Nz stays luxury1
nz-south-mount aspiring park-helicopter ride
Photo 1414235077428 338989a2e8c0
Nz stays luxury1
nz-south-mount aspiring park-helicopter ride
Photo 1414235077428 338989a2e8c0
Unforgettable tailor-made holidays

Experience New Zealand in absolute luxury

Travel to the hidden gems in every corner of the North Island and South Island. Stay in luxury accommodation that reflects the region you’re in. It is so much more than just a place to stay. Have your senses reawakened by the pristine natural beauty surrounding you. Feel rejuvenated with the fresh air and at peace in your own slice of paradise.

If you’re dreaming of an unforgettable holiday tailor-made to your wishes, look no further. With jaw-dropping landscapes around every corner, a warm welcome from the friendly locals, fascinating Maori culture and delicious world-class wines, it’s hard to beat New Zealand when searching for an exclusive holiday destination. Combine this with our unique luxury accommodation, and you have the perfect recipe for a very special holiday.

Replenish and rejuvenate in your outdoor bath in an eco cottage in the rainforest
Secluded cottage in Horopito | New Zealand holiday
Disconnect from the world in a secluded cottage in Horopito

North Island of New Zealand

Culture abounds on the North Island. Seventy-five percent of the population lives here, with the majority in the vibrant cities of Auckland and Wellington. What really sets it apart is the deep connection with the Maori culture, which is ever present.

Nature is diverse, offering the perfect escape to get away from it all. Unwind on the white sandy beaches of Waiheke Island. Witness geothermal activity with bubbling hot pools and shooting geysers in Rotorua, and marvel at the towering volcanoes and glistening lakes in Taupo.

Soak up the mountain view from your bath at your lakeside retreat
Soak up the mountain view from your lakeside retreat
Enjoy meals from the herb and vegetable garden
Indulge in gourmet food and fine wine

Waiheke Island

Escape the hustle and bustle of Auckland on a 35-minute ferry ride to Waiheke Island, a tropical paradise of white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water. With its subtropical climate, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind and slip into the Kiwi beach lifestyle.

Savour fresh oysters at the local seafood market, go sailing on the harbour, discover whales and dolphins on an eco-cruise or take a scenic flight. Venture inland to indulge in wine-tasting at various vineyards, and visit olive groves and art galleries.

Aerial shot of Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island, an island paradise
© Joshua McCormack
Take a scenic flight over Waiheke Island

The Boatshed

Designed by David Scott, this modern and chic accommodation offers panoramic ocean views. Enjoy maximum comfort in a casual but elegant atmosphere. Walk to Little Oneroa Beach in three minutes or ten minutes further is Oneroa Village.

Here you can find local cafes, restaurants and art galleries. Book in for a yoga class or massage and spa treatments. Dine with other guests in the shared dining room and enjoy fresh, organic produce or ask for a picnic lunch to take with you to the beach.

NZ Waiheke island lodge
Unique luxury accommodation at The Boatshed
Dine in style at your secluded accommodation

Lake Taupo

Otherwise known as the great inland sea of New Zealand, Lake Taupo is a must see on the North Island. This gigantic lake is surrounded by an array of extreme landscapes. From snow-capped mountains to alpine deserts and the thundering Huka Falls, the most famous attraction in Taupo. Discover steaming geothermal valleys and rejuvenating hot springs in Wairakei.

With so much to see and do and a great choice of luxury accommodation, this region is on everyone's bucket list. Kiwis travel to Taupo all year round, spending their days on the lake during summer and skiing up the mountain during winter. The bustling town of Taupo has plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars, making it a popular pitstop location for locals, as they travel the North Island.

Two white sailing boats cruising a lake with Maori rock carvings
Relax on a scenic cruise on Lake Taupo
A white seaplane on a white sand beach and turquoise waters with mountain behind it
Get a bird's eye view from a float plane

Huka Lodge

Nestled on the banks of the Waikato River in Taupo, surrounded by 17-acres of pristine gardens and native bush, is perhaps the most famous of all luxury lodges: Huka Lodge. Built in the 1920s, this sophisticated luxury lodge has hosted numerous celebrities and royalty including Queen Elizabeth II, Barbara Streisand, The Spice Girls, Bill Gates and Rod Stewart.

