A group of more than 140 isles strung across the turquoise waters of the Pacific, the Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful destinations. And here, amid rolling hills and the roar of the ocean at Matauri Bay, lies Kauri Cliffs, a Hamptons-esque lodge that devotes some of its almost 2500 hectares to a par 72 championship golf course.
Those who like to bunker down can take in much of the region’s beauty without venturing far – or cocoon themselves in the spa, where skin-soothing therapies range from 90-minute thermal-mud wraps to 60-minute manuka-honey facials. Adventurers are also rewarded here. See Kauri Cliffs from a kayak, stopping mid-journey for a picnic lunch enjoyed with matching wines; cast a line from the beach; or take a heli-tour out to Motukokako (Piercy) Island, famously known as The Hole in the Rock.
Later, cosy up in one of the 22 suites, which are paired in cottages, or the new four-bedroom Residences. Book a Deluxe Suite and watch the sun rise as you look out to the Cavalli Islands from your balcony. There’s also the Owner’s Cottage, with two bedrooms and a generous living room that opens onto a private patio with an infinity-edge swimming pool.
And when it’s time for dinner, make your way to the onsite restaurant, where chef Barry Frith draws up a menu from scratch every day, starring seasonal produce sourced from the region.
If you like Kauri Cliffs...
Consider a stay at THE FARM AT CAPE KIDNAPPERS
Set on a vast sheep and cattle farm in one of the North Island’s best wine regions, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is a rural-luxe experience – think sheep-mustering and shearing, a par 71 golf course and a spa with views out to stunning Hawke’s Bay. While most lodges have a strictly couples vibe, this one caters well to families.
Image credit: Ingalls Photo, Gary Lisbon, Aerial Vision