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    The best luxury experiences in and around Ōtautahi Christchurch

    The best luxury experiences in and around Ōtautahi Christchurch

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    From lavish accommodation options to gourmet dining experiences, you will find a wealth of luxury experiences in Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region. Whether you are seeking a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled escape, you can expect an indulgent collection of holiday experiences wrapped in the unparalleled beauty and warm hospitality of New Zealand’s stunning South Island:

    1. Luxury rail journey through the Southern Alps

    TranzAlpine - Luxury rail journey through the Southern Alps

    TranzAlpine – luxury rail journey through the Southern Alps

    Treat yourself to a rail experience like no other, travelling aboard the TranzAlpine between Christchurch and the West Coast town of Hokitika. You’ll pass through some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery, crossing vast plains and braided rivers and winding through lush rainforests and rugged mountain passes as you travel from coast to coast.

    Along the way, you will be treated to a seasonal array of mouthwatering dishes that celebrate the finest produce of the Canterbury and West Coast regions. From hot-smoked South Island salmon to slow-braised spring lamb, from mouthwatering cheese platters to delectable local wines and craft beers, every ingredient is carefully chosen to elevate your experience to something totally unique.

    2. Indulgent lodge-style retreats

    The Christchurch region is home to an assortment of exquisite luxury lodge experiences, and you don’t have to travel far from the city to find them. Historic Otahuna Lodge is located only a half-hour drive from the city’s international airport, but you will feel as though you’ve stepped into a different time and place from the moment you drive up its sweeping, tree-lined driveway. From the country-house grandeur of your master suite to the romance of the lodge’s tranquil gardens and the sheer indulgence of its nightly degustation-style dining, every element of your stay is designed to deliver a sense of sophisticated, low-key luxury.

    The Canterbury high country is a region of immense natural beauty, all sweeping alpine scenery with snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and vast expanses of tussock grasslands. It’s the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and photography, and FLOCKHILL is the perfect example of how to combine refined luxury with rugged landscapes.

    Set on an immense sheep station in the heart of the spectacular Craigieburn Valley and offering a choice of either Homestead or Villa style accommodation, you can spend your days engaged in wilderness pursuits like high-country horse-trekking, guided fly-fishing, heli-skiing. Each night you can settle in front of an open fireplace, ready to test the skills and creativity of FLOCKHILL’s private chef, then enjoy a late-night soak in an outdoor hot tub beneath the stars.

    3. Truffles and fine wine

    Wine tasting in Waipara Valley

    Wine tasting in Waipara Valley

    Truffles have long been a hallmark of fine dining experiences, prized by chefs and foodies alike for their unique flavour. Every June in the heart of Canterbury’s Waipara Valley, you can join the centuries-old tradition of truffle hunting, venturing out in the crisp winter air to find and collect these morsels of gourmet gold.

    Kings Truffles is a family owned truffière, located around an hour’s drive from Christchurch, which offers a variety of truffle-infused experiences ranging from group truffle hunts to private helicopter picnics. You’ll learn all there is to know about the world of truffles and you can even pick up some truffle treats – such as truffle butter and truffle salt – to take home.

    Make your visit part of a spectacular food and wine experience in the Waipara Valley, which is renowned for its farm to table dining and premium wine production. The region’s unique terroir, with limestone-rich soils and cool climate, provides ideal conditions for the production of award-winning particularly of Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Chardonnay varietals.

    4. Five-star city stays

    Christchurch’s post-earthquake regeneration has produced in some of New Zealand’s best luxury and boutique accommodation options – favourites include the Sudima, Mayfair, Hotel Montreal and The George. These properties pride themselves on offering exceptional service, lavish furnishings and a variety of fine-dining experiences, making them an ideal base for your luxury Christchurch escape.

    Explore the city’s many art galleries and museums, browse for gourmet picnic ingredients in the picturesque Riverside Market or treat yourself to a little indulgence at one of the city’s award-winning day spa experiences.

    5. Fine dining delights

    Christchurch has a growing reputation for incredible dining experiences, with a variety of precincts that combine amazing shopping, eating and drinking venues. Choose from the sun-soaked ambience of The Terrace or the market-style vibes of the Riverside Markets; then there’s the industrial chic setting of The Welder, the urban oasis of SALT District or the historic atmosphere of New Regent Street.

    Indulge in the finest modern Asian cuisine at Bar Yoko, King of Snake or Zodiac, or treat yourself to simple but spectacular set-menu dining at Story. The Athens Yacht Club is a great choice if you’re craving amazing Greek and Mediterranean food, while Midnight Shanghai is the place to go for modern yum cha and tasty cocktails. The Tram Restaurant offers a unique twist on fine dining, allowing you to explore the city aboard a heritage tram while enjoying a showcase of the finest local ingredients.

    For a truly memorable dining experience, head to Inati (which means “to share” in Māori). The restaurant is owned by Simon Levy, former head chef at top London landmarks Claridges and The Ivy, as well as Gordon Ramsay’s The Warrington. The chef’s table, which overlooks the kitchen and seats up to fourteen guests, is the best spot for enjoying seasonally inspired tasting plates paired with great interaction with the chefs as they prepare your meal.

    6. Top shelf tasting sessions

    There’s a growing number of award-winning boutique distilleries that draw inspiration (and raw materials) from the Canterbury region. In Christchurch, you can take a tour of Curiosity Gin’s distillery operation before settling in for a guided tasting of its gin and whisky offerings, or head to gin gin on colourful New Regent Street to explore a seriously impressive menu of gins and seasonal gin cocktails.

    The pretty town of Akaroa on Banks Peninsula has long been renowned for its spectacular harbour setting and infusion of French flavour. Akaroa Craft Distillery is a local distiller that uses local ingredients like kelp, cherry blossoms and lemon verbena to add a unique twist to its range of gin and vodka. Further afield, a visit to Twizel’s Resurrection Distillery is a must if you’re exploring the scenic McKenzie District.

    7. Elevate your Canterbury experience

    Whale watching flight, luxury Christchurch experience

    Whale watching by aeroplane offers a unique perspective

    One of the best ways to appreciate Canterbury’s spectacular scenery is to take to the skies with a private helicopter tour. From the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean to the ancient volcanic slopes of Banks Peninsula and all the way across to the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps, every moment aloft you’ll find a new and incredible view waiting to take your breath away.

    South Pacific Helicopters is based in the coastal paradise of Kaikōura, and offers a variety of personalised helicopter tours including whale watching, lobster lunches and gin-tasting at spectacular Mt Fyffe Distillery.

    If you opt to stay at Kaikōura’s stunning Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses, you can even opt for a helicopter transfer directly to your accommodation’s doorstep. Once you’ve settled in, you’re free to enjoy lodge’s serene setting, maybe with a glass of newly acquired boutique distilled gin at your side.


    If you’re ready to treat yourself to a luxury New Zealand holiday that combines the finest culinary moments with an impressive variety of incredible accommodation and sightseeing experiences, talk to your personal travel manager today.


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