Walk ten minutes upstream and be mesmerised by the Huka Falls. Drive five minutes to Wairakei International Golf Course and take in the picturesque views. Dine at the on-site restaurant, known to attract award-winning chefs from around the world. Or have a barbecue on the beach and take in the sunset at Lake Taupo.

Helicopter tour | New Zealand holiday
Take off in a helicopter from your accommodation at Huka Lodge
NZ solo luxury stays: Bedroom with a view of a river
Relax and unwind in your room at Huka Lodge


Rotorua is like nowhere else in the world and is renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. It is situated on one of the world’s most active volcano regions, with natural hot springs, bubbling mud pools and geysers. Treat yourself to the ultimate luxury experience at an exclusive day spa. Or replenish the forest by planting a tree in the protected area of Te Urewera with a Maori guide. Astonishing scenery and world-class activities are guaranteed to leave an imprint on you forever.

Smell the sulphur in geothermal Rotorua
© TravelEssence
Stylish accommodation and maximum comfort in Rotorua

Solitaire Lodge

This superb accommodation is set on a private peninsula on Lake Tarawera, a short 25 minute drive from Rotorua. The name Solitaire Lodge says it all: this is where you can indulge in stylish accommodation, surrounded only by rural tranquillity. Wander down to the private beach and jetty, take a kayak or dinghy and discover the secluded bays of Lake Tarawera.

Slip into relaxation mode in the shared lounge or savour a glass of fine wine on the deck with dramatic views over the lake to Mount Tarawera. Tantalise your taste buds with the daily changing menus that include fresh, seasonal food. And for the ultimate pamper, indulge in a spa service in the privacy of your own suite.

Relish the beauty at Solitaire Lodge
Experience New Zealand cuisine at its finest

South Island of New Zealand

The South Island is less populated than the North Island and is a true outdoor paradise. Spectacular fjords and glaciers, bright turquoise lakes and white sandstone cliffs. The vast and dramatic landscapes are like nowhere else in the world, unspoilt and pristine. The views will leave you speechless at every turn.

Meet the friendly locals in quirky towns and have your interest sparked. Admire the abundance of native flora and fauna found everywhere. This part of the world is bliss in its purest form.

Boat in a lake with towering mountain peaks in the background
Cruise around on the Milford Sound
Spend your day's vineyard hopping in Marlborough
Spend your days vineyard hopping in Marlborough
© TravelEssence


Kaikoura is a picturesque town on the East coast of the South Island. Situated between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, it is blessed with spectacular views. Since the powerful earthquake in 2016, the landscape has dramatically changed due to tectonic plates moving against each other.

The coastal waters of Kaikoura are rich in nutrients creating an abundance of food that attracts whales, seals, albatross and dolphins. Join a boat cruise, swim with dolphins and seals or take a scenic flight to get a bird’s eye view of whales in their natural habitat. Go hiking on the coastal walkways or conquer the summit of Mt Fyffe to take in the views from high above.

Swim with seals in the sea near Kaikoura
Become one with nature in a luxury pod outside Kaikoura
© PurePod Kaikoura

Hapuku Lodge

The five siblings of the Wilson family designed and built the Hapuku Lodge. Set on a deer breeding farm, snuggled up at the foot of the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Range, on the outskirts of Kaikoura. Relish the beauty of the place - the perfect base to encounter a variety of wildlife such as dolphins, seals, albatross and whales. Take one of the luxury lodge’s mountain bikes and discover the Hapuku trails.

Indulge in fresh crayfish and whitebait, the local food of Kaikoura. Exquisitely prepared on site, you are guaranteed the finest culinary experience. All food served at the Lodge is prepared in their kitchen, even the peanut butter.

Snowy mountain tops in Kaikoura
Be enchanted by Hapuku Lodge
Two people sitting on a bench near a food truck with a view of the ocean
Treat yourself to freshly caught seafood at Nin bin's in Kaikoura, the locals' favourite
Impressive landscape | New Zealand nature

Would you like to discover more about New Zealand?

