The hottest openings and travel news you missed in New Zealand
It’s been a while since we’ve been out there, but the world hasn’t stopped moving. From the latest hotels to new retreats in far-flung destinations to museum openings and what’s trending, here is all the inspiration you need to inform your travel plans to New Zealand this year and beyond.
New Zealand’s luxury holiday homes
While New Zealand is renowned for its luxury lodges, its dramatic landscape is also dotted with ‘jaw-on-the-floor’ holiday homes that offer up exclusive luxury like you wouldn’t believe. But how to find the perfect spot to revel in the beauty of it all? The Luxury Villas Of New Zealand is a curated selection of sought-after properties which meet the exacting standards of Luxury Lodges of New Zealand, from one-bedroom coastal boltholes to six-bedroom residences complete with hot tubs and helipads. One such property is Scrubby Bay at Annandale on the South Island, an award-winning four-bedroom luxury beach house that spoils guests with gracious inclusions, stunning surrounds and abundant wildlife.
Stay at the new The Hotel Britomart, Auckland
For anyone heading back to Auckland, one of the most heralded openings during the last two years has been The Hotel Britomart, the signature hotel of the buzzing Britomart precinct. The architecturally impeccable hotel opened its doors in late 2020 and has gone on to win a raft of awards ever since, including architecture, design and sustainability awards befitting New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star hotel. For the ultimate Britomart day, grab breakfast at one of its casual eateries – The Store, Amano Or Le Petite Fourchette perhaps – spend some time at its roster of boutiques, check into one of The Hotel Britomart’s 99 rooms, and book a table at Kingi, the hotel’s instant hotspot signature restaurant.
Auckland’s new eateries and bars
The inner-city Auckland suburb of Ponsonby, just two kilometres from the CBD, has long been a favourite of brunch-seekers and shopaholics, but lately there has been a brand-new injection of hip into the hood with the arrival of a new swag of eateries and bars worth booking an Uber for on your next trip. Try something spicy at Taco Medic’s bright new outlet or Mumbaiwala’s first Auckland opening (Christchurch also recently opened its doors); grab dessert at the new outpost of the ever-popular Island Gelato Company or try the artful dessert at Miann; then settle in for the evening at the suitably cool and cosy Broken Lantern.
New Zealand’s world-class gin distilleries
While Aotearoa is known for its award-winning wines, locally produced gin is catching up in cachet, with Coromandel Distilling Company’s Awildian Coromandel Manuka Gin named New Zealand’s best matured gin, and Awildian Coromandel Dry the world’s best classic gin at the 2022 World Gin Awards. Head to the seaside hamlet of Thames at the south-western end of the Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island to visit the micro-distillery and try it yourself. Add a few more small-scale distilleries with big reputations – the likes of Reefton Distilling Co. in the wild West Coast region of the South Island, Hastings Distillers in Hawke’s Bay, the country’s first certified organic distillery, Christchurch’s Curiosity Gin And Grey Lynn Gin in Auckland – to create your very own DIY distillery tour.