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North Island

Golfers especially are advised to head immediately north. Kauri Cliffs, on the spectacular Bay of Islands, encompasses 6,000 scenic acres of semitropical woodland overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The property has handsome cottage suites and a dramatic Pebble Beach-like golf course featuring half a dozen ...

Golfers especially are advised to head immediately north. Kauri Cliffs, on the spectacular Bay of Islands, encompasses 6,000 scenic acres of semitropical woodland overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The property has handsome cottage suites and a dramatic Pebble Beach-like golf course featuring half a dozen dizzying cliffside holes. 

Two hours southeast of the capital lies Rotorua, an otherworldly region rich with geysers, mud pools and vast calderas, as well as more traditional alpine vistas.  Fly-fishing enthusiasts will revel in the seven private trout streams and four lakes at Treetops, an eco-adventure hideaway set amid a 2,500-acre wilderness estate. 

An hour south on the willow-draped banks of the Waikato River lies the elegant Huka Lodge, perhaps our most formally attired North Island hideaway, though certainly no less welcoming. A house party mood prevails each night, with meal venues including a covered terrace, trophy room and vaulted wine cellar. 

Continue the southeastern route to Hawke’s Bay, one of the country’s premier wine-producing areas. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, which opened in the fall of 2007, features a Tom Doaks-designed golf course that has been hailed as an instant classic. Consult the property’s web site for an array of staggering photos. 

A leisurely day’s drive concludes at Wharekauhau Country Estate on the southern tip of the island, one of the most storied lodgings in the world. Set on a 5,000-acre working sheep ranch, Wharekauhau is a remarkable property that perfectly captures the pastoral spirit of old New Zealand.

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