ATV views Wharekauhau

Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown

Glacier walking on Mt. Cook

Otahuna Lodge near Christchurch

Horseback riding in Cardrona

Mahu Whenua Lodge on the South Island

Notes from the road

New Zealand Gems

Kia Ora and hello! We’re just back from New Zealand, a place whose outdoor beauty and top-notch lodges have long been legendary.

We’re particularly partial to lesser-known but luxe active outposts. Consider the Wharekauhau Lodge, on the south tip of the North Island. This lodge is masterfully managed by our dear friend Richard Rooney who is as quick to offer up a homecrafted Light House gin as he is jump on an ATV with guests to explore black sand beaches.

Area pioneer Julian Robertson — a financier turned hotelier — crafted the cosseting mainstays of Cape Kidnappers; Kauri Cliffs, which recently opened four new large villas; and Matakauri Lodge, where we recently stayed — thumbs way up!

Hall Cannon’s Otahuna Lodge, near Christchurch, is another luxe fave. Near Wanaka, new spots include the hikers’ mecca that is the Lindis Lodge and Shania Twain’s former home which is now the more intimate Mahu Whenua Lodge. In Marlborough, owner Angela Dillon has redone Marlborough Lodge, which nestles among such well-known vineyards as Cloudy Bay and Kim Crawford. On both the country’s North and South Islands, there are so many places to dream about — which is exactly what we’ll be doing until we’re able to go back.

The Gray & Co. Team