19 Day 'Wild' Romance Honeymoon Itinerary

 

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1

Crab Cove: A secret hideaway by the ocean

Welcome to New Zealand! Relax - you are on honeymoon.

After a short flight north from Auckland touch down in Kerikeri at the heart of the Bay of Islands. Pick up your comfortable rental vehicle and take a leisurely drive to Crab Cove where your adventure begins.

Crab Cove sits on the side of a hill near beautiful Matauri Bay. Your unique accommodation is nestled into the hillside itself, and comes complete with your own sauna and private beach.

Pop the cork on your complimentary bottle of champagne and relax on the deck with stunning coastal vistas laid out before you.
With three nights here, relax and let the world melt away: you have three nights to immerse yourselves in the natural wonders of this coastal paradise.

Approximate Distance: 33 kms | 20 miles  Total Driving Time: 27 mins

Accommodation: Crab Cove - 3 nights

Accommodation:
Crab Cove is the ultimate retreat, romantic escape or honeymoon spot. Designed just for two, this amazing cave nestles snugly into the hillside overlooking some of the Bay Of Islands most spectacular scenery. This stand alone luxury apartment, with a double shower, sauna and self-catering kitchen, is the perfect hide away. Stroll down to the private beach for a dip, help yourself to the snorkel gear or kayaks and while away the afternoon exploring the many coves or sea caves nearby. Crabcove is a Hidden waterfront retreat with breathtaking views, dramatic and comfortable architecture.
Crab Cove

2

Crab Cove: White sands, sea caves and bayside bliss

When you're ready, emerge from the comfort of your hillside hideaway and stroll down to your very own private beach for a dip in the crystal clear waters.

There are snorkels and kayaks at your disposal to explore the many coves and sea caves close by.

If you’re in the mood to do nothing, take a relaxing sauna or lounge on the deck and let the rhythm of the ocean lull you to sleep.
For the more adventurous, we can organise game fishing, diving or surfing.

With your own private kitchen and barbecue, you can easily prepare a romantic meal for two. Dine al fresco and watch the sun set, with a sweet soundtrack of local penguin calls.


3

Cape Reinga day trip: Where the ocean meets the sea

A visit to New Zealand is not complete without a journey to the very top of the North Island - Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairua). Uncover the wild beauty of this vast and untouched region that is rich in Maori culture and tradition.

As you travel north, enjoy a taste of New Zealand's varying and beautiful landscape: the rolling hills of Northland's rural countryside, breath-taking coastal views and native forest.

Wander through the Puketi Kauri Forest and get up close to ancient and majestic giant kauri trees and native bush. Visit Cape Reinga and hear the stories of this significant site. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views, visit the iconic lighthouse, and see the point where the Tasman Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean come crashing together.

Approximate Distance: 166 kms | 103 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 Hours (each way)


4

Crab Cove to Matakana: Artisanal foods and wines

This morning, wave goodbye to your hideaway and drive south to the picturesque foodie haven of Matakana.

One of Auckland's favourite getaway spots, Matakana is a great introduction to the sights and sounds of small town New Zealand. Here you can while away the hours browsing the gift shops and tasting local artisanal food and wines.

The surrounding coastline is excellent with Pakiri Beach offering vast stretches of white sand or you can visit the sheltered shorelines of Snells Beach nearby - a perfect place to relax.


Approximate Distance: 223 kms | 138 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 Hours 56 mins

Accommodation: Matakana - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Takatu Lodge is a 5 Star boutique luxury lodge & vineyard. The ultimate, exclusive, romantic retreat, enjoy the architectural & contemporary style, 5 mins from Matakana village & the many Matakana Coast beaches.Takatu Lodge and Vineyard offers four luxurious and spacious suites with their own terrace and unique outlook, with spectacular views that surround the property. Each has its special characteristics and personality, providing you with a memorable stay.
Takatu Lodge

5

Matakana to Taupo: Lakes and mountains

Travel onwards to Taupo via the heart of the Central North Island, heading south through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions.

Pause in Rotorua to stretch your legs and marvel New Zealand's geothermal wonders. The bubbling mud pools, volcanic craters, gushing geysers and candy-coloured rock terraces must be seen to be believed.

