Thank you from David & Adrea Benkoff

Dear Karen,

We traveled to Australia anAdrea Benkoffd New Zealand for 3 ½ weeks on a spectacular tour tailored to our tastes. We hopscotched around Australia from Sydney to Cairns, Ayers Rock to Kangaroo Island. Every stop included personalized tours, wonderful people and terrific wildlife experiences. We even spent a day in Barossa wine country sampling from four wineries.

The scenery in New Zealand was picture postcard perfect. The expDavid Benkofferiences that Karen provided in Arthur’s Pass, Queenstown and Doubtful Sound highlighted the natural beauty and provided exciting activities such as a Jet Boat Ride, overnight cruise and sheep shearing. We toured with an Aboriginal and Maori guide and experienced their lifestyle first hand.

Whether we had a private tour or joined with others, all the selected tour guides were personable, knowledgeable, and genuinely enjoyable to spend time with.

Australia 2000 made this the adventure of a lifetime.

Thanks, Adrea and David Benkoff

New Zealand Luxury Accommodation

Whether you seek a romantic hideaway or a simply relish time to rejuvenate and unwind, our favorite luxury lodges of the South Island of New Zealand are the optimal place to rediscover life’s pleasures.

Otahuna Lodge NZ

Photo Credit RalphJB

Acclaimed to be “New Zealand at its finest”, Otahuna Lodge, located at the head of a secluded valley on New Zealand’s South Island, is a place of replenishment and refinement. Where prestigious luxury accommodation meets exemplary service and cuisine in the context of an elegant, historic country estate and guests receive the warmest welcome and indulge wholeheartedly in the sense of occasion presented by lavish surroundings.

The exclusive country estate offers 5 suites and 2 master suites. Each retaining architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All luxury suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon’s of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.

Gourmet breakfast is served daily and each evening guests enjoy a 5-course degustation dinner with wine pairings to accompany each course and pre-dinner drinks with canapés.

This exclusive lodge has been featured in dozens of magazines including British society’s Tatler “101 Best Hotels” and most recently in Gourmet Traveller and Luxury Travel Advisor August.

Blanket Bay Lodge

Nestled under the peaks of the Southern Alps and situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Blanket Bay Lodge, is found at  latitude 44 degrees.   With all the flair and sophistication of the world’s finest alpine lodges, Blanket Bay it is a haven of peace and tranquility reserved for the most fortunate of travelers.  Every evening celebrates a luxurious adventure, where guests join together for pre-dinner drinks, before gathering in the dining area for an exceptional meal with newfound friends.

While at the lodge there are many opportunities to participate in activities or can choose to simply soak up the sheer beauty of this spectacular area.  Guests enjoy horseback riding, curling up on the porch with a good book or for those that are keen explorers, a variety of trails originating at the lodges doorstep can be recommended by the hosts.  Others seeking an adrenaline rush may care to venture out to join in the many thrill seeking activities offered in Queenstown, known as the “Adventure Capital of the World”.

For those with a heart for the environment, discover wild nature in the most spectacular mountain setting at Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge. This luxury eco lodge was built in 1996 into a natural forest clearing and has been designed with conservation in mind.

Set on a 2,400 hectacre nature reserve, the lodge and working merino sheep farm is surrounded by 200 hectares of native beech forest, tussock grasslands and a small lake. Guests are invited to explore the surrounding mountains, forests, river and offer organized activities including the very popular trout fishing and guided tours by owner, ecologist and conservationist, Gerry McSweeny.

Guests enjoy out of this world gourmet breakfast cooked to order prepared by specialty chefs and come back together at the end of the day to indulge in superb dinner selections and fine wine against the backdrop of the Arthurs Pass Wilderness Park mountain range.

New Zealand Adventure Vacations

CNN features New Zealand on its Destination Adventure series as a “thrill seekers” destination for the explorer at heart.
A country of dramatically diverse environments, New Zealand offers an array of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
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New Zealand’s remarkably varied landscape includes beaches, mountains, fjords, glaciers and rain forests, making it one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.  The small country consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, each boasting a surprising variety of natural wonders as well as urban centers.  read more

Yes, it’s true, New Zealand is a place that will satisfy even the most thrill seeking adventurers’ adrenaline rush; however it is also the perfect destination for anyone who appreciates natural beauty set amongst a stunning variety of landforms such as rugged mountains, spectacular fiords, glaciers that cut through the mountains, subtropical forest, bubbling mud pools, and miles of coastline dotted with sandy beaches.

Originally named “Aotearoa” by the Polynesian settlers, which means the Land of the Long White Cloud; New Zealand is approximately the same size as Japan and yet is compact enough that one can sample a wide range of diverse land masses in a single trip or even a single day.

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14 Day Classic New Zealand Discovery Tour

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch. Private City Tour of Christchurch
Day 2 Private Tour to Akaroa
Day 3 TranzAlpine Express to Arthurs Pass
Day 4 At Arthurs Pass
Day 5 Private tour to Hokitika & Punakaiki
Day 6 Private Touring to Franz Josef. Light aircraft flight over the glaciers
Day 7 Private touring to Queenstown
Day 8 Dart River Lord of the Rings Tour
Day 9 At leisure in Queenstown
Day 10 Overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise
Day 11 Glowworm Caves Tour. Return to Queenstown
Day 12 Fly to Auckland. Private city tour of Auckland
Day 13 Private tour with Maori guide
Day 14 Depart New Zealand

[Read more…]