Escape to the country: New Zealand’s top rural retreats

A rural retreat needn’t mean wellies and a drafty room, as proven by New Zealand’s raft of luxury lodgings. Words Alissa Jenkins

Gone are the days when a ‘country escape’ meant a lonesome cottage adorned in doilies and tartan, and a rickety bed far past its expiry date.

Across the ditch in New Zealand’s South Island is an uprising of stylish retreats tucked away in blissfully secluded corners of the countryside, quietly offering guests a gamut of luxury-holiday criteria.

From inspiring to invigorating and all totally indulgent, here are three of the best at what they do (without a doily in sight)…


Aro Hā Wellness Retreat


Closest city: A 40-minute drive to Queenstown

Four nights from $3833;

Minaret Station


Closest city: A 15-minute helicopter flight to Wanaka

Chalet from $1807 a night (exc. transfer);



Closest city: a one hour drive to Christchurch

Homestead villa from $2239 a night;



Air New Zealand operates daily flights to New Zealand from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

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This article appeared in issue 18


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