Location, Staycation. The Best Our Backyard Has to Offer

by Sophie

Been there, done that? Not in New Zealand, you haven’t! New Zealand has hit ‘refresh’, and with plenty more to see and do in our own backyard, what better time to free your inner wanderlust.

Walk down Oriental Parade


A busting cultural hub, there’s more than meets the eye in the capital. 

Where to stay

Pairing quintessential Wellington with the brands signature quirky luxury, the QT Wellington is your harbour side haven. Within walking distance of Te Papa Museum and Cuba Street, you are nestled between Wellington’s effervescent offerings in the heart of New Zealand’s cultural playground. From the moment you dive into one of QT’s design-driven suites, you’ll never want to leave. 

Where to eat

Hiakai – Showcasing indigenous ingredients, celebrity chef Monique Fiso challenges the status quo of Māori cuisine in New Zealand. Inspired by the land, sea and people of Aotearoa, Hiakai’s seven course experience is the waitlist you need to be on. 

Salty Pidgin – Warm and welcoming weekends begin in Brooklyn. The award-winning modern neighbourhood bistro is driven by quality local produce. Relax infront of the open-fire and browse their impressive wine list, curated by sommelier and co-owner, JP. 

Hot Sauce – Don’t feel like leaving the hotel? We don’t blame you. QT’s Hot Sauce is ideal for a lazy afternoon. Offering traditional Asian-inspired dishes with a twist, the exciting fusion menu is paired with crazy cocktails and an electric vibe – no fuss, just flavour. 

What to do

Mount Victoria – With commanding views of the hustle and bustle below, Mount Victoria makes for a great morning visit. For a bit of a workout, walk from Courtenay Place up to the summit for unbeatable views of the city and harbour. Finish via Oriental Bay in time for brunch at the QT. 

Local Loving – Want to blend in with the locals? Market hop across town to browse through hand-made ceramics and sample local produce and freshly made bread. Start your Friday night at the Wellington Night Market off Cuba Street. Have your pick of global flavours from Indonesian, Japanese, Chilean, or Korean with stalls stacked full of bite-sized options. Soak up the last of your weekend like a true Wellingtonian at the Sunday Harbourside Market. The waterfront market is a local favourite for artisan producers and local greengrocers. 

Night Cap – If you’re in the mood to kick on after dinner and fancy a cocktail, Wellington is sure to impress. Stumble upon Night Flower, tucked away on Ghuznee Street. Their wizard bartenders can whip up a drink to your flavour specifications.

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Kamana Lakehosuse


Whatever the season, spectacular vistas are where Queenstown begins.

Where to stay

Kamana Lakehouse As the highest situated hotel in Queenstown, Kamana Lakehouse offers expansive views across Lake Wakatipu and the iconic Remarkables mountain range. Located a short 5 minute’s drive from bustle of Queenstown’s center, Kamana’s paired back, modern interiors are a minimalists dream. For guests who want to explore past their room, Kamana’s exclusive hot tubs provide the ultimate private experience at the end of the day. 

Where to eat

AostaInspired by its namesake town in Northern Italy, Aosta pairs local ingredients selected from Central Otago suppliers, with classic Italian cuisine. If you’re thinking spaghetti, think again. Located in Arrowtown, the famed chef Ben Bayley comes alive behind its rustic facade. 

Bespoke KitchenA stones throw from central Queenstown, Bespoke Kitchen hits the location jackpot. Marvel over views of the Remarkables as you tuck into an extensive array of cabinet food, or pick right off the menu. 

Amisfield Bistro Situated above Lake Hayes, Amisfield Winery’s Bistro is an exploration of the season’s best local produce. The degustation menu allows you to enjoy the tastes of the region, matched with wines produced on their single vineyard estate. You’ll thank us later. 

Stay at Kamana Lakehouse
Explore Shotover River

What to do

Winery Hop – Central Otago boats some of the finest wineries in the country. Gibbston is the local winery hub, home to Chard Farm, Gibbston Valley and Peregrine Wines to list just a few. 

If you are sans sober driver or plan to taste a few, consider hopping on an all inclusive winery tour and go beyond the tasting room. 

Park Up – Wander down Queenstown’s waterfront to find Perky’s Floating Bar – the perfect way to begin the night, year round. Over looking Lake Wakatipu, Perky’s arguably has some of the best views from the bar. Relax into the evening on the top deck with a takeaway Fergburger in hand.

Treat Yourself – All good staycations must include a little bit of pampering. Treat yourself to a spa package at the renovated Onsen Spa and Hot Pools with one of their ultimate relaxation packages. Lay back and enjoy panoramic views of the shotover, before ducking away for massage.

For a smooth booking process with multiple cancellation options, book your accommodation online at booking.com. 

Hawke’s Bay

Get a pocket full of sunshine with the very best of the Bay.

Where to stay

Situated in the Havelock North, the heart of the Hawke’s Bay, Craggy Range boasts uninterrupted views of Te Mata Peak and Tukituki Valley. Immerse yourself in the vines with Craggy Range’s luxury accommodation. Housing just five lodgings, each detail is impeccably chosen to provide a home away from home.

Where to eat

Pipi’s Cafe & TruckThe iconic pink exterior is hard to miss, Pipi’s is a Hawke’s Bay institution. 

Head in to Havelock North for extraordinary pizzas and a glass of local wine. The truck makes its way round the Bay, be sure to check in for regular updates and catch them for a slice of takeaway.

Y’a Bon Drop in on route to explore Hastings, Y’a Bon will have you believing you’re in France, showcasing authentic, yet modern pastries. Wander over to adjoining cafe Cupple, run by local coffee roasters, First Hand Coffee for the perfect on-the-go snack.

Matisse Wine BarThe final course is always cheese right? Sink into Matisse Wine Bar for an evening sip, perusing their extensive wine list from around the globe. Pair your selected drop with a range of tapas, cured meats and cheese to finish the evening. 

Stay at Craggy Range
Golf at Cape Kidnappers

What to do

Building Mania – Dubbed the Art Deco Capital of the world, Napier’s architecture comes in the form of geometric motifs and boxy designs. Take a self-guided tour with the Art Deco Trust’s Walking App, enjoying the heritage at your own pace. 

Te Mata Peak See Hawke’s Bay from above, with sweeping views of the Heretaunga Plains, and views to Mount Ruapehu on a clear day. Te Mata Peak has an extensive network of tracks with varied landscapes and views for those wanting to explore by foot. If you’re not feeling too adventurous, Te Mata Park also allows cars. 

Tee Up – Looking for a spot of golf? Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays atop dramatic cliffs. Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, this course will challenge golfers or all skill levels as you explore this breathtaking, modern marvel in golf. 

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This article was originally published in the Celebration 2020/21 Editon of The Beauty Book and was brought to you by Booking.com

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