There’s no doubt that the mighty islands of New Zealand are brimming with jaw-dropping landscapes, fun-filled adventures and mouthwatering food and wines. And if you thought you had to take a sabbatical to see it all, read on. On this three week luxury vacation we’ll take you from top to bottom staying in some of New Zealand’s finest hotels whilst enjoying the countries most unique adventures – perfect for those first-time visitors or those wanting to delve a little deeper. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we’ll whisk you off to tropical Fiji for a completely different perspective on ‘island life’. These tiny islands boast some of the most gorgeous beaches, lushest forests and friendliest locals we’ve ever met, and that’s saying something. After a whirlwind adventure in New Zealand, a stay in our favorite Fijian hideaway is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Adrenalin fuelled Auckland
Arrive in Auckland and kick off your stay at Hotel DeBrett. At the heart of Auckland, this boutique hotel is perfectly poised to explore Auckland’s storeping districts and fine restaurants. But if you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping an extra notch, we suggest you head down to the Waitemata Harbour for an exclusive Black Tomato treat. Take to the seas for an exhilarating sail aboard two former America’s Cup winning yachts; feel the wind whipping through your hair as you cruise the waters at amazing speeds. If boats aren’t really your thing – no problem. It’s fair to say Auckland has no shortage of adventures, so whether you’re looking to climb sky-scraping towers or explore the vineyards of Waiheke Island, you’re in the right place.Read more
Road trip to the Islands
With your own private hire car it’s time to hit the road and explore all that New Zealand has to offer. First stop: the Bay of Islands. A myriad of 144 islands in the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, this archipelago perfectly showcases New Zealand’s marine wildlife and natural beauty. Once you arrive, settle into Kauri Cliffs, a spectacular 2200-hectare estate set on a secluded plateau, high above the picturesque Matauri Bay. The property is home to a par 72 PGA championship golf course that boasts amazing views of offshore islands and the ocean beyond, so for golf enthusiasts it’s a no-brainer. Those less enticed by the green can take part in a variety of other activities – or simply take in the view of Cape Brett and the Cavalli Islands from the veranda of this gorgeous five-star lodge.
Whilst in the Bay of Islands, a day trip to Cape Reinga, the country’s northernmost point, is a must – and we’ll make sure you do it in style. Take to the skies and marvel at the incredible scenery from your own fixed wing aircraft. Look down over the West Coast Kauri forest, Whangaroa Harbour, Doutbtless Bay and the famous Ninety Mile Beach – where we can arrange a quick touch down for a land bound tour. But, if you’d rather explore this region by water just tell us what you’d like to see. The famous “Hole in the Rock” at Cape Brett? Dolphins that you can swim with? Or, perhaps a private cruise stopping at your own pace to dive, fish or snorkel the area before anchoring in a secluded location? Whatever it is – it’s no problem.
The volcanic wonders of Taupo
Next stop, Taupo. A region on the shores of the largest lake in the country, renowned for its natural hot water pools and steaming geysers. Take your pick of activities from a volcanic helicopter safari, flying along the fault line before stepping onto White Islands crater floor, to kayaking on the lake to reach ancient Maori rock carvings. One thing’s for sure, New Zealand is not a country to do things by halves.
Whilst in Taupo, you’ll stay at the magnificent Huka Lodge, one of the world’s most iconic retreats that has been drawing people in since the 1920’s. It has a unique blend of calm, warm hospitality and is set on an unbeatable location – lush private parkland on a bend in the emerald green Waikato River. A stay here is guaranteed to take you back to nature – and in New Zealand that includes exploding geysers, cliff faces and gorgeous waterfalls.
Follow your taste buds to Hawke’s Bay
You’re then off to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s famed wine country. We’ve found you the best place to relax in the region: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. A luxurious lodge set on 6,000 acres of sheep and cattle farm, it rolls right up to the sheer cliffs that overlook the South Pacific. Looking out at these gorgeous views, you’ll feel the daily stresses simply melt away – and you haven’t even tried the finger-licking beef with truffled mash yet. With a phenomenal golf-course, trekking paths, day spas and access to the beach and surrounding small towns, you’ll have all of the benefits of isolation without any of that pesky impracticality.
No trip here would be complete without a scoot around nearby Hawke’s Bay – the country’s oldest wine growing region, which boasts over forty wine tasting experiences. There’s also the chance to meet with some of the region’s fascinating artists, explore the stunning scenery, and best of all, be lavished with a traditional Powhiri (Maori welcome).
Relax in stylish seclusion
Here at Black Tomato, we have always been firm believers that the journey is just as important as the destination – and the drive to Wharekauhau Lodge, overlooking the gorgeous Palliser Bay does not disappoint. As you travel over rolling hills, you’ll be treated to views of the beautiful bay down below, whilst upon arrival, you’ll be surrounded by nothing but 5,000 acres of rugged farmland. We suggest having a charged camera at the ready throughout your stay. Guests are really made to feel at home here, with an invitation to pre-dinner drinks in the lodge gardens in the evenings (the pinot noir is divine) and free reign to wander around the farm and see the animals and park lands. We can even organize a scrumptious picnic basket for you to take down to the nearby beach – and how can you say no to that?
A final breath of adventure
Now we couldn’t let you leave New Zealand without dropping in on Queenstown, the self-styled ‘adventure capital of the world’. Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the dramatic peaks of The Remarkables provide the perfect backdrop for the wealth of adventure and relaxation on offer here. Drop your clogs at Blanket Bay Lodge; a stunning alpine-style hideaway on the banks of Lake Wakatipu and let the adventure begin. Whatever your heart desires, we can arrange. Be it jet boating, fly fishing or even a glass of champagne on a glacier, Queenstown is ripe and ready to be explored.
The Tropical Treatment
After all of this high-octane adventure, we figured you’d need a couple of days just to catch your breath before returning home. So, from Queenstown, you’ll fly back up to Auckland and onto Nadi, on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. Jump on-board a private speedboat and in just a matter of minutes, you’ll be in the heart of the Mamanuca archipelago, pulling up to your exclusive island retreat, Likuliku Lagoon. Spend the next four nights living the South Pacific dream in the utmost luxury and relaxation. Gaze out over the dazzling blue ocean and laze under gently swaying palm trees, before diving in and discovering some of the best diving and snorkelling the world has to offer. Likuliku is the only Fijian resort to feature overwater bungalows – and when you couple that with gorgeous Polynesian decor and an incredible spa, there couldn’t be a better place to end your spectacular Pacific adventure.