Hidden within a mini forest in the rolling green hills around the North Island’s Lake Taupo is the wonderfully quaint Whakaipo Lodge. With just two suites, it’s more a luxury bed and breakfast than a full-scale lodge. Head out for the day – there’s all manner of hiking, mountain biking, rafting and fishing during the warmer months, and skiing at Mt Ruapehu in winter – or stick around to wander the grounds and feed the sheep in the back paddock.
Owners Garth and Angie London have created a welcoming five-star experience that has a soothing charm. The best way to end a day’s exploration, of course, is to settle in by Whakaipo Lodge’s open fire with a glass of pinot noir.
Packages start at US$570 for a two-night stay.