While exotic overseas holidays are a seductive option for twosomes looking for a retreat, New Zealand’s world-famous natural beauty and charm means Kiwis need not look too far away from home for a romantic weekend away.
With approximately 29,000 Airbnb listings in Aotearoa, there’s an abundance of idyllic options – from beachside haunts to homestays hidden in the bush. Here’s a six-strong selection of some of our favourite private rentals especially equipped for loved-up couples, with hands-off hosts and gorgeous scenery.
Lakefront Studio, Otago
A getaway to Queenstown should always include a spot of marvelling at the captivating landscape, which is why this lakefront pad – complete with private balcony – is picture perfect for couples and priced at $145 a night. Located on the Frankton Road, it provides a balance of calm and sightseeing, with ample opportunity to stroll by Lake Wakatipu, visit a winery, take in the view from the tip of Frankton Bay, or take a trip into town. Add to the mix unlimited Netflix; a remedial massage therapist superhost with her own clinic nearby who can book you in for a backrub; and a welcome bottle of wine on arrival (with a three-night stay or more) – those needing a well-earned and relaxing break have pretty much everything they need.
The Nest, Cable Bay
Architecture aficionados, in particular, will swoon over this remote, self-contained cottage nestled in Nelson’s coast, with a cosy mezzanine and deck for reading, wine sipping, and tide-watching. Boasting panoramic vistas of the ocean, the area is blissfully quiet (save for birdsong), without a nosy, or even noisy, neighbour in sight. In fact, with zero mobile phone coverage you can disconnect from work calls, turn off Snapchat and go cold turkey from Instagram – you can always post those lush photos as soon as you (begrudgingly) get back to reality. Bookings are for two people maximum and cost $295 a night.
Wanaka Hill Haven, Wanaka
If your idea of romance involves hitting the slopes for a ski with your significant other, then stay at this swish chalet with stunning views perched high on a hill in Wanaka. $230 a night gets you ensuite bathroom, mezzanine (for offspring or a third wheel to bed down), a separate dressing room and a dedicated area for food prep. There’s also bathtub on the deck, big enough for two to have a soak while admiring the surrounding mountains and while there are no public transport links, taxis can ferry you to and from the city if you don’t have your own car.
The Glasshouse, Whangarei
This idiosyncratically styled “Glasshouse” is well worth the $1,100-a-night splurge for holiday makers craving both luxury and seclusion – with a king size bed and private chef on hand to boot. This stylish structure with floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting on the edge of this Northland peninsula is a unique playground where visitors can swim, kayak and snorkel in the cove below. One of the other quirky architectural touches includes a separate bathroom with a retractable window – literally giving the illusion of bathing with nature. Given the isolated locale, there’s wi-fi but no cell reception and it’s only accessible by car, so driving there yourself is advised – we shudder to think how much a taxi would set you back.
The Round Tent, Raglan
Not everyone digs the ultra high-end stuff, so if you’d rather go glamping than slumber at a five-star in a four-poster, then this chic Mongolian style yurt is just the ticket. Perfect for stargazing in Waikato, this spacious tent has it all; an outdoor bath, campfire pit, cooking facilities (did someone say BBQ?), and our modern day obsession with technology has also been factored in. The site is accessed independently and while snugly sitting a rural setting, civilisation is close by with coffee shops, restaurants and stores less than a 10-minute drive away. Accommodation sleeps up to four so families are also welcome. Cost is $260 per night.
Romantic Bush Chalet, Auckland
Outdoorsy type who loves hikes and beaches? Escape to a peaceful hideaway set in over 3000sqm of bush in the suburb of Titirangi, to explore the neighbouring Waitakere ranges. Karekare Beach, where some of the coastal scenes from The Piano were filmed, and French Bay (which also has a yacht club) are easily accessible – and of course, there’s always the alluring West Auckland vineyards a short drive away for some well-deserved vino after all that tramping. The main house is close but not visible and, being one of the more modestly priced stays on the list, a night here is only $118.