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My Route du Bonheur

New Zealand : two islands, two different worlds

Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge

+1 800 735 2478 * *Local charges apply
From the volcanoes in Tongariro National Park to the unsung Rippon vineyards, Wellington’s art galleries to Queenstown’s suspension bridges, Mount Cook to Akaroa's marae, every aspect of Maori and New Zealand culture and nature line up on this Route du Bonheur in the “land of the long white cloud.” (Aotearoa) A journey across two islands and a trip featuring beauty without bounds...
Suggestion of itinerary
  • 5 hotels
  • from US$ 17,923.39 *
1
470 km
2
415 km
3
690 km
4
485 km
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To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.


1 Hikurangi — 2 Nights
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Helena Bay Lodge

Hikurangi - New Zealand

Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Nestled in a cove in the northeast corner of North Island, five villas surrounding a main house host the hotel’s suites. With views over the crystalline waters of Helena Bay reaching out to the Pacific, luxurious vegetation and alpacas along the paths, the setting is spectacular. Constructed using local materials, this lodge is part of a farm that is today dedicated to the raising of wagyu beef cattle and in the maintaining of its pine forest as a carbon sink. The final touch of sophistication here comes from the cuisine of the lodge’s Italian chef. Inspired by the restaurant Don Alfonso 1890, the dishes are made from ingredients cultivated on the property. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
5 rooms
US$ 2,326.40 (from)
Choose Room
Close to the property

A day at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

A day at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

On 6th February 1840, by signing the Waitangi Treaty, the Maori chiefs signed the official birth certificate of their nation. Now a memorial, Treaty House still holds a copy of the famous treaty. Each year, on the anniversary, a compact crowd gathers for great festivities, saluting the flag, songs and traditional dances, and the launching of the impressive pirogue Nga Toki Matawhaorua…

Travel the coast with the dolphins, Bay of Islands

Travel the coast with the dolphins, Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands is a name which amateur sailors of the southern hemisphere and Pacific dream about. In 1769, the navigator James Cook was the first European to sail through the middle of these dozens of rocky virgin islands. It was he who called it ‘Bay of Islands’. Two and a half centuries later, we still come from afar to tack through these turquoise waters, accompanied by dolphins, and admire a sky so famed for its great purity.

1
470 km
2
415 km
3
690 km
4
485 km
2 Taupo — 2 Nights
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Huka Lodge

Taupo - New Zealand

Hotel and restaurant in a park. Huka Lodge has enjoyed a location of great natural beauty, on the banks of the mighty Waikato River, since it was founded as a very simple trout fishing camp, in 1924. It nestles within a landscape of snow-capped peaks, wild tussock, lush forests and clear blue lakes and streams. This legendary retreat continues to define absolute style, while offering privacy and relaxation, with authentic outdoor adventure, for those who appreciate exquisite cuisine, personal service and unique experiences. Offering a truly exclusive experience, within 17-acres, Huka Lodge proudly taking its place amongst the world’s best retreats – with its reputation and awards all richly deserved. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
28 rooms
2 villas
US$ 2,100.77 (from)
Choose Room
Close to the property

Springs and craters of Tongariro National Park

Springs and craters of Tongariro National Park

Survey this unique and unspoiled landscape ringed by three active volcanoes including Mount Ngauruhoe’s near-perfect cone (similar to Mount Fiji). If your fitness level allows, the climb up to the crater is a fantastic experience. Due to the volcanic nature of the surroundings of Huka, there are many hot springs all over the national park. Enjoy the experience for yourself!

Delightful Lake Taupo and Tongariro River

Delightful Lake Taupo and Tongariro River

Lake Taupo is the perfect spot to leave the world behind. New Zealand's largest lake was formed almost 2,000 years ago during a massive volcanic eruption. You have two options: hire a small boat to explore the huge lake or go fly fishing on the mighty River Tongariro - one of the best spots in Oceania for large wild trout.

1
470 km
2
415 km
3
690 km
4
485 km
3 Wellington — 2 Nights
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Wharekauhau Country Estate

Featherston - New Zealand

Hotel and restaurant in the country. In Maori, Wharekauhau means “place of knowledge”, as it was here where the wise men would come to learn their craft. The name has remained as a testament to the past. Nearly two centuries later, a large sheep station took its place here and finds itself still in activity today. In this farm setting, overlooking the Palliser Bay, the lodge cultivates a refined art de vivre, with a welcoming decor that mixes antiques with natural materials.It is surrounded by vast native gardens where the croquet lawn, flowers, orchard and vegetable garden stand alongside one another, with the latter two supplying the restaurant where a delicious revisited “Kiwi” cuisine is served. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
15 rooms
1 villa
US$ 900.98 (from)
Choose Room
On the route

Beaches and whale watching

Beaches and whale watching

Take the ferry to South Island through the superb Marlborough Sounds - and drive south from Picton via Kaikoura. Make sure you stop off often at the beaches south of Kekerengu (excellent café to stop off at) and view the seal and penguin colonies. Food trucks positioned along the seafront sell crayfish fresh off the grill (like lobster, but better). In Kaikoura, a whale watching trip is a must-do. Several species of whale migrate a stone’s throw from the coast in what is one of the ocean’s deepest trenches.

