Image by Dennis Unlusu via iStoc
Packed with spectacular adventure and intimate romance, New Zealand is the perfect honeymoon destination for a pair of intrepid explorers. Savour your first days of married life in an unparalleled country renowned for its jaw-dropping scenery, vibrant wildlife and world-class food and wine.
Whether you want thrilling action or blissful relaxation, New Zealand has it all. We’ve rounded up the top 6 things to do and places to stay on your New Zealand honeymoon.
1. Take a wine and gourmet food tour of Waiheke Island
Begin your New Zealand honeymoon in the oceanside city of Auckland, a lively hub of culture and cuisine. For the best in gourmet food and wine, take the 45-minute boat ride to Waiheke Island, a gorgeous haven of pristine beaches, olive groves and vineyards.
Take a tour with a local guide to see and taste the island’s produce with everything from fresh oysters and award-winning olive oil, to superb boutique wines. Enjoy lunch at one of the island’s exceptional restaurants as you gaze out over the sparkling turquoise bay.
Where to stay: Hotel DeBrett
A quirky, glamorous boutique set on Auckland’s High Street, Hotel DeBrett will charm you with its 1920s-themed styling and rich heritage. You’ll melt into the grandeur of the era with elegant Art Deco rooms and retro-inspired bars serving lively jazz music and prohibition cocktails.
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2. Explore the glow worm caves of Waitomo
Take the three hour scenic drive from Auckland to Waitomo to see the magical glow worm caves. You’ll be guided by candlelight through Footwhistle Cave, also known as Te Anaroa Cave, where you’ll be surrounded by twinkling glow worms. The tour ends with a romantic boat ride through the enchanting Glowworm Grotto.
At the end of your visit, make the two hour drive south to Taupo, a spectacular town known for its glittering lakes, geothermal wonderlands, thundering waterfalls and enriching Maori cultural experiences.
Where to stay: Acacia Cliffs Lodge
This exclusive luxury retreat is perched on a cliff top in Taupo with phenomenal views over Lake Taupo, Acacia Bay and the surrounding mountains. The intimate lodge is run by a friendly local family and your stay includes a complimentary local bottle of wine, pre-dinner drinks and canapés and full gourmet breakfast.
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3. Sail the Bay of Islands
The most romantic way to see the iconic Bay of Islands is with an exclusive boat charter. Climb aboard a 54-foot sailing catamaran with your partner and get comfortable in the private cabins and lounges. Cruise through the dazzling archipelago of more than 140 islands, brimming with pristine beaches and ancient Maori sites.
Relax on the trampolines in the bows, perfect for dolphin watching, or go swimming, snorkelling, paddle boarding and kayaking in the sparkling waters. Lounge on the sandy beaches, enjoy a delicious lunch, and soak up the beauty of the bay together.
Where to stay: Magic Cottages
Just 40 minutes from the Bay of Islands, Magic Cottages offers a luxury ‘glamping’ site on the banks of Takou River. Tucked away in untouched bushland in a secluded corner of a 150-acre farm, the luxury safari-style tent is fully equipped with a large bed, kitchen, hot shower, flushing toilet, heating, and a romantic outdoor bath overlooking the river.
Image by Robert Chang via iStock
4. Take the TranzAlpine train journey
Beginning in Christchurch, the world-renowned TranzAlpine train takes you on a breathtaking five hour journey from the east to the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
You’ll see some phenomenal landscapes from the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps, passing through lush farmlands, river valleys and the dramatic mountain ranges of Arthur’s Pass. The train journey finishes in Greymouth, just a 45-minute drive from the stunning Hokitika region.
Where to stay: Hurunui Jacks
Experience another romantic luxury ‘glamping’ experience on the banks of the Kaniere River in Hokitika. Nestled within 15 acres of pristine forest and national parklands, the luxury canvas tent comes fully equipped with a comfortable bed, kitchen, bathroom and running water. Enjoy a glass of wine in the the private outdoor bath with only your partner and the trilling bellbirds for company.
Image by Jacques van Dinteren via iStock
5. See the marine life of Kaikoura
Make some magical memories in Kaikoura, a seaside town famed for its incredible marine life. Take a stroll along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway to watch seal colonies sunning themselves, or go whale watching to catch a glimpse of magnificent sperm whales migrating through the Pacific Ocean.
You can even swim with pods of dusky dolphins on an eco-friendly tour off the coast of Kaikoura. The playful dolphins are known for their interactive behaviour and love to show off in their natural environment.
Where to stay: Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses
Stay in a charming tree house perched ten metres above the treetops with beautiful panoramic views of the farmland and mountain ranges. Situated only 15 minutes from Kaikoura, the lodge is the perfect retreat for honeymooners with gourmet meals, couples massages and helicopter rides to romantic mountaintop picnics.
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6. Helicopters, cruising and hot pools in Queenstown
Queenstown is packed with fairytale adventure. Start with a breathtaking helicopter tour over the Fiordland National Park and land on a glacier for the perfect photo opportunity. Arrive in Milford Sound for an awe-inspiring cruise through the tranquil valley and soaring peaks.
Take the picturesque drive to nearby Glenorchy and have lunch at the Amisfield Winery. End your blissful New Zealand honeymoon with a soak in the Onsen Hot Pools. Relax in the natural pools and sip champagne together, toasting to your new married life.
Where to stay: Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
This intimate boutique hotel is set in the heart of Queenstown, surrounded by idyllic parklands. The rooms are elegantly styled with modern furnishings and you’ll adore the mountain views from your balcony. Head to the cosy lounge each evening to indulge in complimentary pre-dinner drinks and canapes.
Ms Zebra Says: New Zealand is such an idyllic holiday destination and perfect for those couples who are keen to relax but also seek a little adventure too! Thanks Wayfairer Travel for sharing these wonderful experiences and places to honeymoon in New Zealand!
About Wayfairer Travel: A luxury tour operator based in the UK, Wayfairer Travel creates exceptional, tailor made luxury holidays for the discerning traveller, without compromising on sustainability and conservation.