New Zealand is just beginning its winter season, and spring always comes during our fall. The seasons are reversed to ours in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring is my favorite time to go to New Zealand, as the air is wonderful, still cool, but everything is budding and blooming. AND the baby animals are arriving. Seals, penguins, and, of course, lambs. All are so cute and this is the best time, in my view, to visit.
Now is the time to begin planning for a trip to New Zealand. Each lodge or hotel in New Zealand is very special. As you know, I specialize in unique locations, accommodations, and experiences. I love to connect travelers with the best in local guides, hosts, and original peoples. It is all part of experiencing a destination.
One very special place is Otahuna Lodge.
Otahuna Lodge is nestled in the hills and pastures just south of Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. Built by Sir Heaton Rhodes and his wife, Lady Jesse Cooper Rhodes in 1895, Otahuna has been fully restored to its original splendor by its present owners.
Otahuna sits on a hill with views of the large garden area surrounding the home and across the plains to the Southern Alps.
The staff of Otahuna invite you to stay in style of Sir and Lady Rhodes.
With seven artistically styled suites to choose from, you cannot go wrong with your choice. Each is unique and offers a crackling fire place for cool nights. Idea! Come stay during our summer, for a winter treat in the Southern Hemisphere. While being winter there are lovely walks and so many other things to do like skiing! Then a great fire in the evening.
The largest suites are the Rhodes Suite and the Verandah Suite.
The Rhodes Suite is actually a series of four rooms. My secret room was the octagonal sitting area, just off the bedroom, where I could sit and read or have dinner, definitely a thing to do with your loved one, or just look out to the gardens. The showing wood and darker accents gives this suite a cozy atmosphere.
The Verandah Suite, by contrast has lighter colors with four doors from the suite opening onto the front verandah with sweeping views of the estate and gardens. Secret: Have the fire started and just before bed have a warm bath where you can hear the crackle of the fireplace. This is even suggested by the staff! It is a wonderful experience.
The other five suites all have different personalities and locations in the house. Hint: Have a look at the Garret Suite the highest suite in the home. Complete with views of the tree tops and across to the mountains. This is the sports person’s hideaway. The staff call this suite, the luxury attic! 🙂
While you will be tempted to never leave the estate, once you take breakfast here you will want to stay forever. Breakfast is served in your suite or in the warm kitchen.
I recommend at least two mornings having breakfast here as you can meet the chefs of the estate and learn so much about the meals for the day and the thought and process behind creating them for the guests. The breakfast selection is diverse and fresh. The estate provides much of its produce and products with the rest from other parts of New Zealand. The freshly made muesli was just amazing! But then I also had eggs and bacon! Well…I did walk it off during my hikes! 😉
When traveling no excuses are necessary!
What activities are there to get you out of the house?
1.) You have to tour the property! It is a diverse nurturing and growing land. You can also take a trip to the local pub!
2.) Hiking and biking the area. It can be all set up for you, with contingencies if you get tired.
3.) Visiting the area vineyards. This is the very popular Waipara wine district, most known for the Pinot Noirs wines. Waipara is Maori for “muddy waters” which is the glacial silt that comes down from the mountains in the area’s rivers. Speak to the staff about their favorite wines.
SIDE BAR: The dining at Otahuna is superb…and with the accompanying wine, past sublime. Each course is paired with the perfect wine. If…and its a big IF, you disagree with the choice, suggest the one that you think would be best and watch the discussion begin!
4.) Arthur’s Pass: Otahuna’s description of this day is the best: “Embark on one of the world’s greatest train journeys, the TranzAlpine, which traverses the South Island’s majestic landscapes. Your guide will collect you from Otahuna at 8:00 AM and drive you to nearby Rolleston Station. You will then experience the most scenic part of the rail journey as the train climbs into the heart of the Southern Alps, winding its way along the bright blue Waimakariri River and through dramatic alpine valleys before arriving at Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Here, your guide will meet you for a hike in moss-laden forests teeming with glacial streams and waterfalls, followed by a café lunch or picnic. You might even meet a Kea, the world’s only alpine parrot. On your return via road to Otahuna, you may wish to stop at the monolithic limestone outcroppings of Castle Hill, one of the primary film locations from The Chronicles of Narnia.”
5.) Cooking Class: Whether you are a beginner or a true chef, take a class here to learn the wonders of New Zealand and Otahuna chef’s secrets to amazing dishes and cuisine. It is fun, educational, and creative!
Otahuna Lodge is very special and a great place to begin or end your experience of the South Island of New Zealand.
Contact us to begin planning: 888-294-3598. Cheers!