Photo credit: Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters / Tourism NZ
Whether or not you’re tracking how long you’ve gone holiday cold turkey, it’s no exaggeration to say a vacation is way overdue.
And though it may still be months when we can actually travel overseas, or feel that it’s practical to do so – without the burden of mandatory quarantine or having to take multiple coronavirus tests – it’s probably time to start thinking about where you might actually go, when you finally can.
Choosing a holiday destination sounds easy enough, but these are complicated times we live in! There are considerations and preferences you have now that you didn’t previously prioritise; they go beyond logistical matters such as transport routes and border access and restrictions.
The best things to do in New Zealand’s South Island
Heading to New Zealand’s North Island? Don’t miss these
You’ll be concerned with safety and hygiene protocols, the ability to minimise unnecessary contact with strangers, and whether the holiday activities and experiences can help you achieve your travel goals, just to name a few.
Should I go to New Zealand for my post-pandemic holiday?
For obvious and not so obvious reasons, New Zealand is one of the top contenders for the luxury traveller’s first post-pandemic holiday. The country has a sterling reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world and its pandemic handling is widely regarded as exemplary.
Consider the fact that New Zealand is under 10 hours by plane from Singapore. That means it’s not that long haul for both young and old to travel to and yet vastly different. The population density is significantly lower; there’s expansive outdoors to enjoy, amazing night skies to admire – it boasts the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve – and plenty of small-town vibes that we sorely miss.
After being cooped up in our tiny island-state for what seems like an eternity, wandering about a land of snow-covered peaks, fertile valleys, brilliant lakes and mighty glaciers is surely paradisiacal.
Another major factor you’ll be leaning towards New Zealand? It’s got a wealth of excellent VIP infrastructure that makes it so easy to intentionally holiday more discreetly. Think airport meet & greet, helicopter and private jet arrangements, exquisite homes away from home that are luxurious living spaces and secluded retreats for just you and your travelling companions, exclusive arrangements for holiday experiences or at tourist attractions, and more.
So, what would a post-pandemic holiday to this island-country in the Southern Hemisphere look like? Take a peek at some luxury travel experiences you can look forward to in New Zealand’s South Island – soon enough.
Nestled in Queenstown Hill, the Casata offers stunning panoramas of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.
Photo credit: Touch of Spice
Bond with your loved ones in luxury retreats and private villas
The South Island has no lack of luxurious accommodation that are architecturally stunning, thoughtfully furnished and boast exclusivity. Oftentimes, these accommodation options let us spend quality time with our family and friends, and elevate our holiday experience.
There are plenty of luxury lodges and holiday homes to suit different group sizes, room or bedding preferences, budgets and isolation inclinations. Your post-pandemic holiday options in South Island include the four-chalet Minaret Station Alpine Lodge, accessible only via helicopter, and the Cascata, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows in all four bedrooms, a 10-seater spa, and Queenstown’s only residential roof-top terrace.
Immerse in the beauty of Milford Sound and its surrounds via car, boat and helicopter.
Photo credit: Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters / Tourism NZ
See stunning Milford Sound and its surrounds without compromise
One of New Zealand’s top attractions, Milford Sound is famed for its ethereal beauty and alluring aura. Rain or shine, this fiord captivates visitors with its host of towering cliffs, gushing waterfalls and precious wildlife.
A typical visit to this Fiordland National Park jewel would mean a full-day drive-cruise tour or a half-day heli-cruise option. Which is a pity, really, because both the drive and the fly routes are mesmerising in their own right.
The logical conclusion, then, is to shun the typical tours out there so your Milford Sound experience won’t be compromised. Weather-permitting, you’ll find it most rewarding to arrive Milford Sound via private car, enjoy a leisurely cruise and then cap it off with a helicopter adventure that includes a remote glacier or alpine landing and breathtaking vistas.
The family-owned Amisfield in Central Otago is a picture of beauty and tranquillity.
Photo credit: Amisfield
Enjoy a VIP wine-tasting at a lakefront single-estate winery
It’s not that often you get to enjoy excellent vintages, an intimate cellar door experience and magnificent landscape – all at once. And when you really do, it can be one of your most memorable winery stops ever.
The picturesque Amisfield is where the viticultural stars align. Situated by Lake Hayes in Central Otago beneath the glacially sculptured Pisa mountains, the single-estate winery specialising in Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines is a picture of beauty and tranquillity. It boasts the 2018 NZ Young Winemaker of the Year in Greg Lane, its expert crafter, and its bistro kitchen also has an excellent reputation.
Amisfield’s focus on sustainability has also resulted in New Zealand’s first wetland winery system; here, wastewater is passed through aquatic plants before being irrigated onto the vineyard belts. This not only minimised environmental impact but also enhanced biodiversity.
We’ll give you another reason to visit. In 2021, Amisfield will mark an important milestone with the launch of its first vintage produced from 100% organic grapes. The journey that started back in 2013 has come to fruition.
Stargaze leisurely on a floating hammock in Tekapo Springs.
Photo credit: Tekapo Star Gazing
Stargaze on a floating hammock in a hot pool
If your eyes can’t help but be drawn upwards as you travel through central South Island, that’s perfectly normal. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is, after all, the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest of its kind in the world. This makes stargazing in this region an absolutely enchanting and rewarding experience.
The University of Canterbury Mount John Observatory, with six telescopes, is where many keen stargazers flock to for outstanding tours and views. But if you’re seeking an additional or perhaps a more unusual means of appreciating the constellations, opt for the Tekapo Star Gazing experience at Tekapo Springs.
Over 2 hours, you’ll learn about the southern night sky and come away with a greater understanding of astronomy and associated ancestral legends. You’ll start off on a guided tour with the chance to explore the planets galaxies and stars using telescopes in fine weather and then admire the skies on a floating hammock in the heated pool of alpine spring water.
There are plenty of reasons for a post-pandemic holiday in South Island. Get started on your customised holiday to New Zealand today. Or, let one of our luxury bespoke holiday specialists recommend you where to go for leisure travel in the coming months.