16 of the Most Unique Places to Stay in New Zealand

January 4, 2019
Just NZ Holidays

New Zealand is a holiday destination for everyone, full of unique and inspiring places to stay! Whether it’s a luxury lodge in the country or a quirky B&B vibe, a wine-lover’s getaway or golfer’s paradise you’re looking for, there’s a place that’s just right for you. We’ve come up with a list of the North and South Island’s most unusual places to stay on your next New Zealand trip. These are the places you’ll be recommending to friends back home for years… the hidden gems! Whether you’re working with a budget big or small, we’ve got you covered!

1. The Kinloch Club Lodge (Taupo) – The Golfer’s Paradise

The Kinloch Club

Just a stone’s throw from Lake Taupo, The Kinloch Club Lodge is golf heaven. It’s an exceptional golf course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, and the accommodation is suitably luxurious, with unique interior design from some of New Zealand’s most respected interior designers. On your doorstep is a whole world of adventure, including Tongariro National Park and the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There are also short walks, fly fishing and sky diving available. What else could you need!
Price range: $$$$

2. Peppers Parehua (Martinborough) – the North Island’s Home of Pinot Noir

Peppers Parehua is the perfect overnight or weekend getaway on your Wellington visit, it’s only a one-hour drive to the quaint town of Martinborough and Peppers Parehua, but once you’re there it feels like another world! Martinborough is the heart of one of the best wine regions in New Zealand and is known for its laidback vibe and green rolling hills. It’s the perfect place to park the car for the weekend and jump on a bike for a cycling tour through the vineyards, where you’ll be treated to some of the best Pinot Noir anywhere in the world and lunches with locally-sourced lamb and seafood.
Price range: $$$

3. Makoura Lodge (Apiti) – Rustic Charm in the North Island

Kayaking

A little bit of Country

Looking for country hospitality, Kiwi style? Look no further. This is a rugged diamond in the North Island, with a laidback, welcoming atmosphere. There’s a timber-lined interior and a full bar to kick back in, and with beautiful rolling hills and a range of activities and day trips on offer there’s never a dull moment. Get into the country spirit with a 4×4 safari, explore on a horseback trek, or try your luck with the shotgun and a bit of clay bird shooting – country living at its best! Hearty meals with homegrown vegetables and locally sourced meat are served in the dining room. Pick a room, a cottage or a cabin to stay in and enjoy an authentic slice of Kiwi country hospitality!
Price range: $

4. The Honest Lawyer (Nelson) – Traditional English Style in Sunny Nelson

In sunny Nelson the Honest Lawyer is a trip back in time to old-world English hospitality! The Honest Lawyer is loved far and wide for its amazing menu featuring local produce, amazing steaks and more. The hotel is styled in traditional English fashion with a timber-lined exterior and a cosy and welcoming interior. The rooms and cottages are competitively priced, offering great views and relaxed comfort, making it a favourite stay for travellers on a budget. Summer adventures are on your doorstep as the Nelson region is famous for golden beaches, wineries and nature walks in the bush. But you may find yourself just admiring the view over the Monaco Peninsula!
Price range: $

5. Kinross Cottages (Queenstown) – Wine Lover’s Paradise

Kinross2

Kinross Cottages

Fancy visiting historic Arrowtown or beautiful Queenstown? You won’t find a better place to stay than at the cottages at Kinross! Nestled in the Gibbston Valley, the heartland for some of New Zealand’s best wines including Pinot Noir which people visit from all over the world to taste. Relax in the hot tubs while you take in the view of the Southern Alps, stock up on some of Central Otago’s finest wine and enjoy the best local food. It’s only a short drive to Queenstown and Arrowtown, and some of the South Island’s best golf courses. There’s just nowhere else like it! Be sure to book in advance for winter or summer visits as these are the peak seasons in Queenstown.
Price range: $$$

6. Furneaux Lodge (Marlborough Sounds) – The Jewel of the Sounds

Planning a journey on the Queen Charlotte Track on your next New Zealand holiday? Consider a stay at the Furneaux Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds as your home base – they call it the “Jewel of the Sounds” and it’s easy to see why! It’s a traditional country lodge with huge grounds and a native bush setting, but there’s also so much to see and do! As well as the Queen Charlotte track, there are wineries, beaches, helicopter rides and fishing trips… we recommend booking in advance for the peak Summer months of December to March. Come see what all the fuss is about in the Marlborough Sounds – we promise you won’t be disappointed!
Price range: $$$

7. French Country House (Tauranga) – Ultimate Luxury in the Bay of Plenty

French Country House

One of the most luxurious entries on this list, this large country house was built in classic French style and is one of the Bay of Plenty’s most amazing hidden gems. Sunny Tauranga and Mount Maunganui beach are just a short journey away, along with some of the region’s best shopping and restaurants. The rooms in the house are huge and offer the ultimate luxury, with bubble baths and chandeliers. There’s 40 acres of magical grounds to explore, making it the perfect romantic getaway for couples. There’s also a range of golf courses nearby, and fishing and hunting trips available. A one of a kind experience awaits you at the French Country House!
Price range: $$$$

8. Tin Tub Lodge (Wanaka) – Quirky Comfort in Central Otago

Many visitors to Wanaka claim it’s maybe the most beautiful place in the world, and we have to agree! When you’re not gawping at the mountains across the lake, you might be gazing at the stars in the crystal-clear night sky, it’s a magical place at any time of year. The Tin Tub Lodge provides the perfect quirky getaway for your Wanaka trip… as the name suggests there are hot tubs and spa baths galore, and some of them are open air, so you can admire the view night and day, whatever the weather! There’s also a tennis court on site and easy access to the great cafes and restaurants in the town, or fishing on the lake.
Price range: $$$$

