The Keys Concierge Guide to New Zealand

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The Keys Concierge Guide to New Zealand

The Keys Concierge Guide to New Zealand

09/22/2017

Kia Ora! With today being Hobbit Day we thought we’d give you the lowdown on the location that provided so many of the backdrops for the Lord of the Rings films.  New Zealand is the home to some of most stunning and diverse landscapes in the world, along with a thriving Maori culture and sprawling cities – this little country makes a big impression. So whether you’re looking for some adrenaline pumping activities, natural landmarks to explore or a coffee culture to rival even the most caffeine obsessed – this South Pacific island has it all.  Check out the Keys guide to New Zealand.

Where to Stay

Keys Lifestyle Concierge have access to some amazing deals in a wide range of hotel across the city, here are our top picks. Contact us to find out how you can enjoy huge discounts on accommodation around the world.

SKYCity Grand Hotel Auckland – An excellent five star hotel with the best views in Auckland, this is the perfect place for those looking for a touch of luxury during their stay in New Zealand. With a casino, restaurants, bars and events all on site, you never have to leave.

Millennium Grand Auckland – An excellent city centre location, this hotel offers the ideal base for exploring everything Auckland has to offer.

Best Western Plus Fino Hotel and Suites – This bright, Mediterranean hotel offers a great location in the heart of Christchurch as well as comfy and spacious rooms. You have the choice of simple, one bedroom suites all the way up to their luxurious penthouse.

Oaks Club Resort – If you’re looking for a bit more independence during your trip, these self contained apartments offer the perfect base for exploring Queenstown. With lake front views, under floor heating and slick design, they are ideal for families or groups looking for a bit of adventure.

VR Auckland City – Offering fully serviced studio, one and two bedroom apartments, this is a great option for those looking for a home away from home while in New Zealand.

What To Do

QueenstownKnown as the “Global Adventure Capital”, this city is home to almost any adrenaline activity you can think of.  Surrounded by soaring mountains and glassy lakes, you’ll never be bored when you’re here.

Milford SoundNew Zealand is known for its amazing landscapes and Milford Sound is one of the best. This beauty spot receives around half a million visitors each year, but no matter how busy it gets  the sheer size of the area makes every crowd seem small.

Rotorua With a large Maori population, this city is home to some amazing thermal baths including a spectacular spring named Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters). Give yourself time to explore here so you can enjoy the sulphuric smells and sights as well as the traditional hangi.

Bay of IslandsEnjoy the beautiful turquoise waters and scattering of islands at this big tourist draw. A popular spot for fishing, boat trips and a plethora of water sports – this is a must see for any visitors to the country.

Auckland According to its Maori name, Auckland is the city of many lovers and is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. This city has the perfect setup – framed by two harbours and located on a narrow isthmus accented by volcanoes and surrounded by lush, green farmland. Auckland really won the location lottery.

Waitomo CavesWaitomo is Maori for water (wai) and hole (tomo) and is well worth a visit, even if caves aren’t usually your thing. The Glowworm cave is almost cathedral-like and is suitable for even the most claustrophobic visitor.

Wellington New Zealand’s capital city is quirky and cool, filled with street art, funky restaurants and lively bars. And with more restaurants per square meter than New York – it’s the place to be for food lovers.

Where To Eat

Affordable

Depot – Taking local ingredients and turning them into something special, New Zealand’s favourite chef – Al Brown – has made this restaurant one of the hottest eateries in the country. Even the biggest Brussels hater will be enchanted by his special sprout recipe.

KokakoIf it’s possible, New Zealanders are even more obsessed with coffee than we are.  And, Kokako was one of the pioneers in the organic coffee game, long before it became the big trend it is today.  Stop in here for a caffeine fix to keep you going through all your exploring.

Little & FridayJust in case you’re craving some pastries to go along with all that delicious coffee, you need to make a stop in Little & Friday – home to the creamiest butter in New Zealand.

Mid- range

Baduzzi – If you’re looking for the best Italian inspired food in New Zealand, this is where you need to be. The staff here are always passionate about what they’re serving and have a great knowledge of wine too.

Blue Breeze Inn – Headed by Masterchef judge Mark Wallbank, this hip eatery does Asian dishes perfectly.  He is behind some of the country’s best restaurants and this one is no exception.

Ebisu – Housed in a former warehouse, this Japanese hot spot is as impressive for its architecture as it is its food. Giving us a modern twist on traditional Japanese dishes, this is a very popular spot.

High Class

Merediths This tasting-menu-only restaurant is the hottest spot around. Wednesday to Friday you can enjoy a five or eight course menu, Saturday is nine courses and on Tuesday they hold special ‘Dine by Donation’ nights with proceeds from their four course menu going to various charities.

The Sugar ClubAsian fusion with amazing views, this restaurant is perfect for celebrating a special occasion.  It looks out over the sparkly lights of Auckland and over the city’s beautiful harbour – so you can switch between gazing into your partner’s eyes and gazing at the view that stretches before you.

The French ClubWith stunning interior design, a private dining option and a slew of awards – you can’t go very wrong with a visit here.  Run by husband and wife team Creghan Malloy-Wright and Simon Wright, you’ll find culinary delights in sophisticated surroundings.

Drinks

Vinyl As the name suggests, this place is all about old school vibes. The walls are lined with shelf after shelf of vintage records and there’s a great selection of drinks on offer. If you want to take it up a notch, you can also book a BBQ feast for you and your friends to celebrate a special occasion.

Bellini A classy and luxurious bar with a great menu and fantastic views – this place is ideal for sophisticated drinks.  Open all day, every day, you can’t miss a chance to visit. They also offer cocktail classes if you want to take a taste of the bar home with you.

Stafford Road Wine Bar – A trendy wine bar, you can indulge your love for the drink here with their great selection of vino. Although, for a wine bar, they do have a pretty impressive beer selection too.

Insider Tips

Wi-Fi – Unfortunately, Wi-Fi in New Zealand is still very expensive and not particularly fast. If you visit McDonalds, or some of the public libraries, you’ll be able to access good Wi-Fi for free – but don’t expect to find many other places offering it during your trip.

Maori Culture – The native Maori culture is an integral part of the country and should not be missed. Around the island, there are various evening shows that display some of their cultural heritage and include dinner – the most popular ones are in Rotorua and usually cost around 120 NZD per person.

Free walking tours – If you really want to get under the skin of New Zealand’s cities, you can take part in one of the free walking tours on offer. We recommend Auckland Walking Tour in Auckland and WellyWalks Limited in Wellington.

Extreme Sports – The country is well known for its extreme sports scene and has long been the best place in the world to take part in some death defying activities. The best bungee jump is the 500ft Nevis Bungee Jump just outside Queenstown for 250 NZD, and the best place for a skydive is over Lake Taupo where you’ll be sure to have the best views imaginable as you freefall through the sky – prices range from 300 – 550 NZD depending on the height of your jump.