New Zealand

Chill Out With 7 Must-Dos Every Kiwi Needs To Tick Off This Winter

By Jess Willemse
16th Jun 2021

A person soaking in the outdoor hot tub at Skyscape accomodation looking out at views of Mackenzie Country

Fact; winter is actually the best time to holiday in New Zealand. Hear us out: it’s the season for cosy cocktails by the fire, ‘Gram-worthy hot tubs under the stars and mouth-watering comfort food. Honestly, what could be better? 

The team over at 100% Pure New Zealand knows what’s up when it comes to winter holidays, so we’ve partnered to bring you seven of the best undiscovered activities and holiday packages to tick off this winter. If you’re looking for a sign to book in that annual leave, this is it. 

Get Up Close With Glow Worms

Rediscover Waikato is a holiday package for adventure lovers at heart, an exhilarating excursion that sees you up close and personal with the natural wonders of the region. You’ll be treated to a twilight kayak tour of the glowworm caves, a jet boat experience and an ecological deep-dive at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. Plus, you’ll get to lay your head to rest at Hidden Lake Hotel in Cambridge, a luxury earth-conscious stay optimised to make the most of the stunning natural surroundings. Consider your next winter weekend getaway sorted. 

Indulge In Winter Wine Tasting 

It’s no secret that if you’re looking to partake in winter wine tasting, Havelock North is the place to be. This picturesque town situated in Hawkes Bay oozes refined relaxation. From the independent coffee roasteries to the boutique shopping and the tasty cuisine, we promise you won't want to leave. Book in a three-night holiday package with Porters Boutique Hotel, where you’ll also score a private wine tasting with a Sommelier at Smith & Sheth’s Heretaunga Wine Studio and a three-course seasonal dinner at Malo Restaurant. It turns out dreams really do come true. 

Seek Out Star Gazing 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know Takapō/Lake Tekapo is renowned for spectacular stargazing experiences. Home to the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve—the largest one in the Southern Hemisphere—it’s the perfect place to get amongst the rising trend of astro-tourism. To help you do just that, we suggest The Ultimate Astro Experience with the Dark Sky Project, where you’ll enjoy a mountaintop stargazing experience at a world-renowned observatory, plus an immersive multimedia exhibition detailing the science and stories of the night sky. Prepare to be amazed.

While you're at it, book in to stay at Skycape to wake up to some of the best views in the nation and soak in the luxe outdoor bathtub. 

Mount John Observatory Under A Starry Night Sky

Book In Boujee Mountain Biking 

With so much to do and discover in Rotorua, it is easy to find yourself spoilt for choice. If you have a taste for adventure but also like a touch of luxury, look no further than the 5-Star Après Bike & Stay Package. Not only does it include pristine views along tracks through Redwoods Forest, but also two nights at the Pullman Rotorua. All-inclusive, the Pullman’s Barrel & Co. have both your breakfast and dinner sorted, dishing up some of the best flavours in the region. Because comfort is key, your stay will wrap up at the Polynesian Spa with a blissful lakeside soak. 

Make Waves In Methven 

Although Methven is known as the winter sports hub of the South, located just 35 minutes from Mt Hutt ski field, there’s also plenty to discover off-piste in this relaxed alpine town. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy everything from Heliskiing to horseback riding and scenic treks at your fingertips. After a day spent exploring the wilderness, you’ll welcome a soak at the luxurious Ōpuke Thermal Pools & Spa set to open this winter. This brand new spa offers both family and adult-only hot pools, indulgent treatments, food and drink services, all set to a stunning mountain backdrop. Top off your time in Methven at The Blue Pub, a classic Kiwi pub situated right in the centre of town. Expect a roaring fire, live music, a solid selection of brews and hearty pub food to match.

Jump On The Wanderlust Express 

In search of a scenic adventure? Look no further than a trip on the TranzAlpine™ train. Making its way across the South Island, from Christchurch to Greymouth, this experience gives you front-row seats to some of New Zealand’s most jaw-dropping scenery. From plunging rivers through to dense forests and snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, a trip across the Canterbury Plains is a must-do this winter. Cosy up in your carriage, hot chocolate and sweet treat in hand, and witness all the South Island has to offer at this magical time of year—all without freezing your toes off. Now that’s a win. 

TranzAlpine passes Lake Sarah on a clear day, past snowy mountains.

Revel In Rainforest Vibes 

Escape the hustle and bustle of the work week with a refreshing getaway to Wairua Lodge in Whitianga, Coromandel. Once an artists studio, this boutique accommodation has since been transformed into a breathtaking rainforest retreat. This winter they’re offering up a pamper package where your stay will include a soak in the ‘Gram-worthy Lost Spring thermal pools, wine, nibbles, daily breakfast and a late checkout. If that doesn’t sound dreamy enough, did we mention they also have a treetop bathhouse and night sky spa pool? We’re sold.  

The Wairua Lodge Underneath The Stars

Already packing your bags? Same here. Whether you’re after a romantic retreat or uncovering otherworldly natural splendour, you can’t go wrong with these epic stays and packages, thanks to 100% Pure New Zealand

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by 100% Pure New Zealand and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. To find out more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.

Image Credit: Supplied, Miles Holden, Dark Sky Project,Desination Rotorua, Great Journeys Of NZ, The Polynesian Spa via Instagram

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