Unlocking New Zealand's finest Wildlife Encounters
North Island, South Island, Bay of Islands to Stewart Island; trees and seas offer up a collection of the New Zealand's finest wildlife encounters, to which some of the nation’s luxury lodges can open the doors.
A collection of wonderful wildlife encounters at New Zealand's Luxury Lodges
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay
A stay at Cape Kidnappers offers the opportunity (exclusive to lodge guests) to get up close and personal with New Zealand’s national icon – the rare and endangered, Kiwi. Unlike the welcoming locals (affectionately also known as ‘kiwis’), the iconic kiwi bird is a shy character and is notoriously hard to find. Head out on a Kiwi Discovery Walk with one of the expert rangers at Cape Kidnappers to assist with their Kiwi research and medical checks – monitoring, weighing and measuring kiwi chicks. Without doubt, one of New Zealand's finest wildlife encounters! Nature lovers will also love the opportunity to walk amongst a resident gannet colony on the property.
Set on a 6,000 acre sheep and cattle farm of spectacular natural beauty, Cape Kidnappers also offers quad-biking and mountain-biking adventures, farm tours and spectacular walking trails – alongside horse-riding, pampering spa treatments and one of the world’s most stunning cliff-side golf courses.
The Landing Residences, Bay of Islands
The Landing Residences also offer an exclusive opportunity to see the all-too-often elusive Kiwi. With an estimated kiwi population of more than 100 on the property, guided late night walks are a highlight of any stay here.
The property’s restored wetlands and regenerated native bush are also home to an abundance of other rare and native birds including pateke (brown teal), paradise ducks, pukeko and oystercatchers. Whilst cruises on the Bay of Islands beckon with the opportunity to spot or swim with dolphins, and dive or snorkel with a collection of tropical and temperate marine life.
Hilltop, water’s edge or surrounded by vines, the Landing’s collection of four sophisticated and secluded retreats (Cooper, Gabriel, Vineyard Villa and the Boathouse) offer the perfect balance of privacy and personalised service. Each private villa has been architecturally designed to complement its setting and is appointed with life’s finest luxuries to ensure guests feel infinitely indulged and instantly at home.
Annandale Villas, Banks Peninsula
Guests of the Annandale Villas can explore the tranquil turquoise waters of Pigeon Bay and the surrounding coast with guided kayaking and nature cruises on the property’s own powerboat. This scenic coast is a natural playground for the unique and very inquisitive Hector Dolphins (a rare species of tiny dolphins, endemic to New Zealand) as well as fur seals, blue penguins and host of birdlife.
Annandale’s scenic working coastal farm offers luxury accommodation in four individual and self-contained lodgings: the ultra-modern romantic Seascape in its own picturesque bay, serene and secluded Scrubby Bay with room for up to 14, the cosy Shepherd’s Cottage and the lovingly restored five-bedroom Homestead. Each with their own character and charm, all with access to the property’s extensive hiking and biking trails, cooking classes and the services of a private chef.
Hapuku Lodge, Kaikoura
The waters of Kaikoura offer a wonderful collection of marine wildlife experiences. Dolphins, seals sperm whales and albatross have taken up permanent residency in these spectacular natural surrounds and provide some of the best aquatic animal encounters the country has to offer. Swimming with playful dusky dolphins and inquisitive fur seals is definitely one for the bucket-list!
Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses, nestled neatly on a deer farm at the base of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range, offers the perfect base from which to enjoy all of Kaikoura’s marine adventures as well as nature walks, mountain-biking trails, lazy poolside afternoons and delicious local dining.
Wharekauhau, Palliser Bay
Though strictly-speaking not ‘wild’life, Wharekauhau is home to some of New Zealand’s most memorable and sought-after animal encounters. A working sheep station, Wharekauhau is an authentic living showcase for New Zealand’s legendary farming heritage. Guests can enjoy a personalised guided 4wd tour to the far reaches of the property, watch sheep shearing and sheep dogs in action. Those looking for wilder-creatures, can also tour the scenic coastline to visit a seal colony basking on the rugged coastline, enjoying magnificent views over Palliser Bay.
Visitors will be pleased to know it’s not all work and no play on this farm. The luxury lodge offers guests a game of croquet or tennis, mountain-biking or hiking, clay target shooting and archery. There is also a 24-metre heated indoor swimming pool, fully-equipped gym, wellness programs and decadent spa treatments, with vineyards and golf also nearby.
Contact your Southern Crossings Travel Designer to incorporate some of New Zealand's finest wildlife encounters with your personalised luxury travel arrangements.
Read on for more Wildlife Encounters at Australia's Luxury Lodges or for inspiration about conservation opportunities for luxury travellers in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.