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.
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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