Live up luxury in New Zealand with its architectural masterpieces in the wildest of locations and five-star retreats with serious eco credentials: here is No. 58 of our 101 Reasons To Stop Dreaming About New Zealand And Go.
When The Lindis opened in late 2018 it became something of an instant classic: a lodge dealing in understated luxury designed to blend in with the spectacular wilderness that surrounds it. It is nestled almost imperceptibly on the floor of the Ahuriri Valley, a dramatic landscape – carved over millions of years by glacial waters – of rugged mountain terrain, wetlands, tussock grasses and beech forest in the Southern Alps just a 2.5-hour drive from Queenstown.
Architecturally dynamic (and award-winning, too – it scooped a major international architecture prize within a year of opening), the lodge features an elegant slatted roofline that follows the natural contours of the earth below it; the spotted gum wood panelling and bluestone masonry employed inside echo the tones of the landscape and are complemented by elegant decor and furniture. The five suites at The Lindis – choose between the Master or Lodge – offer those same accents and are decked out in a palette of pleasing, rich tones all orchestrated to create a sense of warmth and comfort. Gas fireplaces keep you cosy while indoor-outdoor seating areas and floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to gulp in the landscape.
And for an even more unique stay, check into a Pod: hidden from view of the main lodge and set lightly on the land. With double-glazed mirrored glass walls on three sides, these pods literally reflect the ever-changing landscape around them and allow you to feel completely (and luxuriously – with king-size bed and private outdoor bathtub and all) ensconced in it. Underpinning the experience is warm high-country hospitality and local knowledge that extends to a refined restaurant dishing up a reflection of the surrounding land as well: ingredients you’ll find on your plate include locally foraged porcini mushrooms and wild Fiordland venison.
On-site activities include angling in the Ahuriri River and horse trekking around the vast Ben Avon Station the lodge is located on. The Lindis sits at the cusp of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve – so the stargazing here is out of this world, too. It also offers bespoke day trips to experience some of the most remarkable and remote corners of the Southern Alps by helicopter including Aoraki/Mt Cook, Franz Josef Glacier and Dusky Sound.