If the summer holidays are already fading from memory and you’re wondering where to head for the mid-term break, don’t miss boutique travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith’s three memorable New Zealand escapes, which showcase this gorgeous island country at its naturalistic best. Kiwi country offers everything from great lakes for cool reflection to bungy japes for adrenaline-fuelled moments to take the family’s breath away…
Style Spa-studded lodge
Setting Ocean-view farmland
Explore 6,000 acres of pastureland on foot, quad bike or 4WD at this dramatic Pacific getaway on the North Island overlooking Hawke’s Bay, where top-notch golfing and whisper-quiet spa-ing await.
Sleeping Set in guest cottages away from the main lodge for added privacy – no need to worry about the kids disturbing the neighbours – two of the Hilltop Suites come with the option of an interconnecting second smaller Hilltop Room bedroom, or the more spacious Owners Cottage with four suites and a private jacuzzi. Cots are free, and kids under five can stay in an adult’s room without charge, when using existing bedding.
Activities Kids can ride pillion on a quad bike, go on a tour of the working sheep and cattle farm, or splash about in the large outdoor pool, while adults tee off at the resort’s cliff-side par 71 championship golf course then soothe aching muscles with a Sports Massage in the spa.
Feasting Children are welcome in the main dining room, where you and the brood can dig into sandwiches and the resort’s legendary choc-chip cookies for lunch and sample local ingredients such as lamb and beef with fresh veggies from the garden for dinner. Fancy a night in? A private dining room can be arranged after 7pm for families with children under 12, and staff will whip up packed lunches for picnics.
Sassy Savings Book with Smith to enjoy the Family Heaven Lifestyle Package which includes breakfast, dinner, two nights’ accommodation in a Hilltop Suite with interconnecting second bedroom, daily pre-dinner drinks and canapés, some babysitting, a parents’ 80-minute spa treatment, kids’ mini manicure, pedicure or facial or an introductory junior golf lesson and other perks. Offer ends 31 March 2014.
Style Alpine elegance
Setting Shores of Lake Wakatipu
Situated less than 10 minutes away from NZ’s adventure capital, Queenstown, for bungy, jet boating, canyoning and plenty more, this laid-back lodge delivers can’t-tear-your-eyes-away alpine and lake views for a big natural beauty of a break on the South Island.
Sleeping A roomy home-away-from-home with cosy fireplaces, walk-in wardrobes and private porches, this bijoux lodge has 11 rooms, 10 of which are suites. Kids under five stay for free in existing beds. Extra beds for older children cost NZ$500–NZ$525 (plus tax) a night. Baby cots are free for infants up to two years old and babysitting is also available.
Activities Older kids will adore the adrenaline-fuelled action – there are more than 200 activities on offer – at Queenstown while little ’uns can revel in a ride across Lake Wakatipu on steamer TSS Earnslaw. The whole family can head to former gold mining settlement Arrowtown (a 30-minute drive away) and step back in time to experience the magic of the gold rush era by panning for gold, going on a bike tour or simply soaking up the atmos of this historic settlement.
Feasting Head to the Dining Room for hearty fare such as Hereford beef and locally caught seafood. Don’t want to leave the gorgeous vistas? Arrange for nosh to be brought to your suite patio. Staff can also arrange for dinner down on the jetty at sunset before you tuck the kids into bed.
Sassy Savings: Book with Smith to enjoy the Dinner, Spa and Babysitting Package which includes two nights’ accommodation in a Deluxe Suite with interconnecting second bedroom, daily pre-dinner drinks and canapés, a gourmet dinner and full breakfast, some babysitting, an 80-minute spa treatment for mum and dad, and kids’ mini manicure, pedicure, facial or family pass on the TSS Earnslaw Cruise. Offer ends 31 March 2014.
Style Trad Twenties hunting lodge
Setting Banks of the Waikato
It’s all about fishing, food and the great outdoors at this heritage hunting lodge situated by New Zealand’s largest lake in the North Island. Nearby Huka Falls and Walkadao River deliver further aquatic inspiration.
Sleeping Some of the Lodge Rooms are interconnected, so are just the ticket for parents with young children. Hidden away from view, the Owner’s Cottage offers conversation-stopping views of Huka Falls and four ensuite rooms. Kids can hide out in the Den, which has a computer, TV and DVD player to keep them entertained. The hotel can supply free baby cots, or extra beds for older children in triple rooms, from NZ$635–NZ$1,115 a person a night.
Activities The kids can burn off energy with a game of tennis, petanque or croquet, and horse riding is on offer at Harakeke, a working dairy, sheep and horse farm that’s 10 minutes drive from the resort. Turn up the VIP factor with a helicopter ride before or after your equestrian experience over the Tongariro National Park, or the geothermal area of Taupo. Mums and dads can take advantage of in-room massages and beauty treatments.
Feasting: The lodge offers a children’s menu and can supply high chairs and packed lunches. Kids are allowed in Huka Lodge’s restaurant at breakfast or lunchtime only – so organise a babysitter (NZ$20/hour through the hotel) and enjoy a special dinner à deux.
Sassy Savings: Book with Smith to enjoy the Atamai Cultural Experience which includes breakfast, dinner, one three-course lunch for two, a bottle of Tohu vineyard wine, a souvenir fighting club from a memento of your day with the Ngāti Tūwharetoa people, and a visit to the village where the Maori haka (traditional dance) was born. Offer ends 31 December 2013.
Find family-friendly stays all over the worldby visiting www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326.