9. Grand Mercure Puka Park (Pauanui Beach) – Stunning Location on the Coromandel Peninsula

puka_park

Puka Park

Perhaps the most beautiful location on the Coromandel Peninsula, the Grand Mercure Puka Park is nestled in the bush above 3km of golden sandy beaches. The Coromandel is the perfect place to organise that surfing lesson for the kids, or explore the beautiful native bush with a relaxed stroll. Back at the hotel there’s a tennis court and a huge timber deck where you can spend those long summer evenings just admiring the view over the bush. It’s a magical spot and one look at the view and you’ll soon see why people don’t want to leave!
Price range: $$$

10. Henley Hotel (Cambridge) – Country Style Close to Hamilton

Planning a trip to the geothermal pools and geysers at Rotorua? Maybe you’re booking in the Waitomo Caves and the glow worms on your next New Zealand trip? Do it in style at the Henley Hotel, it’s luxury, convenience and adventure all rolled into one. The location is super convenient, close to Hamilton and the airport, and around a one-hour drive to both Waitomo and Rotorua. The Hotel itself is spectacular – with 29 acres to explore and a dedicated movie room screening new releases and classics. This is a country style retreat without needing to drive for hours into the country – perfection!
Price range: $$$$

11. Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses (Kaikoura) – Seaside Luxury in Kaikoura

Hapuku

Jump!!

Come and see the whales in Kaikoura – one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and beloved ocean towns. Whale watching is available year-round, and you can see everything from Dolphins to Humpbacks and even Orcas! The Hapuku Lodge is the perfect luxury option for your stay in Kaikoura, with plush rooms or tree houses available to book, with the ocean on one side and mountain views behind. There’s also a sauna and swimming pool. And it’s just a short trip down to town, the beach and the many surf-breaks around Kaikoura. Locals love the fresh seafood and the crayfish (rock lobster) is famous all over the world. You won’t find better fish and chips anywhere!
Price range: $$

12. Wacky Stays (Kaikoura) – New Zealand’s Most Unique Range of Accommodation

You simply won’t find a more diverse range of accommodation anywhere in New Zealand! Wacky Stays pride themselves on delighting guests with memorable experiences during their stay, check this out for a range of accommodation options; Train Carriage, Yurt, Teepee, Horse Truck, Colonial Wagon, and Cottage! All accommodation is lovingly restored and maintained to ensure maximum comfort and a stay that you won’t ever forget! Best of all it’s all located in beautiful Kaikoura – surf’s up!
Price range: $$

13. The Portage Hotel (Marlborough Sounds) – Gateway to the Queen Charlotte Track

Overview of The Portage

The Portage is another favourite for visitors to the Queen Charlotte Track – one of New Zealand’s most famous walks, which can be done in short sections, or as a 4-day epic hike through native bushland. The Portage is the perfect place to unwind whether you’re a walker or just looking to make the most of your time in the Marlborough Sounds. There’s something for any visitor… helicopter rides, beach walks, wine tours, or fishing. Rooms and suites are well-appointed with modern comforts and there’s a great menu with local seafood in the restaurant. Experience the best of the Marlborough Sounds at the Portage!
Price range: $$$

14. Braemar Lodge (Hanmer Springs) – Mountain Retreat 90 Minutes from Christchurch

Hanmer Springs is the South Island’s most convenient mountain resort, just a 90-minute drive from Christchurch and the airport. Most famous for its natural thermal pools, it’s a winner all year round – take a skiing lesson in Winter, or a round of golf, or a horseback trek through the forests are favourite Summer activities. The Braemar Lodge is located close to town and has luxury suites and a full day-spa… meaning you might not want to leave the comfort of your hotel! If that’s not enough to convince you, a look at the menu in the dining room might just do it – the food is to die for!
Price range: $$$

15. Larnach Castle (Dunedin) – Stay at New Zealand’s Only Castle

Winter at the Larnach Castle

Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s only castle, and is only a stone’s throw from Dunedin, on the Otago Peninsula. It’s got a rich history, which you can discover with a guided tour, or a walk through the majestic gardens and flowerbeds. Accommodation is varied, with the stables offering rooms at great rates, while luxury suites are available in the Lodge. You can enjoy high tea in the castle, or take a trip down the peninsula to see the penguins and other nature attractions. The funky city of Dunedin is only a short trip, where you can take a tour of the Speight’s brewery or get a photo at the top of Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest residential street!
Price range: $$-$$$

16. Marlborough Lodge (Marlborough Sounds) – Experience the Magic of Marlborough

Ever stayed in a restored Monastery before? Didn’t think so! But don’t worry, you won’t be disturbing any monks when you stay at the Marlborough Lodge – the lodge has been restored with a luxury feel and 16 acres of beautiful grounds to explore. See why the catchphrase here is “where luxury, food and wine meet” – there’s wine tours galore to try, amazing local food to sample, or grab a kayak and go for a paddle on the waters! Why not try a unique twist on one of New Zealand’s most beloved destinations?
Price range: $$$$

Looking for something a bit different? Book a unique holiday with Relaxing Journeys.

Posted by

Vanessa Carey

Vanessa is a travel writer on a mission to explore every inch of New Zealand. Her ideal holiday would include at least one scenic flight, a bit of adventure and eating out every night! No one should cook on their holidays! Favourite NZ place to visit: Queenstown.