Luxury & Experiential New Zealand

Posted by Crooked Compass

Some travel experiences are so magical they fall into a class of their own. Where luxury is found in every element of a lovingly crafted itinerary, and where each day is filled with rare opportunities to unlock the best kept secrets of the country you are exploring. We bring this style of travel to life with our Classe collection - a suite of luxury tours that have been designed to reaffirm that every minute of your travel time is precious. From the most exquisite accommodation, to exclusive experiences that will take your breath away, our Classe range will impress and enthrall.

Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay. Photo Credit: Gary Lisbon
Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay. Photo Credit: Gary Lisbon

We are delighted to introduce New Zealand as our latest Classe destination, a country with terrain so beautiful it borders on otherworldly. From mountain panoramas that have inspired many a screensaver, through to glaciers, lakes, forests and fjords, New Zealand has been blessed with a phenomenal topography that will have your jaw dropping in wonder around every corner.

Stunning rooms at Kinloch Club
Stunning rooms at Kinloch Club

If you can drag your eyes away from the impressive horizon, you will find the rich and fascinating ancient culture of New Zealand's Indigenous Maori people, who have inhabited this land for over 1000 years. Their beliefs, customs and language form an integral part of New Zealand life. Add to that the dynamic and varied cities, unique wildlife and friendly locals, and you have a country that is a dream come true for the curious traveller. Here is a glimpse of what to expect on our New Zealand tours.

From the mountains to the sea...
From the mountains to the sea...

Rare Opportunities

The most enthralling way to learn about Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand), is from its Indigenous people, the Maori, who have a long and intriguing history, and a strong spiritual link with the water, earth and sky. We provide rare and exclusive opportunities to connect with this compelling culture including visiting the sacred Maori site of Te K?ripitanga o Tama-nui-te-Ra – the place where the stars and the sun emerge from the waters of the great Lake of Kiwa. Your guides are members of the local Waimarama Tribe and we have been granted rare permission to enter and have the privilege of experiencing this spiritual place, and sharing food with the tribe members at the end of the visit, as a custom. In the South on Stewart Island, we have the exclusive experience of learning about native and endemic flora, fauna and wildlife from Ulva, a direct descendant of the first Maori people of Stewart Island who is deeply knowledgeable and passionate about this special place.

A spectacular Maori rock carving of Ngatoroirangi on the rock face in Mine Bay
A spectacular Maori rock carving of Ngatoroirangi on the rock face in Mine Bay

Enchanting Explorations

There is a beautiful quote often attributed to poet Mary Angelou that says, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away". Our itineraries have been crafted with this in mind. Imagine kayaking through century old canyons at night, your path illuminated by thousands of glow worms that sparkle like Christmas lights as you float silently downstream. Or feeling the adrenaline-fuelled awe of being given a bird’s eye view from your helicopter of the hidden lakes and beech forests that aren't accessible any other way.

Kayaking by the illumination of glow worms - simply magical.
Kayaking by the illumination of glow worms - simply magical.

Meals to Remember

If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, then prepare to fall madly in love with New Zealand. Whether it be an exciting tasting menu at an award-winning restaurant, a gourmet picnic platter, or 5-course degustation dinner paired with wine, we take every opportunity to showcase the fresh local produce of the regions visited. In Kawakawa Bay, a morning hike will be rewarded with a sumptuous barbeque lunch including local wine, and a chance to try your hand at trout fishing. In the beautiful Hawkes Bay, you can learn to shuck your own oysters as you spend the day cycling between olive groves, orchards, and farmlands sampling cheese and wine. Of course, if cycling is not quite your style, we have you covered, with private transportation between venues and extra time to sit back and relax.

Shucking and slurping oysters straight from the ocean
Shucking and slurping oysters straight from the ocean

Exquisite Accommodation

After an exciting day of exploring, is there anything that feels quite as good as arriving at your accommodation to find it is a little slice of heaven? We know how a stunningly designed property can elevate your travel experience to the next level, and have handpicked our properties for their style, charm and luxe touches. Whether it be a luxurious cottage nestled in the vineyards, an opulent lake front estate, a beautifully appointed villa in the countryside, or a sumptuous river retreat, the accommodation on your journey will compliment it’s beautiful surroundings, and provide a stay that will be an experience in itself.

Cabot Lodge, one of the South Islands most stunning properties
Cabot Lodge, one of the South Islands most stunning properties

What are you waiting for? Make this experience yours and join our small group tours to New Zealand to explore this natural wonder in pure classe!