Was it definitely worth the trip?
On my last visit to New Zealand in 2013, I believed the country was beautiful, but perhaps not exciting. In 2022, the serene fantastic thing about New Zealand seemed not bizarre but revealing. I’ll take salmon sashimi or whatever excuse I can muster to experience a spot like this.
If you go:
Flights from the United States and most other countries land in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city on the North Island. From Auckland, the flight takes 1 hour and 25 minutes to Marlborough Airport, the northern gateway to the South Island. After the trip, I flew out from Queenstown within the south of the country, the middle of adventure tourism.
map, in Lyttleton, near Christchurch, has only six seats, including one for dinner, so book as far prematurely as possible. A meal for one with a non-alcoholic pairing costs NZ$280 (roughly US$172); with wine is 370 New Zealand dollars.
Accommodation at Glenburn Shore Retreat, in Hapuku, north of Kaikoura, go for $429 an evening; for this you get a self contained home with a lounge, large bathroom, bedroom and backyard BBQ, in addition to stunning views of the ocean and mountains.
Wines from the Black Estate, within the Waipara Valley, has a wonderful restaurant and produces a few of one of the best wines in the world. A multi-course meal with wine costs about $120. The estate also offers wine tastings and rents an apartment for $395 an evening.
in Christchurch, George’s hotel, opposite Hagley Park, is what every city needs: a cushty, hyperlocal, luxury hotel with meticulous service. Room rates start at $428 per night.
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