New Zealand’s 10 Most Romantic Weekend Retreats

New Zealand’s 10 Most Romantic Weekend RetreatsIf you’re in the early stages of a relationship, one way to make a lasting impression is to book a romantic weekend getaway which really packs a punch. New Zealand’s beautiful natural landscape lends itself well to romantic retreats, as does its multitude of picturesque resorts and other honeymoon-style accommodation options. Here is a guide to 10 of the most romantic weekend getaways that New Zealand has to offer!

Akaroa European Adventure

Fancy a European weekend but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars and hours and hours of time getting there? Akaroa is New Zealand’s answer to a European village and makes for a gorgeous romantic getaway. Enjoy fine dining and a slice of history against the stunning backdrop of Akaroa Harbour.

Northland Forest Moonlight Walk

Set the mood with a romantic moonlight walk in the beautiful Northland Forest with tour companies including Adventure Puketi and Footprints Waipoua. Experience the grandeur of the majestic Kauri trees, and be wowed by sightings of the iconic Kiwi bird and giant Kauri snails — both nocturnal creatures. Stay in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands and spend the rest of the weekend relaxing at the beach and fishing.

Hanmer Springs Hot Pools Marathon

Relax together in the beautiful and romantic setting that is Hanmer Springs Village. Spend a day at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa complex, which features a mix of open air and indoor private pools, all with water temperatures of 28 to 42°C. Top it off with a visit to the accompanying day-spa centre which offers a range of couples massages and spa-treatment packages.

Queenstown Adrenaline Trip

If your partner has a taste for adventure, you can’t pass up a Queenstown adrenaline trip.  A destination that is not for the faint-hearted, Queenstown offers the best in all things outdoors, including white water rafting, skiing, snowboarding and bungee jumping — because nothing says “I love you” like a tandem skydive. Another bonus is that Queenstown offers some of the best in romantic, honeymoon- style resorts, including Matakauri Lodge, Blanket Bay and The Rees.

Kaikoura Whale, Seal and Dolphin-Watching Excursions

Kaikoura Whale, Seal and Dolphin-Watching Excursions

Kaikoura offers some of the best up-close-and-personal marine life encounters in New Zealand. Take a tour on a glass-bottom boat, swim/snorkel with the dolphins or kayak with the baby seals — all perfect activities for fun loving couples. A stay in Kaikoura’s lovely hotels is the perfect end to a perfect day spent taking in nature’s beauty. In terms of how to book flights to Kaikoura, one option is to fly into to Christchurch and experience the magical two-hour coastal drive; alternatively, fly  straight in to Blenheim — just a quick 130-kilometre trip across the beautiful Wairau Plains to Kaikoura.

West Coast Glacier Magic

The West Coast glaciers, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef, are two of New Zealand’s most incredible natural attractions. Hire a guide and take a private walk/climb on one, or take in a helicopter tour of the area. There are numerous luxury lodges and cabins for hire in both the Fox Glacier and Franz Josef areas, alongside some fantastic restaurants. Best of all, Fox and Franz are two destinations that get even better in winter!

Arthurs Pass Hiking Holiday

Cozy up in the cold with an Arthurs Pass hiking holiday. Set in the heart of the Southern Alps, Arthurs Pass is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and crystal clear rivers. Book out a toasty cabin and spend your days together wandering the wilderness and your nights cuddled up by the fire with a mug of milo!

Lake Tekapo Camping Fun

Stunning Lake Tekapo and its surrounds is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful places, and a summer camping trip provides a wonderful excuse to spend time relaxing together. Enjoy kayaking, walking, eating and drinking against the beautiful backdrop of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Best of all, camping makes for a cost-effective weekend away!

Martinborough Wine Weekend

Bond over some seriously good booze with a Martinborough wine weekend. As well as producing some of the top drops in the country (try the pinot noir!) Martinborough itself is a funky place to hang out — think sophisticated rural retreat. With its exquisite food and charming accommodation options, including farm stays and country cottages, it makes for a cool couples holiday.

Marlborough Sounds Fishing Expedition

The majestic Marlborough Sounds offer some of the best fishing and boating in New Zealand, and actually make up a fifth of the entire New Zealand coastline. Stay in the gorgeous port town of Picton and sail, swim, dive and fish your way to an amazing weekend. Book in with one of the many private fishing charters, catch your fill, cook it up at your apartment and celebrate your efforts over a candlelight dinner and a bottle of Marlborough sauvignon blanc!

Dolphins Kaikoura image by Sami Keinänen (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

About the Author: Guest blogger Kate Smithers is a Christchurch-based Kiwi with a penchant for online dating and a soft spot for romance!

     

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