Your wedding day is quite possibly the most special and exciting day of your life. You get to lock in forever with your loved one, eat all the food, drink all the wine and dance the night away with an assortment of your favourite people. Honeymoons, however, are the icing on the cake and New Zealand just so happens to be one of the best honeymoon-ing spots in the world.
There’s a New Zealand honeymoon destination for every couple. Whether you’re looking to hide away in a snug yet sophisticated cabin, kick start married life with a shot of adrenaline or get a true taste of what Aotearoa has to offer, we’ve found 11 of the best honeymoon spots in New Zealand. Let the long lasting love begin!
Start your marriage with a bang in New Zealand’s capital of adrenaline and adventure. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like booking your new hubby or wife in for a bungy jump off a bridge into a river. Luckily, Queenstown is the kinda place you can go from jet boating in the morning to swanky feasts at lunchtime and scenic hot tubs by sundown. For the best hotel in Queenstown, look no further than The Spire, a five-star luxury boutique hotel tucked down a quiet lane. Of course, if the budget allows it, it would be rude not to stay at its sister hotel Eichardt’s (pictured above) where you will be treated like royalty. In terms of food, do not (we repeat: do not) leave without a visit to Fergburger. They’re called the best burgers in the world for a reason.
Consider yourself city peeps at heart? To Wellington you go! Our capital city is a complete hub of cool with epic eateries, hip bars, coffee, craft beer, sights, art...no joke, it really is a gem. Base yourself at the quirky QT Wellington (even Scar Jo stayed there when she was filming a movie) and explore all that the city has to offer. Walk up Mount Victoria, visit breweries, chocolateries and coffee roasteries, take in the buzzing atmosphere of Cuba Street, hit up a rooftop bar and pop into New Zealand’s national museum aka Te Papa. Uh huh, Wellington is one of the best places to honeymoon in New Zealand. Want to add a bit of nature into the mix? When we say nature, we mean wine. Visit Martinborough for cycling amongst the vines or to the Wairarapa for a lookout to Castlepoint Lighthouse.
Bay of Islands
First things first, the Bay of Islands is beautiful. The lovely town of Russell combines everything we adore about New Zealand—food, views, beaches, history and great people, but if you’re wanting a luxury sanctuary, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs will do the trick. Situated in Matauri Bay, Kauri Cliffs is basically meant for honeymooners. Their honeymoon package includes a bottle of New Zealand bubbly, private dining, spa treatments and a romantic turndown (reow). If that wasn’t enough, there’s tennis courts, three private swimming beaches and unrivalled views of the Pacific Ocean. Don’t think, just book it—it’s one of the best honeymoon lodges in New Zealand. Or if you really want to splash out, make like a celeb and book yourself in for a stay at the Eagles Nest—the exclusive clifftop retreat in Russell that's hosted some seriously big stars over the years and was even used as a location for the final rose ceremony in one series of the American Bachelor.
What could be more romantic than spending your first few days as a married couple exploring the stunning natural beauty of the South Island? And with its rolling pastures, winding rivers and next-level mountain ranges, Otago's a pretty good place to start (you'll see we've covered Queenstown above). Work your way through the area's many world-class wineries—pedal the picturesque Otago Central Rail Trail—trek through the famous Otago hills on horseback—or simply while away your days in some seriously luxe accom, a la The Lindis. If bathing beneath star-filled skies in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains sounds like like your kinda thing (um, yes!), then this is definitely 'the one.'
This wine-makin’ region at the tip of the South Island is all sorts of stunning. In fact, Marlborough produces a whopping 75% of New Zealand’s vino (yes way, rosé) and is home to some of the best vineyards in the country. If you’re a self-proclaimed wine-o then this is the honeymoon spot for you.
Settle into the luxury Marlborough Lodge and prepare yourself for a sun-soaked, wine-fuelled honeymoon. Cycle your way through the Marlborough Wine Trail, cruising around cellar doors, restaurants, arty places and scenic spots along the way or, take the less physical route with a gourmet wine and food tour. Better yet, take things to the sea with Seafood Odyssea Cruises and experience the best of Queen Charlotte Sound.
