Cruise to New Zealand

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New Zealand is an island nation, as is neighbouring Australia. So there is no better way to appreciate the lengthy coastlines of these beautiful places than from the deck of a cruise ship. It’s an idea well worth exploring as there are many options to choose from. If you’ve booked, or are thinking of booking, […]

Luxury Stay at Aoraki Mount Cook, The Cloud Piercer

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  We couldn’t believe our luck as we drove in towards the backbone of the Southern Alps along the access road to Mt Cook, catching ever-enlarging glimpses of the mighty Cloud Piercer, Aoraki, New Zealand’s tallest mountain. At Pete’s Lookout, 20-odd kilometres from the road-end, we joined a chorus of campervans and tourist buses stopped […]

Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge is new on 5 Star New Zealand

Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge, New Zealand

We’ve started listing some new lodges for the coming season. First up is the Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge, tucked under the Southern Alps in inland Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island.

The lodge is run by the McSweeney family, who have a strong history in the conservation movement in New Zealand. Their huge 2400 hectare property is part nature reserve and part working farm. During your stay you will get to experience both worlds with lots of hiking and exploring on offer, as well as farm tours and demonstrations of various rural tasks like sheep shearing and mustering. There are 3000 sheep on the property so there’s plenty to be done. In winter there are several ski areas nearby as well.

Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge is also close to the Arthur’s Pass National Park, with its unique alpine environment. Mountaineering and alpine walking, waterfall and wild flower tours, and kayaking and mountain biking are just some of the activities on offer in the area. There’s also some excellent fly fishing for trout. The daily rate includes up to 1 1/2 hours of guided activities including nature walks and farm tours. Longer guided activities have a charge.

Arthur's Pass Wilderness  Lodge hiking

Accommodation at the lodge is essentially 4 star, but very comfortable. There are also several 5 star suites with luxurious beds, full bathrooms with spa baths and a private deck. All the rooms have amazing mountain and valley views. The lodge overlooks Mt Rolleston, the Waimakariri River valley and surrounding native forest. The 4-course dinner has a set menu with two choices nightly, plus options for vegetarians.

Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge is a full immersion experience. If you want to experience New Zealand wilderness then this is a great place to start. Staff are knowledgeable and caring about the environment and impart a lot of information to guests during their day.  We recommend a minimum 2 night stay, and more if possible.

Joint stays can be arranged with sister lodge, Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, down on the coast in South Westland.

Email us here to find out more –

(C)  by Sue Farley  2013


Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge mountaineering

Napier, New Zealand, an Art Deco City

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  It took a rollicking great earthquake in 1931, that reached 7.9 on the Richter scale, to bring about the almost total rebuild of Napier city, a provincial farming centre on New Zealand’s North Island. And although there are rarely good things to come out of such events, the subsequent rebuilding of this isolated city […]

Blanket Bay – an Iconic New Zealand Luxury Lodge

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  Follow the road from Queenstown towards Glenorchy, a tiny town on the edge of Lord of the Rings country in southern New Zealand. The road winds north along the shore of Lake Wakatipu, its startling blue water surrounded by high peaks and rugged mountains, before disappearing into the hills as a single lane gravel […]

Westhaven Lodge – a new Luxury Lodge listing


Westhaven Lodge is a new-build, owner-managed luxury lodge perched out on the north-west corner of New Zealand’s South Island, in a wild, remote spot just waiting to be explored.Westhaven Lodge, New Zealand

The area is of great ecological significance, with the largely unspoilt Whanganui Inlet laid out far below the lodge. This spacious waterway is a valuable nursery ground for local fish species and the southern arm of the inlet is managed as a marine reserve to protect the best of the best. Farewell Spit, also of great ecological significance, is a short drive away, and the vastness of the Kahurangi National Park is a quick helicopter ride away.

High on a ridge overlooking all this beauty Westhaven Lodge sits snugly, protected from the worst of the wild west coast weather. The building is designed around three large octagonal spaces joined by double-storey structures. Accommodation is in luxury rooms and suites, all with beautiful views across the landscape.Fishing from Westhaven Lodge

Local fishing is in a mix of sheltered estuarine waterways and coastal and open sea. And you’ll need all those options as the coast is a wild ocean shore where the weather can often make it a bit wild for fishing. But there are plenty of options so if the sea is up on one coast Mark, the charter skipper, can take you across to the other side of the peninsula where the weather will often be quite different.

Fishing includes trolling, saltwater fly-fishing, bottom fishing and deep-sea options. Available species include snapper, hapuka (grouper), cod, trumpeter, kahawai, crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone) and terakihi. In season there are also albacore and giant Northern Pacific bluefin tuna. It’s an exciting collection.

If you have the time there are a number of places to launch from including Westhaven Inlet, which leads to the open Tasman Sea, Golden Bay and greater Tasman Bay, and the western reaches of Cook Strait. All are well known fishing areas. And in the process you’ll get to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery that makes this area so attractive.

The lodge has a large indoor heated pool, hydro-therapy spa pool and infra-red sauna for days when the weather is not cooperating, and there are multiple dining options to suit – indoors, outdoors, shared or private. The menu changes daily to match available local foods and the cuisine has a definite European influence.

Westhaven Lodge is a destination in itself, taking you to a small corner of the world that is not easily reached. It’s a delicious escape from the rush of the city and you’ll get some great fishing at the same time.

Email for details on Westhaven Lodge or any other New Zealand travel

(C)  by Sue Farley  5 Star New Zealand Luxury Travel


Introducing the 5 Star New Zealand Luxury Travel Blog

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  This is the first post for a whole new blog on a whole new website. What is 5 Star New Zealand? Essentially we bring luxury travellers to New Zealand. But we are so much more than that. We can help you get to one of the most beautiful countries on earth, and bring your […]