Peaceful, prosperous and separated from the world’s troubles by thousands of miles of ocean, New Zealand feels like a place apart. On many domestic flights, you can still walk straight onto the plane as airport security here is deemed superfluous! A country long favored by affluent Americans, New Zealand’s appeal only continues to increase.
Over the years, I have made a number of driving trips along tranquil roads through spellbinding scenery, pausing to enjoy outstanding resorts, hospitable wineries and world-class golf courses. On this occasion, the primary focus of my trip was trout fishing, and my journey took me from Taupo on North Island to Te Anau in Fiordland, at the tip of South Island. New Zealand has some of the world’s best fly-fishing, in streams of scarcely believable clarity. The trout are, on average, double the size of those in the blue-ribbon streams of the Rockies.
Most of the properties that I visited on my trip also offer activities, such as hiking, horseback riding and wine tasting, that will appeal to non-anglers. I was particularly thrilled to discover Poronui, an extraordinary sporting estate and wilderness retreat, and Edenhouse, an exemplary hideaway that provides unimprovable levels of hospitality and personal service.
This issue also contains an account of my seven-night voyage through the Hawaiian islands aboard the 36-passenger Safari Explorer. This small but comfortable vessel is able to visit unspoiled parts of the archipelago, such as Molokai, where larger cruise ships are forbidden. It also provides an ideal way to observe Hawaii’s amazing marine wildlife, and I was fortunate to have close encounters with humpback whales, sea turtles and giant manta rays. At the end of the cruise, I spent a few days of blissful relaxation at the newly renovated Hotel Wailea on Maui.