Join one of our live and informative presentations, hosted by one of our travel specialists. And find out how to travel to New Zealand in a uniquely local way. There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions!

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Banks Peninsula

Travel south-east of Christchurch down a most scenic route to the charming Bank’s Peninsula. Renowned for its picturesque bays, seaside villages with French influences, artisan culture and boutique galleries. The French village of Akaroa is home to historical buildings and the rare Hector’s dolphin: the world’s smallest dolphin. Have a close encounter with these cheeky marine mammals by kayak, swimming or in a boat. Or join a nature cruise and discover penguins, seals and seabirds.

Surrounded by volcanic cliffs, you can choose from a variety of walking tracks to admire the coastal views. Pack a picnic lunch with your favourite Kiwi treats and discover hidden gems like Le Bons Bay, Camp Bay and Tumbledown Bay.

Picturesque views on Banks Peninsula | New Zealand holiday
Picturesque views on Banks Peninsula
Join a boat cruise, swim with dolphins and seals or take a scenic flight in Kaikoura
Join a boat cruise, swim with dolphins and seals or take a scenic flight in Kaikoura
© Miles Holden


Annandale is a unique coastal escape nestled in the rolling hills of the Banks Peninsula, just over an hour's drive from Christchurch on the South Island. It is comprised of a working coastal farm and four luxury villas and has a rich history of hospitality, dating back to 1843. Your hosts Mark and Jacqui, born and raised in New Zealand, invite you to explore their charming sheep and cattle farm spanning across 4000 acres of coastal land.

Disconnect from the world in your own private retreat. Take a 4WD farm tour, explore Pigeon Bay by kayak, or join the on-site chef for a cooking class to learn about New Zealand cuisine. The freshest ingredients are used, all coming straight from the farm to the table. Whatever you do, you're sure to have a uniquely local experience in luxury.

Luxury accommodation on the Banks Peninsula | New Zealand holidays
Escape the ordinary in Annandale
Drive 1 hour east of Christchurch to the picturesque Banks Peninsula
Soak in your own private spa with panoramic views

Arthur's Pass National Park

Enjoy one of the South Island's most scenic drives when travelling from Christchurch to the wild West Coast. As you make your way down a stretch of mountainous road to Arthur's Pass National Park, you'll notice a big change in the landscape. From the beech forests and wide riverbeds in the drier East, to the deeper riverbeds and rainforests in the wetter West.

Here, in the heart of the Southern Alps, you are spoilt for choice with walking tracks including Bealey Spur Track, Avalanche Peak and the Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall. This dramatic alpine region is also home to the Kea - a cheeky olive-green parrot and the only alpine parrot in the world, known for its intelligence.

Be in for a treat at the award-winning restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass
Scenic driving over the Arthur's Pass | New Zealand holiday
Scenic driving over the Arthur's Pass
© TravelEssence

Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass

Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass is located in the heart of the Southern Alps. Set on a magical 4000-acre high country farm between the Arthurs Pass National Park and Craigieburn Forest Park. The property is home to around 3000 sheep and 120 Angus cattle. Join a sheep tour to witness a working sheep farm in motion. Watch farm dogs herding sheep and learn about the shearing process of merino wool.

Explore a variety of private walking trails across the farm, through the forest and into the mountains. Dine at the on-site Mount Rolleston Restaurant renowned for their superb food, wine and service. Savour their fresh farm produce with the magnificent snow-capped mountains as a backdrop.


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Why book with us?

  • A well-designed holiday, just for you
  • Small-scale accommodations run by friendly local hosts
  • Carefully recommended activities based on your interests
  • A travel tempo and driving distances that match your needs
  • Ingrained sustainability in all facets of your holiday
  • 30 years of experience in travel to New Zealand

Let's design your holiday together

We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your pace, your interests, and anything you desire. Combined with first-hand, local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied. We take care of every detail, so you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.

Ready for the holiday of a lifetime?

Discover a world beyond ordinary

At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.