New Zealand is an increasingly popular destination for superyachts, offering an enviable blend of unspoilt beauty, stretching coastline, a rich culture and cosmopolitan cities to experience by yacht. Back on shore is a network of luxury lodges, perfect as a stop-off point while your superyacht transits between islands during an extended itinerary or simply to round off a charter.
The best known of these is undoubtedly Huka Lodge, widely hailed as the grand lady and pioneer of New Zealand’s lodges. Don’t just take our word for it – Huka Lodge regularly appears in the lists of Top 20 hotels in the world. Huka has proved a popular place to stay within the superyacht set and its famed hospitality will take you seamlessly from sea to land.
Although about as far inland as you can get, nestled in the very heart of the North Island close to nearby Taupo, Huka Lodge is easily accessed by car or helicopter with the Lodge’s sweeping main lawn doubling as a helipad. Built in the 1920s, founder Alan Pye quickly saw the potential of the site to house a private fishing lodge like no other and Huka’s fame quickly spread around the world. Today the guest book reads like a veritable Who’s Who, with visitors including royalty and rockstars alike. Rumour has it Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite spot is the cosy library.
Boasting 17 perfectly manicured acres, Huka sits on the edge of the fast-flowing turquoise Waikato river, famed for its bountiful trout fishing. Twenty large guest suites, which all feature superyacht-quality styling by Kiwi interior designer Virginia Fisher, are set apart from the original house, ensuring total privacy, with each suite boasting its own patio that leads directly down to the banks of the river. Wander down with a hot cup of coffee, listen to native bird song and watch for the splash of a trout. If you fancy trying your hand at fly-fishing, why not take your pick from the Lodge’s collection of rods and cast off into the clear water?
In addition to the guest suites, two standalone cottages are the last word in luxury. The Owner’s Cottage is a particular favourite for superyacht guests and with four suites and large living spaces is big enough to accommodate most charter groups. A second cottage, the Alan Pye Cottage, is perfect for smaller groups or a couple, with two suites. Each are home to their own private infinity and spa pools and private courtyard.
Foodies will rejoice at Huka’s gourmet offerings and extensive wine cellar, and a highlight for guests is choosing one of the 20 different locations on offer around the grounds for an intimate dining experience. Settings on offer include a candlelit walled courtyard, the Trophy Room lined with hunting souvenirs and a riverside pavilion with outdoor fireplace. Sip on a smooth New Zealand red wine personally selected from the cellar and enjoy the best of local ingredients and flavours. Starlight and the rush of the river provide a backdrop for memorable meals.
Perfect for groups and families alike, Huka’s quiet elegance stays with you long after you have left and, just like a superyacht, is the ideal base for an unforgettable stay.hukalodge.co.nz