As summer fades into Autumn/Fall and the days become shorter, the trees shed their golden leaves and New Zealand settles into its autumnal tones. A beautiful time to visit New Zealand – the days are still warm, explore remote beaches and bush walks where you may not see another person and the cooler evenings invite one to relax in the gorgeous surroundings of our boutique hotels, lodges and villas.
This is a time to harvest the grapes in the beautiful wine growing regions of Marlborough and Nelson/Tasman. New Zealand has had a long, hot summer and the vintners have great expectations of a wonderful harvest this year.
Take a relaxed bicycle trip through the vineyards and lunch al-fresco at a boutique winery. Visit boutique art and craft galleries. Eperience fly-fishing or heli-hiking in the majestic Kahurangi National Park, or take a kayak out onto the peaceful waters of the Abel Tasman National Park. Walk the Queen Charlotte Sound or head off to visit a high country farm.
Nestled in the heart of the Marlborough vineyards is Vintners Retreat. Just a 10 minutes drive from Blenheim airport and 20 minutes from the inter-island ferry terminal. Arrive to your spacious, luxurious, self-contained villa – it really is like home away from home with a fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms, 2-3 bedrooms and patios to enjoy an evening barbecue with a local bottle of Marlborough’s famous Sauvignon Blanc. Your hosts, Martin and Shulah are there to ensure you have a great time -they’re locals and love to take time out with their guests. www.vintnersretreat.co.nz
A 2 hour leisurely drive towards the west takes you to the beautiful Tasman region with three world renowned national parks, boutique wineries, arts and crafts and stunning beaches.
On the very edge of Nelson city you will find a country retreat set in 20 acres of parkland. The Bishop’s Suites – elegant, luxurious, with elements of Somerset Maugham. This stunning retreat is all inclusive – pre-dinner drinks and canapes, 5-course degustation dinner, all beverages including house wines. Hosts and owners Peter and Mary have travelled extensively around the world and appreciate the meaning of a warm and personal welcome – relax around the pool or just enjoy the elegant ambience of this lovely retreat. www.bishopssuites.co.nz
A 30 minute drive south of Nelson takes you to the absolute peace and beauty of Bronte Country Estate, in a garden setting on the edge of the Waimea Estuary. Choose to stay in a luxury Villa for two or take the option to self-cater in the romantic Te Koi Villa “Te Koi is Maori for headland” and the villa sits on the edge of the headland away from the homestead, providing seclusion and privacy. Host and owner Daniel is there to welcome you and ensure you have a wonderful relaxed stay – he’s a great breakfast chef too. Daniel’s family have owned this estate for over 100 years and know all the best places to visit. www.brontecountryestate.co.nz