Another great stop along the way is Huka Falls. Watch in wonder as a hundred-metre-wide river squeezes through a fifteen metre canyon. The explosive power of the resulting waterfall is an incredible sight.

The Great Lake Taupo region is a nature-lover's paradise. Drink in the picturesque forest and mountain views: was it really only yesterday that you were on a subtropical beach? That's New Zealand!

Accommodation: Taupo - 2 Nights

Approximate Distance: 341 kms | 211 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 55 mins

If you are looking for a luxury boutique hotel with the best views of Lake Taupo then you will find Acacia Cliffs Lodge ideal. Sporting breathtaking views with four boutique rooms. Discover world-class attractions right on your doorstep, the perfect base to explore Taupo.

Acacia Cliffs Lodge - Taupo

6

Great Lake Taupo: Sail to the Maori Rock Carvings

Lake Taupo Scenic Cruise

Soak up the beauty of the region with a lake cruise aboard a beautifully restored 1926 Colin Archer Ketch (a two-masted sailing boat). Once owned by Hollywood star Errol Flynn, this lovely old vessel will host you for an awesome cruise filled with fun and adventure.

You will sail to Mine Bay to see 10-metre-high Maori rock carvings only accessible by boat. Created by local artists they are thought to be the largest of their kind in the world.

Take in breathtaking scenery as you glide across stunning Lake Taupo. You can help to hoist the sail or take a turn at the wheel, go for a swim and stretch out on the luxury beanbags to soak up the sun.


7

Fly to Nelson - the Sunshine Capital of New Zealand

As your flight descends into Nelson, get a stunning introduction to New Zealand's South Island as you admire the glittering waters, forests and bays from the plane windows.

Today you'll travel to the sparkling water ways of the Waimea Estuary - which is the midway point between Nelson and the Abel Tasman. From here you can enjoy vineyards and the restaurants at Mapua Wharf. The countryside is truly idyllic with orchards, vineyards, galleries and eateries leaving you truly spoilt for choice.

Accommodation: Bronte Peninsula - 2 Nights

Overlooking the Waimea Estuary is your home away from home, a luxurious country estate with waterfront suites and villas. If you are seeking privacy then Te Koi - the Lodge at Bronte is where you’ll find it, surrounded by manicured gardens and a family run vineyard and apple orchards. Spend your days in the heated swimming pool, their full size tennis court, take on mountain biking or hire their canoes to explore the estuary.
Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte

8

Cruise and Explore the Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman by Catamaran

Enjoy a scenic full day catamaran cruise around the hidden bays and beaches of beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

You'll sail to the mysterious Split Apple Rock and visit the local wildlife at Tonga Island Marine Reserve. The itinerary is loose and flexible, giving you ample time to swim and snorkel the turquoise bays, or take a leisurely paddle in one of the on-board kayaks. You might even find yourself face to face with a fur seal!

If you fancy, take some shore leave to walk along the famous Abel Tasman Coast Track. Or relax on board and enjoy the serenity, while your knowledgeable skipper tells tales of the unique history and wildlife in this wonderful part of the world.


9

Golden Bay: Isolated Splendour on a Private Peninsula

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the South Island, Golden Bay is a gem of a location. This is where New Zealanders come for a getaway, so you know it must be special.

A rugged mountain chain separates Golden Bay from the rest of the South Island, and its isolation is a major part of the charm. Driving over New Zealand's longest hill to get here, you'll be rewarded with alpine valleys, gorgeous beaches, and a friendly, creative local community.

Seals, penguins, dolphins and even the occasional whale like to stop by Golden Bay too. We can't swear that they come for the laid-back atmosphere and the isolated beauty, but we wouldn't be surprised.

The remote and peaceful Westhaven Retreat, nestled on a private peninsula, will be your wild and romantic hideaway for the next two nights.

Accommodation: Golden Bay - 2 Nights

Approximate Distance: 59 kms | 36 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour

Enjoy the peaceful beauty of New Zealand's nature at Westhaven Luxury Lodge. Thissmall exclusive Lodge offers Luxury Accommodation in a relaxed and intimate setting surrounded by the beautiful, rugged coastal wilderness of New Zealand's West Coast. The Lodge is nestled on a large private peninsula in Golden Bay, at the top of New Zealand's South Island, 3 hours drive from Nelson.
Westhaven Lodge

10

Golden Bay: Wilderness at your front door

Today you wake up in the heart of a nature sanctuary with New Zealand's wilderness at your doorstep.

