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New Zealand / Annandale

Within 4,000 acres of working farmland on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, five of the most remote places to get lost from the world can be found.

When the sheer immensity of the land (equivalent to 2,000 football pitches) comes into view, the preferred mode of transport – helicopter, if you’re wondering – makes sense. Private doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the five villas on this vast estate; achieving solitude without amenity sacrifice, their different personalities and locations making each one a soul mate to different travellers. The traditional (and original) ‘Homestead’ villa with its resurrected gardens and 19th century charm, and the glass-fronted ‘Scrubby Bay’, see the extended family wanderers ready for some isolated escapism together. A pair go completely off-grid in the WiFi-less ‘Shepherd’s Cottage’ and honeymooners settle into the outdoor spa of the sophisticated ‘Seascape’ built into the land surrounding Pigeon Bay. There's also a small cluster of friends unpacking in ‘The Stables’, where the leather-perfumed timber of the original structure houses the cosiest furnishings to complement its history. Each group all the while being totally unaware of the other’s presence, and highly unlikely to run into each other. Unless they want to get in on the farm action that is.

As pioneers of “Gumboot luxury”, the owner’s – Mark and Jacqui – want to indulge guests in the real New Zealand. From the cooking classes and 4x4 tours to ocean cruising in the property’s own boat. Not to mention the Locavore experience – a philosophy centred around sourcing extremely local food either from the estate’s own grounds or within a 100km distance. Life on Annandale’s farm is at the heart of everything they do.

Travel notes:

  • 5 uniquely styled villas each for exclusive use
  • Private tours of the local area via helicopter or the property's own boat are a real highlight
  • With Annandale being such a large estate, complimentary bikes are provided for explorations along with a picnic provided by the chefs
  • One dining option is the “we create, you serve” experience where chef-prepared meals are delivered to each villa with instructions on how to dish out in 5-star-restaurant style
  • The town of Akaroa, nestled in an extinct-volcano-turned-bay, is 30 minutes away; while Christchurch is within 1.5 hours by car

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When to visit New Zealand

New Zealand’s seasons are the opposite to those in the UK and less extreme. The North Island is sub-tropical whilst the South Island is temperate. The warmest and most popular months to visit are from December to April, although the shoulder seasons are also very pleasant and highly recommended.

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