There’s no denying New Zealand has quite the reputation as a resort and holiday destination. The South Island hot spots of the Southern Alps, the World Heritage-listed Mount Aspiring National Park and Lake Wanaka, were not only the perfect backdrop for a GRAZIA editorial, but are also home to some seriously après hike or ski-chic activities.
Whether you feel like an on-a-whim weekend getaway with your lover, an active break in spectacular scenery or a #girlstrip, keep scrolling to find all of the things to fill your time.
Edgewater Hotel caters to all, with an alpine backdrop from its setting right on Lake Wanaka, manicured gardens and comfortably minimalist rooms. With studio rooms, luxury self-contained suites and two-bedroom apartments all a short walk to town, there’s at-home comfort free from at-home concerns. The best thing? They have a helipad, which is very handy for when you head up to Minaret Station.
Glorious Minaret Station, the setting for GRAZIA’s Soul Trader fashion shoot, really is a must-visit, either for a day or your entire stay in the south. The luxurious and intimate lodge sits spectacularly in a glacial valley accessible only by helicopter.
But this isolation does not mean you’re cut off from the finer things. With a plethora of itinerary options and individual chalets featuring private hot tubs, sheepskin carpets and turndown service, you’ll be indulged whether you’re up for relaxation or adventure.
Both Edgewater and Minaret can take out the stress of sorting your day, no matter your definition of play. There’s an impressive list of options: jet boating, mountain-biking and hiking, guided fishing trips, heli-skiing, picnics, visits to lavender farm and tours to acclaimed winners of Central Otago.
Ski season typically runs from early July through to early October and Wanaka gives you access to three very different ski areas. Everything is easy with the ski fields of Cardrona, Treble Cone and Snow Farm located within a 40-minute drive.
Treble Cone’s award-winning, on- and off-piste trails have a major reputation as some of the best in NZ, with long, quiet runs that only the spatially challenged will find problematic. Terrain caters to all degrees of experience and, with an abundance of lush powder and postcard views back over Lake Wanaka, convincing anyone to join you will be as easy as indulging in a post-run aperitif.
Or for a unique mountain experience, stay on snow at Cardrona or a backcountry hut at Snow Farm and enjoy a sunrise over the magnificent Southern Alps. For more details visit here. Prepare yourself for the trip with these ski training tips.
WINE AND DINE
Incredible New Zealand produce meets modern French gastronomy at Bistro Gentil, overlooking the lake in Wanaka. Head chef Mario Rodrigues sources seasonal ingredients from the restaurant’s kitchen garden as well as the local region, and pairs each course with New Zealand wines. The best bit? Wine lovers will discover their kitchen-device dreams in Bistro Gentil’s Enomatic wine-dispenser, which keep each bottle’s qualities intact until the very last drop: a very good metaphor for savouring your South Isle experience. Santé to that!
Should you prefer to dine on high, Minaret Station’s Mountain Kitchen provides a very exclusive experience, whether you’re already on-site or wish to fly in from Queenstown or Wanaka for lunch. The modern European and Asian-fusion menu is combined with local produce, and it’s just up to you to choose if you’d like to eat in the dining room, on the deck or in your chalet.
All travel imagery credit: Charlotte Stokes
Pack any of these chic pieces and you’ll never worry about what to wear on the South Isle.
Day-to-night luxe pyjamas: Masini and Chern, pyjama set, $249. SHOP NOW
Relaxed textile-inspired jacket: Giada Forte, jacquard coat, $1069. SHOP NOW
One for all: Needle & Thread, overalls, $540. SHOP NOW
Strong shades: Versace, sunglasses, $360. SHOP NOW
Boho booties: UGG, Shenendoah boots, $160. SHOP NOW