Around Westhaven Retreat, you can hike or bike some of the country's most dramatic coastlines, relax on hidden beaches, and stroll through the nikau palm forests around you. Do your own thing or take advantage of a knowledgeable guide to introduce you to local plants, animals and Maori traditions as you explore.

Take a kayaking or fishing trip with local guides to show you their favourite secret spots.

You may wish to venture further afield on a guided tour of Farewell Spit's internationally-renowned bird sanctuary or a horse trek along unspoiled Wharariki Beach.

When you return home tired but happy, you can pamper yourselves a relaxing massage or spa treatment before curling up in the comfort of your luxury lodge.


11

Murchison: White Water and Gold Fever

Hitting the road again, today's destination is the charming former gold-rush town of Murchison. This small township still retains its old-school Kiwi charm.

Murchison's history is heavily based on gold and farming – interrupted by a massive earthquake in 1929. Pay a visit to the museum to find out about how the town was affected.

No less than seven rivers pass through the area, and whitewater rafters come from far and wide to conquer the rollercoaster rapids. For a more sedate activity, try your luck at panning for gold at the water's edge!

Accommodation: Murchison - 1 night

Approximate Distance: 182 kms | 113 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 47 mins

Accommodation:
The Lodge offers quality B&B accommodation with character. Enjoy warm and relaxed hospitality; a comfortable bed and a hearty breakfast before exploring Murchison and the surrounding countryside. The warm and welcoming timber Lodge is set on four quiet acres of mature wooded gardens and paddocks. Surrounded by mountains and bordering the Buller River it feels miles from anywhere but a five minutes walk will have you in "down town"
Murchison Lodge

12

Franz Josef Glacier via the Wild West Coast

The windswept West Coast of the South Island is rugged, remote and full of fascinating places to check out during your journey to Franz Josef.

Be sure to stop and marvel at the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki - these incredible rock stacks have formed over 30 million years, beaten into shape by the strong winds and waves here.

Keep your camera close by as you pass rainforest-covered mountains and craggy coastlines, gold-rush towns and luscious lakes.

Nestled in a rainforest clearing, Franz Josef Glacier Village lies at the heart of the Westland National Park. Welcome to one of the most diverse and beautiful areas of New Zealand.

Tonight: Relax, unwind and soak in the Glacier Hot Pools 

Approximate Distance: 335 kms | 208 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 19 mins

Accommodation: Franz Josef - 2 Nights

Te Waonui is the only luxury property of its kind in the area. The retreat is nestled in the lush bush with views of the natural environment at almost every turn. Located in Franz Josef, the retreat offers easy access to the many natural wonders of the South West World Heritage Area. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, coastline, and native flora and fauna all lie in wait at the doorstep for visitors to admire and explore.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat - Franz Josef

13

Franz Josef: Towering Glaciers and Ancient Rainforests

The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast glaciers. It tumbles down from the Southern Alps almost to the sea, its ancient icy faces contrasting spectacularly with the surrounding rainforests.

There are many different ways to admire the glacier. You can walk to the terminal face, get a birds eye view with a scenic helicopter flight, or take an exhilarating Heli Hike up to the bluest ice.

Whatever you choose, get ready to experience the most spectacular glacier environment anywhere in the world.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

   Glacier Hot Pools       Glacier Scenic Flight

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face    Glacier Heli-hike

 


14

Franz Josef to Wanaka: Splendour of the Southern Alps

The drive from Franz Josef to Wanaka is one of the most scenic in New Zealand, as the windswept West Coast gives way to ancient forests and mountain passes.

Behind the Gates of Haast is a lost world so spectacular and remote that UNESCO designated it a World Heritage area. There's beauty around every bend, with woodland walks and dramatic waterfalls along the way - perfect for picnic stops.

After this breathtaking drive you will arrive in the lakeside town of Wanaka, where you will stay for the next two nights.

