You are here
New Zealand: land of luxury
Camping under the stars on the Routeburn track or navigating the crags and cliffs of Milford Sound are off-the-beaten-track pursuits that might well be the highlights of your New Zealand holiday, but you don’t need to rough it out all the time.
In fact, New Zealand is fast becoming one of the world’s most premier luxury destinations. Whether you want to tee off on the summit of a mountain, or marvel at the southern lights from the deck of a yacht, this magnificent country has a plethora of opulent options.
Here’s a handy guide to the luxuries in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Every oyster aficionado owes it to themself to try the Bluff oyster, which only grows in New Zealand waters. Photo: Bluff Oyster Festival
What can be more emblematic of a luxurious food experience than oysters? While the Pacific and rock oysters of the New Zealand coast are sublime, it is the legendary Bluff oyster, which grows only on the southern tip of New Zealand, that lures droves of oyster aficionados from the world over between March and August every year.
And speaking of drinking with dinner, New Zealand has fine wine in spades. Move over, France and Italy; it’s a New World out there. The region is particularly renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir varieties.
For wine tours, the Craggy Range Ultimate Wine Tour really lives up to its name. It starts with a helicopter tour of the Craggy Range vineyards and various natural attractions in Hawke’s Bay, personally guided by head winemaker Matt Stafford — after which guests return to the winery to make their own personalised blend. And that’s just one of the many wine experiences on offer.
Over The Top Helicopters offers bird’s-eye views of New Zealand. Photo: Fredrik Larsson
The towering spire of Mount Cook (or Aoraki, to the locals) will always be beautiful, no matter which angle it’s viewed from, or which season it is. But some of the greatest sights of New Zealand can be seen only from the air.
For an experience that’s truly spectacular, take to the skies in a helicopter. Over The Top Helicopters gives clients a bird’s eye view of New Zealand’s natural splendour. Fancy a picnic with a loved one by an isolated waterfall, and no-one else around for miles? Or getting married at the top of a mountain, accessible only by air? Over The Top can make it happen.
And speaking of sights, every inch of New Zealand’s almost-16,000km coastline is just as breathtakingly beautiful as its mountains and meadows. Fiordland on the south-western coast is characterised by the jagged fjords that give the region its name, while the beaches of black ironsand in the North Island’s west coast stretch unbroken into the horizon.
What better way to see this gorgeous coast than by yacht? Drop anchor in Hawke’s Bay and enjoy some of the best local wine and food in the whole of New Zealand, or hide away in the Bay of Many Coves, a five-star boutique resort in Queen Charlotte Sound. Both the North and South Islands have plenty of gorgeous places to berth your boat - and get a taste of the local hospitality.
The Landing Residences offers some of the most luxurious and secluded stays in all of New Zealand. Photo: The Landing Residences
When you’re tuckered out from all that fine dining and sightseeing, you’ll need a place to rest your head - and rest assured, New Zealand will have you spoilt for choice.
Sitting pretty in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf is Hurakia Lodge, a luxury villa for rent that is a six-minute helicopter ride from downtown Auckland, or a 35-minute journey by water taxi. With five double bedrooms, a pool and spa, all-round views of the sea, and even a personal chef for hire, it’s the perfect place for a secluded weekend getaway - or even longer, if you desire.
Always wanted to stay in the Bay of Islands? Look no further than The Landing, four luxury residences that each possesses its own irresistible charm. Opt for the Gabriel Residence for its more rustic appeal, or go for the seaside Boathouse for a more contemporary feel.
More of a mountain person? Minaret Station Alpine Lodge on the South Island is nestled deep within the Southern Alps, and is accessible only by helicopter. It’s the perfect place for the aspiring adventurer: activities include guided fishing, hunting and even heli-skiing during the winter months. Then come back to your personal chalet and enjoy a soak in the hot tub, followed by a specially prepared meal by the resident chefs.
All meals on Air New Zealand are prepared by a talented culinary team, with input from consultant chefs Peter Gordon and Michael Meredith. Photo: Air New Zealand
However, every seasoned traveller knows that the journey is just as important as the destination.
And with Air New Zealand, the pampering starts from the moment you step onto the plane. Business Class may be indulgent, but the airline’s Business Premier takes luxury to a whole new level - when flying back to Singapore from Auckland, you’ll have access to a premium check-in area with a bag drop and specially designed check-in booths to facilitate the process.
Travellers on Business Premier can also enjoy the privilege of the Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge, the airline’s flagship lounge. With an ultra-modern design and a capacity of 375 guests, the lounge caters to your every need, whether you’re looking to relax, refresh, or catch up on some work. Set up on the covered outdoor terrace with your laptop, or curl up by the fireplace with a cup of coffee.
Lounge privileges are also available to Business Class travellers, as well as Star Alliance Gold and Airpoints Elite, Gold Elite Partner and Koru members.
And the luxury experience only gets better when you board the plane. Forget squeezing with others - Business Premier travellers on the 787-9 Dreamliner from Singapore to Auckland get a customised leather lie-flat bed with a memory foam mattress.
The food is prepared by world-renowned New Zealand chefs, with a menu that ranges from salmon dusted with New Zealand lemon kelp and sesame to masala-rubbed chicken breast. Some wine to go with that? An extensive selection of New Zealand wines comes with all meals.
Plus, you’ll never be bored with Air New Zealand’s in-flight on-demand entertainment system. Each Business Premier passenger is provided with a set of active noise-cancellation headphones, letting you enjoy your entertainment in peace.
There’s only one catch to flying Business Premier: it’s so comfortable, you might not want to get off the plane when it touches down.
Business Premier is available on long-haul flights between Singapore to Auckland and back, twice a day. For more information, visit airnewzealand.com.sg.
From Oct 28, 2018, Air New Zealand will operate a new daily evening non-stop flight from Singapore to Auckland on the 787-9 Dreamliner, allowing travellers to connect seamlessly to 20 domestic destinations within New Zealand. Business Premier fares start from S$4,988 round-trip.