Rugged Down Under: New Zealand’s Best Wild Lodges

Gutsy, wild, and just a little bit rugged, New Zealand is the ultimate holiday spot if you’re in need of an adventure. This far-flung country is top of the list when it comes to the great outdoors, having tailor-made a set of unique vacation experiences that will put you in the driver’s seat. If you’re a fan of the finer things in life, however, fear not; there’s luxury to be found in the wilderness. The answer’s simple: it’s all about the wild lodge. New Zealand’s sophisticated lodges give any adventure a luxurious touch, making it easy to go wild during the day and live in the lap of luxury in the evening.

Looking for accommodations that will allow you to to truly get away from it all? Reserve your spot at Scrubby Bay, STAT. Don’t be fooled by its name; the lodge at Scrubby Bay is far from down and out, offering up some very fine facilities. Clean, minimalistic, and comfortable, the lodge makes full use of the panoramic views of the bay that sweep past its floor-to-ceiling windows. If you’re going all out, you can enlist the help of private chef Paul Jobin, who will prepare you a smorgasbord of slow-cooked treats. Bring a good book, prepare yourself a log fire, and let the elements do all the entertaining.

If uninterrupted views of nature make for your ideal destination, try getting a load of Whare Kea. Looking out over the waters of Lake Wanaka, Whare Kea is built from timber, steel, and glass, and these natural materials beautifully offset the rugged environment. With up to six suites at your disposal, the lodge is the perfect getaway spot for large groups of people, offering endless entertainment. It’s not all about nature here, however; at Whare Kea, food is serious business. Chef James Staple whips up a range of delectable bites, each one more delicious than the last. Prepare for the feast of your life.

Despite its close walking distance to the nearest town, Eagles Nest near Russell is nonetheless secluded. Boasting four corner bedrooms, each equipped with its own balcony, this is the kind of luxury lodge that makes life a breeze. Choose between your own infinity pool and a nearby private beach, if you can drag yourself away from the lux interiors of the lodge. Kitted out with a gym, a home cinema, and a private chef, this lodge is a step above the rest, giving you a holiday to remember.

There are retreats, and then there’s Kaimata Retreat, the luxury beach lodge located on the picturesque Otago Peninsula. Perfectly equipped for those long New Zealand summer evenings, the lodge boasts killer views of the undisturbed watery stretch. Spend your days discovering all the peninsula has to offer in your very own paddleboard and spend your evenings sampling private chef Chloe Humphreys gourmet treats.

Once a fully functioning fishing lodge, Huka Lodge now serves as a luxury retreat for the foodie traveller. Benefit from the local fresh waters and cast a line during the day; return with your catch and the private chef will serve it to you for your evening meal. The sprawling property is a sight to behold, and boasting a number of individual cottages, it provides the perfect occasion to forget the world around you. Try your hand at a set of water sports or kick back in any of the plush living spaces; you’ll leave happy either way.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.