Everyone wants to know the best time to travel and unabashedly expressing favouritism; Fall for our American friends or Autumn down under is fantastic for exploring and enjoying the very best of New Zealand.
With the distinct change of season producing an artists pallet of golds, oranges, auburns and reds and a likely dusting of snow on the mountain tops it is a locals & visitors paradise of crunchy leaves underfoot, plenty of see and do and delicious seasonal cuisine.
The Landing, Bay of Islands
These are also the months of the annual vintage in New Zealand with wine makers carefully measuring sugar levels that signal the harvesting of grapes from the Bay of Islands, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and famed Central Otago Pinot Noir in the south. Guests can touch the vines from their lounge chair in the Vineyard Villa (pictured below) at The Landing, the only Luxury Villa of New Zealand with their own vineyard estate and recently opened winery onsite. Here, in the Bay of Islands, north of Auckland we are not quite ready to give up on summer yet, Autumn is for swimming off the golden sandy beaches a few stays from The Boathouse or island exploring aboard the Iti Rangi...
Less sandy and just as instagrammable are the indulgent heated salt or mineral pools and spas at all of the lodges perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation at this time of the year. Check out wellness packages at Split Apple Retreat, the infinity pool of Rahimoana at Eagles Nest and your private spa under the stars at Stonefly's Villa - Falcon Brae (pictured below).
Clear, mild days are perfect for horse riding and expert or not, learn a new skill and enjoy a spot of late season guided fly fishing at Poronui Estate.
Fall brings out the birdlife and wildlife of Kaikoura's marine Serengeti. A stay in a Treehouse at Hapuku Lodge sets the scene with the sounds of the Pacific Ocean and stunning sunsets out one window and majestic deer grazing in paddocks out front. It is also relaxed down on the farm and families can enjoy spending time with a myriad of farm & sealife at coastal Annandale or high country Minaret Station in the South Island.
What we also do in the Fall is eat. a lot. Seasonal produce is abundant, local, fresh and colourful. Carefully foraged from extensive much-loved gardens on a daily basis by the in-house Chef's at all of the Luxury Lodges of New Zealand and presented on daily changing menus for our enjoyment and pleasure.
Chef Pen, Split Apple Lodge
Central Otago is renown for distinctive autumnal colours and there is no better to experience the myriad of seasonal colours than at The Homestead on Lake Hayes, a luxuriously renovated historic homestead on the lake edge. Arrive down the heritage listed Sequoia Avenue to the wild flower meadows, orchard, lavender paddocks, sculptures, heated swimming pool with floating fireplace and a gym with views.
The Homestead has 5 gorgeous bedrooms with the sumptuous master suite boasting a sitting area with views over Lake Hayes and The Crown Range and a huge ensuite with a stunning copper bathtub.
There are multiple living and entertainment areas in which to relax or dine, including a library with whisky bar baby grand piano. Throw open the French doors to patios and courtyards, the heady scent of the herb gardens and a logia with fire and wine cellar.