New Zealand is known for its unique hospitality, or manaakitanga, and has gained a reputation for being home to some of the warmest and friendliest hosts in the world. No matter where you are from, you can be sure of a welcome unlike any other once you arrive in New Zealand.
It is, therefore, no surprise that it is also home to a multitude of unique places to stay. From an olive grove by the Waiohine River to luxury cottages on an alpaca farm, to the chance to stay with an award-winning author, here are five homestays are a must-try for anyone looking to live like a local.
Embrace your inner wine connoisseur at Hans Herzog Estate.
One of New Zealand’s most treasured, artisan wineries, Hans Herzog Estate is home to over 29 varieties of grape, set in the heart of Marlborough.
Run by Hans and Therese Herzog, the vineyard was first established in 1994 when the couple moved their famous winery and Michelin star restaurant from Switzerland to Marlborough.
The perfect getaway for culinary enthusiasts, guests can not only partake in daily wine tours, but also feast on a degustation menu, crafted with the perfect wine pairings in mind. The secluded vineyard cottage also provides a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Indulge the bookworm in you with Booklovers B&B.
Jane Tolerton is a newspaper reporter turned award-winning author of various books such as Convent Girls and Sixties Chicks. Since 1999, however, she has added the title of ‘B&B lady’ to her repertoire, hosting a number of guests in her home-run Bed and Breakfast, Booklovers B&B, in Wellington.
Guests at her home can look forward to sharing conversations with her over a home-cooked breakfast, before heading out to explore the many sights in Wellington, such as Te Papa National Museum and Circa Theatre, or experiencing the Lord of the Rings walking track located right next door.
Live among alpacas at the Silverstream Alpaca Farmstay.
Visitors looking to get up close and personal with nature will definitely find what they are looking for at the Silverstream Alpaca Farmstay in North Canterbury.
Known for its elite award-winning herd of 200 alpacas chosen from the best genetic lines available in New Zealand, Australia and North America, Silverstream Alpaca Farmstay is the ideal locale for those looking for a unique stay.
Run by a couple, Kit and Cheryl, since 2000, visitors will be able to sleep in one of two luxurious self-contained farmstay cottages complete with modern amenities. The farm tour also allows visitors to touch the alpacas, take one for a walk and, of course, take photographs.
Located just 10 minutes from Christchurch International Airport and 30 minutes from the Central Business District, Silverstream Alpaca Farmstay is a great base for anyone hoping to explore the city.
Homestay in the Wairarapa.
Nestled in an olive grove by the Waiohine River is an idyllic homestay that provides an oasis from the nearby towns of Greytown and Carterton while still being close enough to be accessible to dining and shopping options.
Visitors to the homestay are treated each morning to a continental breakfast before they are invited to head out and explore on one of the bicycles available to guests. A spacious lawn makes the ideal setting for a game of cricket, football or even croquet.
Come sundown, guests can either choose to make their own pizza in a wood-fired oven or indulge in a simple three-course meal.
Embrace nature at the Abel Tasman Lodge.
Located just a stone’s throw away from the Abel Tasman National Park is the Abel Tasman Lodge, a range of spacious, private chalets that come fully equipped with all the comforts of home, making a perfect base for travellers hoping for a nature-filled vacation.
Abel Tasman boasts a variety of activities such as kayaking, eco tours, horse riding and even canyoning, ensuring something for anyone of any age. The nearby towns of Mapua and Moutere also provide a chance for visitors to soak in local culture at the various shops and restaurants.
Hospitality at the lodge is second-to-none, as hosts Jocelyn and Scott Hendry are always on hand to help with any additional ideas or questions visitors may have. In fact, the lodge was recently voted number one in New Zealand for the ‘Small Hotels’ category by TripAdvisor.