Welcome to the youngest nation on earth: New Zealand, where no human had had ever set foot until 1000 years ago. That was when Maoris arrived via long canoes from the nearby islands of Polynesia, long before Europeans came to settle. Yet this is a place where landscapes speak of millions of years of evolution – from glacier-carved mountains to bubbling thermal springs.
New Zealand offers an array of natural splendours found nowhere else on Earth. It is a playground for adventurers and thrill-seekers as well as lovers of the finer things in life. However, all will marvel in the beauty of its fresh mountain air, pristine rivers and mysterious forests.
Here you can spend idle days swimming with dolphins, trekking through rain forests or seek powder thrills on the ski slopes. Sparkling streams proffer abundant fresh trout, the coasts rich plump oysters and the lush hills produce the nation’s famous lamb and the purest of pastures. This is home to some of the most respected wineries in the world, from Marlborough to Central Otago, producers of sophisticated pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, ready to be served at the six spectacular Relais & Chateaux properties – five grand lodges and a charming hotel – scattered from the North Island to the South.
Along the south-west coast of South Island, glaciers spill down from the peaks of the Southern Alps gouging deep fiords. This is a land as much for thrill-seekers who love to bungee or white water raft as it is for lovers of refinement. It is where the hospitality of the country lodge has been elevated to an art form, melding extraordinary accommodation in exquisite locations – a cliff top, an idle rivers’ edge or mountain precipice – with a club-like cosiness serving up magnificent cuisine and enticing spa escapes.Download our Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands and French Polynesia brochure.