As the adventure capital of the world, New Zealand is a buzzing place for adrenaline junkies. But the country’s real treasure lies in its landscape, flora and fauna and well-conserved marine life. Because of its remoteness, New Zealand was one of the last countries to be discovered by man and due to this isolation its natural topography is rare and unique. To help you navigate through this rustic, gorgeous wonderland, A Travel Duet has handpicked some of the best natural experiences that can be accessed from 5 exclusive luxury lodges:
1. Swimming with the dolphins in Kaikoura
Best accessed from: Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses
Just 2.5 hours north of Christchurch is the coastal village of Kaikoura, home to several natural attractions and especially the playful dusky dolphins, native to this region. If you stay at the Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses, a contemporary country hotel, you cannot just cozy up to the views of the Pacific and the nearby mountain ranges, but also get onto a boat and get onshore. Guided tours to view the dolphins are available throughout the day. If you’re feeling adventurous plunge in and swim with these friendly beings!
Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses
2. Hiking the Tongariro Crossing
Best accessed from: Huka Lodge, Taupo
One of the best one day hikes in New Zealand, the Tongariro Crossing is dotted with volcanically active and scenic spots. You’ll cross the Mangatepopo Valley, the Emerald Lake, the Red Crater and the Blue Lake – all of which are breathtaking and a visual treat for landscape lovers. Couple that with a relaxing evening at the regal Huka Lodge and you’ve got the best in old world charm.
Huka Lodge, Taupo
3. Exploring Abel Tasman National Park
Best accessed from: Edenhouse Lodge, Nelson
Named after the Dutch explorer who was the first European to set foot on New Zealand, the Abel Tasman National Park is a must visit. From golden sand beaches, to hiking trails to seal colonies, Abel Tasman can be explored in various ways. You could choose to kayak the pristine blue waters or opt for sailing on a private yacht too. Base yourself at the enchanting Edenhouse Lodge with its internationally acclaimed gardens, artists’ studio, den, library and sunny suites for a uniquely relaxing experience.
Edenhouse Lodge, Nelson
4. Cruising the Doubtful Sounds
Best accessed from: Fiordland Lodge
Nestled close to Te Anua, a beautiful little village in South Island, New Zealand is the striking Fiordland Lodge. Its traditional log cabins offer panoramic views of rural farmlands, mountains of the Fiordland national park and the Lake Te Anua. Here’s where you should stay if you’re looking to cruise the Doubtful Sounds, which is a massive wilderness area of rugged peaks, rainforest and twisting, hidden fiords. It is home to the bottlenose dolphins and fur seals-both of which are often seen.
5. Spotting the blue penguins
Best accessed from: Pen-y-Bryn Lodge, Oamaru
Korora or blue penguins are the world’s smallest penguins. Most of these penguins live for 8-10 years and are spotted in the coastal regions of Southern Australia and New Zealand. Due to their size, they are also called fairy penguins. The Oamaru Blue Penguin colony is best explored with a stay at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, a lodge best known for their warm hosts and scrumptious gourmet cuisine.
Pen-y-Bryn Lodge, Oamaru
To plan a trip to one of these natural escapades and stay at a luxury lodge, visit A Travel Duet at www.atravelduet.com