with Black Label today!


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