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The high life awaits you

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Mike Lee on 23 May 2013

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From legendary golfing and powder skiing to heavenly spa and fine dining, indulge yourself with a bespoke vacation in New Zealand

 

ON THE shores of Lake Wakatipu just outside of Queenstown, New Zealand, Matakauri Lodge and its designer suites, has recently earned a place on Tatler Magazine’s list of “World’s 101 Best Hotels”.
 

It is just one of many fine accommodations offering luxury indulgences and views of New Zealand snow capped mountains, glaciers, lakes and coasts.


For honeymooners and discerning travellers looking for a fine, undisturbed sojourn that will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated, look no further than Blanket Bay — the luxury boutique hotel with just 12 suites and rooms, the best service and steam shower in all its suites.
 

Loosen up with a swing of golf, a heavenly spa, or sit down to fine food and wine amid vineyards.

 

Unforgettable Heli Hikes
 

Whatever your fitness level, you can embark on a Heli Hike experience around New Zealand’s spectacular backyard.
 

Flying over the vast terrain not only gives a greater sense of the true scale of Milford Sound and Fiordland, you also get access to some of its most remote spots.
 

Take your pick from a short afternoon walk to overnight camping under the stars.
 

The helicopters will drop you off in stunning locations under arrangements with local high country stations and from there, knowledgeable local guides take over to ensure a hassle-free, delightful experience.
 

Golfer’s dream
 

With over 400 courses to choose from — the most number of courses per capita in the world — New Zealand is a golfer’s dream-come-true. Tee off in some of the most scenic surroundings in the world.


Millbrook in the South Island is voted the best golf resort in Australasia. The 27-hole course offers natural playing hazards such as tussock, streams, schist stone, trees and buildings with the snow-capped Cecil Peak as its backdrop.
 

Fronting the Pacific Ocean, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is home to a par 72 PGA championship golf course and is a member of Relais & Châteaux, an exclusive collection of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in the world.
 

Set atop rolling farmland, Cape Kidnappers, designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, is beloved by golfers of all skill levels.
 

Geothermal relaxation
 

For some geothermal relaxation, head to Rotorua, home to amazing geysers, hot pools and steam vents.
 

Fancy a therapeutic Manuka honey massage? Head over to Polynesian Spa, a premier international spa destination with 26 ineral pools and treatments using special thermal mud and other natural ingredients.


Over at Tekapo Springs in the heart of the South Island, inviting hot pools are perfect for lying back and drinking in the mountain views.
 

Wine and dine haven
 

Wine afi cionados can delight in a classic New Zealand wine trail that take you on a seamless journey for a great tasting of the best tipples dotted around some of the most scenic places in New Zealand.
 

In Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and even further south in Central Otago, you can enjoy fine dining in the amazing surrounds of wineries and vineyards. 
 

Sip the best Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Bordeaux varieties paired with the freshest Pacific Rim cuisine, the most tender lamb creations and award-winning cheeses.
 

In Kiwi style, you can keep things casual, leave the black tie at home and dine in laidback, friendly atmosphere wherever your tastebuds may lead you.
 

You can even savour the bounty of greenlipped mussels, lobsters, Bluff Oysters and fresh fish catch with a barbecue on a beach — just for two of you.
 

For an out-of-the-world dining experience, how about a glacier landing in a helicopter followed by a gourmet picnic amid alpine wilderness?
 

Pacific grandeur
 

Home to a multi-award winning estate of luxury villas, Eagles Nest in the Bay of Islands is a ultra luxury accommodation within minutes from some of New Zealand’s best diving, sailing and fishing spots.
 

Comprising more than 144 islands in an exquisite corner of the Pacific Ocean, it offers guests one-to-one dolphin encounters and unique river-, bay- or openocean anglers’ experiences in the comforts of a bejewelled paradise.
 

Head south to the Coromandel Peninsula, book a multi-day trip and let your skipper take you to the volcanic Mayor Island for a hideaway — the water is so clear and deep here that you can see the anchor hit the seabed.
 

If you haven’t tried float plane fishing, head for Lake Taupo, the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand and reward yourself with luxury accommodation at nearby Huka Lodge.
 

Virgin ski run
 

The ski season is from June to October, and fantastic snowfields are just a stone’s throw away from city comforts. Head to Queenstown or Wanaka for the biggest range of ski fields.
 

Gear is easy to hire, you won’t have to jostle with long queues, and the abundance of wideopen bowls and gentle slopes welcome firsttimers looking to complete their virgin ski run.
 

Off-piste skiing and heli-skiing led by professional guides is a must-try experience for skiers of all levels — from beginners to advanced. Enjoy exclusive access to some of the most exhilarating runs varying between 2,000 to 4,000 vertical feet. It is a safe and fun way to try a new sport while enjoying the gorgeous views of New Zealand’s lakes and mountains.
 

If you’ve ever wanted to get away on a winter holiday to escape the heat of summer in the tropics, now is the best time to experience New Zealand — the ultimate destination of bespoke luxuries.

 

Source: SG Travellers © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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