Lush landscapes, star-filled skies and the breathtaking beauty of some of the world’s least touched natural wonders help make New Zealand the perfect place to fall in love.
The opportunity to experience an intimate picnic atop the majestic Southern Alps, a romantic horse-ride on a wild and rugged West Coast beach, soaking tired limbs in a hot alpine spring and being cosseted by the comforts at one of New Zealand’s premier lodges is what dreams are made of.
New Zealand gives couples the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the world and embrace the beauty of nature - and each other.
Kaikoura / Marlborough - Gourmet Getaway
What to do: There is an old adage that states "the way to a mans heart is through his stomach" and there could be no better way to test this theory than with a Gourmet Getaway. The Gourmet Getaway tour begins in Kaikoura - known for its bountiful seafood, venison and fresh organic produce - and ends in Marlborough - the Sauvignon Blanc capital of New Zealand.
During the getaway, couples will experience mouth-watering dishes created by two experienced executive chefs. The food is expertly matched to some of New Zealand’s most tantalising wines from Marlborough’s Seresin Estate - purveyors of organic and biodynamic wines.
Where to stay: The four night gourmet getaway ensures accommodation is taken care of with two nights at spectacular Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses in Kaikoura and two nights at the exquisite Bay of Many Coves in the Marlborough Sounds.
Couples will literally be one with nature as they look out through the canopy of native manuka trees to the sprawling Pacific coastline and towering Kaikoura Mountains from their own Upper Branch Tree House at Hapuku Lodge. In contrast - Bay of Many Coves offers undisturbed views of world-famous Queen Charlotte Sound.
Christchurch - Bubbles and Balloons
What to do: Experience the stillness of dawn as you fly high above the unfolding New Zealand landscape in the first country in the world to see the sun.
Aoraki Balloon Safaris fly you above ancient Canterbury plains while views of the snow-capped Aoraki Mt Cook rise above. After the flight, guests can come back to earth gently as they enjoy a silver-served champagne breakfast. Balloon weddings can also be arranged.
Where to stay: If fine dining is your thing then look no further than the award-winning The George Christchurch. This luxury boutique hotel - located in the heart of the Garden City - overlooks iconic Hagley Park and the picturesque Avon River.
The George has two award-winning restaurants, 50 Bistro and Pescatore and is one of New Zealand’s most sublime contemporary dining experiences.
Tekapo - Starlight, star bright
What to Do: Get in the mood for love at Lake Tekapo’s Church of the Good Shepherd. This iconic stone church is surrounded by colourful lupins that grow on the shores of the turquoise hued lake and is the perfect setting for a wedding.
When night falls, see the southern stars reflecting in the eyes of your lover in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve - the minimal light pollution here makes it a perfect place to make a wish upon a shooting star.
Where to Stay: Surrounded by the commanding presence of the Southern Alps and sitting on the serene shores of Lake Tekapo, Peppers Bluewater Resort offers a truly romantic accommodation experience and provides a perfect base to explore Tekapo, Mt Cook and the surrounding Mackenzie District.
West Coast - Wondrous wilderness
What to do: After a day exploring Franz Josef Glacier- one of the most accessible glaciers in the world - it’s time to immerse yourself in the steaming waters of the Glacier Hot Pools.
Sheltered in lush New Zealand rainforest these hot pools have their own romantic tale to tell. According to Maori legend, the pools are fed by the tears of Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere, pining for for her lost love. The Glacier Hot Pools consist of three main pools. Secluded private pools can also be hired.
Where to stay: Just because you’re in one of the most pristine environments in the world doesn’t mean you have to forgo modern pleasures. The 5-star, Enviro Gold rated Te Waonui Retreat offers one of the most indulgent experiences to be found on the wild and rugged West Coast.
Health, rejuvenation and relaxation are the focus of this heavenly retreat, while the five-course degustation menu, featuring some of the freshest cuisine in the region, will leave you feeling blissfully fulfilled.
Queenstown - Picnic on a peak
What to do: Hailed by Lonely Planet as one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world for 2014, Queenstown offers adventure and luxury in one of the most romantic settings on the globe.
Over the Top Helicopters can take visitors on a scenic helicopter ride to a secluded location in the majestic mountains that rise above the playful town. Here couples can enjoy a private, gourmet picnic surrounded by unrivalled panoramic views.
Where to stay: After a day exploring the thrilling adventures on offer in the year-round resort town, it’s time to relax, unwind and indulge. The award-winning Matakauri Lodge, situated on the edge of the sparkling Lake Wakatipu, offers luxury accommodation with a private outlook to the lake and breathtaking views of the Remarkables mountain range and stately Cecil Peak.
Despite being a mere seven minutes from the buzzing centre of Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge makes you feel like you’re a world away.
Romantic Adventures in New Zealand's North Island
Hot spots for same-sex couples in NZ