Wellington, the prettiest capital in the world (weather permitting)

Wellington, the prettiest capital in the world (weather permitting)

It is regarded as one of the most pleasant capital cities in the world! Wellington is famous for its blowing winds, kind and non-conformist locals and art gallery treasures (don’t miss the City Gallery Wellington in Civic Square). Wellington, is also a city for food lovers and coffee fans (Prefab, on Jessie Street). You’re in heaven...

1
470 km
2
415 km
3
690 km
4
485 km
4 Canterbury — 2 Nights
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Otahuna Lodge

Canterbury - New Zealand

Hotel and restaurant in the country. At the heart of a 19th century Victorian estate, Otahuna Lodge seamlessly knits past and present together: period woodwork, stained glass windows and fifteen working fireplaces combine with a host of modern comforts and a rich collection of contemporary New Zealand art. Outside, Otahuna, which is Maori for little hill among the hills, has striking views over the Canterbury Plains and the Banks Peninsula. The song of native bellbirds invites guests to discover hidden glades, ponds and more than 120 different kinds of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and mushrooms in the historic gardens. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
7 rooms
1 villa
US$ 2,178.57 (from)
Choose Room
Close to the property

Visit to Akaroa’s marae

Visit to Akaroa’s marae

Otahuna backs onto the volcanic Banks peninsula. The superb Summit Road follows the sides of the old crater and leads into the charming little town of Akaroa. This former French settlement continues to cultivate its different way of life and its blooming gardens. Vines and olive trees grow in stark contrast to this volcanic environment. In Otahuna, the Onuku Maori Marae is worth a short visit for its church and picturesque houses.

The atmospheric old harbour in Lyttelton

The atmospheric old harbour in Lyttelton

A little south-east of Christchurch lies the small town of Lyttelton that was extensively damaged in the 2011 earthquake. Perhaps more than anywhere else, the residents here have brilliantly improvised to revive their town. Could this be down to the Bohemian feel that prevailed here before the quake, and is now back again? Bars, cafés and restaurants have “naturally” re-established themselves. Lyttelton is still a happy, arty place...

On the route

Heading to Mount Cook

Heading to Mount Cook

The mountain with two names: Aoraki/Mount Cook. The highest summit in New Zealand has an elevation of 3,754m. Sacred to the Maori, Aoraki is still a national symbol. Trails are set out so you can take in the splendid surrounding glaciers. More experienced hikers can hire a professional guide to climb one of the mountain’s slopes.

1
470 km
2
415 km
3
690 km
4
485 km
5 Queenstown — 2 Nights
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Matakauri Lodge

Queenstown - New Zealand

Hotel and restaurant on a lake. On splendid, mysterious Lake Wakatipu, the cradle of ancient Maori legends and one of the most serene landscapes in the world, Matakauri Lodge offers stunning views of the mountain ranges. Each of the beautiful suites has a private porch, bedroom with sitting area and open fireplace, a walk-in wardrobe and bathroom. Eight of them are outlying, the three other are housed in the main lodge, which also boasts a spacious lounge, dining and living areas with views of the lake. A magnificent spa with pool, sauna and fitness centre all combine to make this the ideal retreat, just seven minutes from Queenstown. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
13 rooms
1 villa
US$ 1,454.98 (from)
Choose Room
Close to the property

Queenstown spirit of adventure

Queenstown spirit of adventure

Queenstown is the world’s top destination for extreme sports. People come here to leap into mid-air (paragliding, hang-gliding and sky diving), tear down the slopes on skis, conquer the white water rapids, bungee jump etc. Mountain bikers love Queenstown Trail and the unbelievable trails in Bike Park. Queenstown is a paradise for speed and height fanatics and thrill seekers …

On the route

Two Paddocks, Sam Neill’s vineyard, Central Otago

Two Paddocks, Sam Neill’s vineyard, Central Otago

Rippon is one of New Zealand’s most charming wine-growing regions and also home to the vineyard run by Nick and Jo Mills, a couple of enthusiasts who practise biodynamic agriculture. Near here you will find Two Paddocks vineyard owned by Sam Neill, New Zealand’s famous actor who starred in Jane Campion’s The Piano and Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. This quality vineyard produces excellent New Zealand Pinot Noir and Riesling wines...

The unforgettable Milford Track walk

The unforgettable Milford Track walk

An icon in the heart of the Fiordland National Park, Milford Track is described by every guidebook as one of the world’s most beautiful hiking trails! At a little over 50km long, it takes 3-4 days from start to finish, depending on your fitness. From October to May, advance booking of overnight stays in the huts is recommended to complete the walk.

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Texts : © Guides Gallimard