The Big Six: Lodges in New Zealand

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Places to stay on both the North Island and South Island


Solitaire Lodge

Rotorua

Offering high-spec luxury on a small peninsula that juts out into Lake Tarawera, Solitaire Lodge belies its name. Rather than one lonely building, it's a collection of suites set in manicured grounds. The dining area overlooks the nearby lagoon and there's also a sauna and therapy room. The lodge has its own private jetty and helipad, and can arrange twilight helicopter tours over Mount Tarawera, an active volcano.

Solitaire Lodge, 16 Ronald Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua, North Island (00 64 7 362 8208; solitairelodge.co.nz). Doubles start at NZ$1,280 (£580), half board.

Hapuku Lodge

Kaikoura

This sleek six-bedroom lodge opened in 2003, with five "treehouses" added to the complex in 2006. The lodge ticks all the usual boxes of designer cool (earth tones, hand-crafted furniture, crisp white linens) but the treehouses are something else: clad in rough-hewn timber, they rise above the canopy to command impressive views of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range and Pacific coastline. Whale-and seal-watching tours are offered at nearby Kaikoura.

Hapuku Lodge, State Highway 1 at Station Road, RD 1, Kaikoura, South Island (00 64 3 319 6559; hapukulodge.com). Lodge doubles start at NZ$359 (£163), NZ$440 (£200) in a treehouse, including breakfast.

Waipoua Lodge

Northland

Built in 1890, this colonial-style lodge is constructed from kauri wood, a once-common native timber that is now found only in protected areas such as the dramatic green oasis of nearby Waipoua Forest. Inside the main building are a dining room and cosy lounge with a bar and stone fireplace, while four homely yet luxurious suites are contained in old farm buildings overlooking an elegant garden. The long expanse of Baylys Beach on the Kauri coast is just 3km away, or you can kiwi-spot in the local Trounson kauri reserve.

Waipoua Lodge, State Highway 12, Waipoua Forest, Northland, North Island (00 64 9 439 0422; waipoualodge.co.nz). Doubles start at NZ$490 (£222), including breakfast.

Acacia Cliffs Lodge

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo, near the centre of the North Island, is the largest freshwater lake in Australasia. The Acacia Cliffs Lodge maximises views of the lake, while the interior boasts high ceilings and a funky fireplace. Fishing, mountain biking and golf are all offered nearby.

Acacia Cliffs Lodge, 133 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay, Lake Taupo (00 64 21 821 338; acaciacliffslodge.co.nz). Suites start at NZ$550 (£250), with breakfast.

Fiordland Lodge

Te Anau

This large lodge is located within the Te Wahipounamu/South West New Zealand World Heritage Site. A stone fireplace dominates the lounge, while the 10 bedrooms command views over lake Te Anau and the Fiordland national park.

Fiordland Lodge, 472 Te Anau Milford Highway, Te Anau (00 64 3 249 7832; fiordlandlodge.co.nz). Doubles start at NZ$680 (£310), half board.

Kaimata Retreat

Dunedin

Penguins, sea lions... there's even an albatross colony on the Otago Peninsula, a haven for nature-lovers. Kaimata is a stylish retreat with a large open-plan dining area and three luxury ensuite rooms. Wildlife tours are available.

Kaimata Retreat, 297 Cape Saunders Road, Portobello, Dunedin, South Island (00 64 3 456 3443; kaimatanz.com). Doubles start at NZ$360 (£164), including breakfast.

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