Approximate Distance: 285 kms | 177 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Accommodation: Wanaka - 2 Nights

Tin Tub Luxury Lodge is situated on a stunning lake hosting mountain views in a simply spectacular Lake Wanaka location. The lodge gracefully sits in a garden setting on the hills overlooking the lake and mountains yet only a few minutes from Wanaka Township. Perfect for all seasons with its solar heated swimming pool, sauna, hot tubs (in the Lodge rooms), a gym and a drying room for the avid skier.
Tin Tub Luxury Lodge Lake Wanaka.

15

Mt Aspiring National Park: A Backcountry Adventure To Remember

An amazing adventure-packed experience is waiting for you today!

Scenic Flight, Hike and Wilderness Jet Boat 

Firstly a scenic flight takes you soaring high above Mt Aspiring National Park. With mountain lakes and glaciers, snowcapped mountains and waterfalls far below, this breathtaking birds-eye view is only the beginning.

Landing in a remote valley, you'll get a real taste of the New Zealand wilderness as you hike across the tussock plains and native forests with the mountain views all around you.

Hike through the wilderness to arrive at a river: a jet boat will be waiting to speed you home along a crystal clear glacial river. You have earned your comfortable bed tonight!


16

Doubtful Sound: Sleep Among The Fiords

Travel onwards to Queenstown and drop off the car - your driving is done and it's time to let somebody else take care of it while you relax on a luxury coach.

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Transfer to Manapouri this morning for a very special overnight cruise in one of New Zealand's most remote and beautiful wilderness areas: Doubtful Sound.

Arriving at Deep Cove, board your overnight cruise vessel for a leisurely exploration of Doubtful Sound. Enjoy stunning views of waterfalls, abundant wildlife, rainforest and mountains with detailed commentary from the on-board nature guide.

With kayaking and coastline excursions available you can immerse yourselves in these magical surroundings before you anchor overnight in one of Doubtful Sound’s hidden arms. Enjoy a delicious three course meal in the saloon before curling up in your comfortable ensuite cabin, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


Approximate Distance: 69 kms | 43 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 13 mins

Accommodation: Fiordland Navigator Doubtful Sound - 1 night

The Fiordland Navigator is a purpose built vessel designed and perfectly suited to cruising and staying overnight in the remote Doubtful Sound. The Navigator has spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge and also carries kayaks and a tender craft onboard - at your disposal. As well as having comfortable accommodation.

Fiordland Overnight Experience

17

Queenstown - Adventure Capital

After a hearty breakfast, cruise back to Deep Cove. Try to spot bottle nose dolphins patrolling the fiord, or New Zealand Fur Seals basking on sun-warmed rocks. You may even catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.

After stepping ashore, it's time to return to the "Jewel of the South": Queenstown.

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 nights

Accommodation:

Wake up every morning with New Zealand’s wilderness right out your window, Azur Lodge is set on a hillside with the majestic mountains and lake right in front of you. Each of the 9 contemporary private villas offer excellent alpine views with your own spa bath and spacious deck. The concierge experience is excellent, airport transfers are included along with predinner canapes and drinks and a sumptuous breakfast served daily.

Azur Lodge

18

Jetboat Wilderness Adventure and hot pools

Journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park, where myth, heritage, and fantasy come to life. As one of Queenstown’s most exhilarating activities, our Wilderness Jet, half-day adventure takes you on a spectacular journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mount Aspiring National Park.

You’ll experience a unique combination of breath-taking scenery and an exhilarating ride as we follow the braided, glacier-fed rivers by jet boat with exciting 360 degree spins along the way. Your guides give you their authentic touch, talking about the area’s rich history, the Greenstone trail and countless Maori legends. We’ll also take the chance to tie up the boat and let you walk amongst the ancient beech tree forests – an atmosphere you may recognize from The Lord of the Rings films. It’s a complete Queenstown to Glenorchy experience in an untouched natural wonderland.

This evening soak in the outdoor hot tubs at Queenstown's Onsen. Soak and relax in nature. 


19

Bon Voyage

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We know you will enjoy our 'Wild' Romance Itinerary and our promise to you is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.


Profile picture for user Jess
What Jess says about this tour: An itinerary filled with secret wilderness hideaways that will take your breath away, including a sumptuous luxury cave with its own private beach! You'll love visiting lesser-known gems such as Golden Bay remote Mt Nicholas Station as much as this iconic Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier and Abel Tasman National Park - this honeymoon itinerary delivers the best of Wild New Zealand. Please take me with you!
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