Don’t leave without checking out Auntsfield Estate, Marlborough’s first vineyard and winery dating back to 1873. You and your wine-loving boo will be in paradise.
Ah, Waiheke, you’re perfect for every occasion. From weddings to honeymoons and even weekend getaways, Waiheke is one heck of an island. For honeymooners, The Boatshed is a particularly gorgeous pozzy. With classic meets luxe bach vibes, private decks and open fires, it’s an ideal place to set up camp and explore the island. Waiheke itself is a slice of New Zealand magic. We’re talking wine (obvs), beaut beaches, epic restaurants, zip lining, history, art...and that’s just the start of it. If you’re in the market for stunning food and even better views, you’re quite literally spoilt for choice. Mudbrick, Poderi Crisci, Casita Miro, The Oyster Inn (you can stay there, too!) and Tantalus Estate are all excellent options. Yep, it really is one of the best honeymoon spots in New Zealand.
Yet another top-notch wine region is the Hawke’s Bay. Even if you’re not into vino, this part of New Zealand is incredible for honeymoons. Escape to the remote luxury haven of The Farm At Cape Kidnappers and get ready for your jaw to drop. This boutique hotel sits atop 6,000 acres of farmland and offers uninterrupted views of the mighty ocean below. The suites belong on a Pinterest board (there’s even a heated infinity pool) and the food made from locally sourced ingredients is sublime. The best bit? They’ve got a package for newlyweds. Pro tip: visit Elephant Hill winery—it’s one of the best in the region.
There's a lot to love about the Central Plateau, especially if you're the kind of couple who like to indulge in a lil' adventure. Grab your walking gear and check out what's considered by many to be the country's best day hike (the Tongariro Alpine Crossing)—take a heart-stopping ride on the famous Hukafalls Jet—or if the season allows, hit the slopes at National Park. Return to more traditional honeymoon activities in the evening by staying at one of the area's many luxurious hotels, including the ever-elegant Chateau Tongariro, or perhaps the Hilton Lake Taupo.
This relaxed surfy town is just under two hours' drive from Auckland and is THE honeymoon spot for laidback couples looking to take it easy and be one with Mother Nature. Stay at Solscape in an ‘Earth Dome’ with a dreamy skylight or in their magical ‘Tipi Forest’. The tipis are beautiful but basic so if you’re not into swanky accom, these are for you. There’s a pizza oven so you can feast under the stars and plenty of surf breaks, cafes and some of the best coffee in New Zealand. If you want to go all out in Raglan, consider staying at The Glass House with its sweeping coastal views, an infinity pool and luxury design. If you’re looking for a place to say ‘I do’—The Glasshouse also allows weddings for up to 120 guests so you can have your special day, and then relax into the evening with your nearest and dearest.
A honeymoon with beachy vibes? Coromandel Peninsula won’t let you down. With a wealth of pristine beaches, gorgeous accom and a whole lot of tranquility, it’s the best place to hire a car and explore. The 970 Lonely Bay Lodge is just 200 metres from Cooks Beach an oozes luxury. There’s a library with a fireplace, native bush and ocean views, and everything you need for one of the best honeymoons in New Zealand. Be sure to check out Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach where you can D.Y.O (dig your own) natural hot pool in the sand.
Now we know a city 'moon isn't for everyone, but for those who love the hustle, bustle and bright lights of city life, a stay in Auckland City could be just the ticket. Apart from the fact that there's quite literally a gazillion things for you and your beloved to do in wider Auckland (beautiful beaches, dreamy wineries and island day trips to name a few), the very heart of Jafa-land is also home to an unrivalled number of bars and restaurants, as well as some rather amazing hotels—including a couple of cool new kids on the block like The Hotel Britomart (New Zealand's first-ever Five Green Star hotel) and the boutique and sumptuous Convent Hotel or Hotel Fitzroy.
Image credit: Eichardt's Private Hotel, Wellington NZ, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Lindis, Marlborough Lodge, The Boatshed, The Farm At Cape Kidnappers, Chateau Tongariro, The Glasshouse, 970 Lonely Bay Lodge, Convent Hotel.