I have always had an insatiable curiosity for new places. So, every time my partner surprises me with a romantic getaway travelling around New Zealand, you know I jump for joy!
Over the years, we’ve gone all over the country, only getting closer with each trip. This week, I’ve decided to share with you some places where we had the most romantic getaways in New Zealand, hoping to inspire you and your love to embark on your own love-filled journeys.
1. Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island’s crowning glory is undoubtedly the thriving wine scene, with over 30 boutique wineries.
Vineyards like Man O’ War and Obsidian Wines have guided tours and tastings, allowing you to sample some of the best red, white, and chardonnay wines on the island while enjoying panoramic views of vine-covered hills rolling down to the sparkling sea.
And for beach lovers, Waiheke has numerous pristine beaches perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying a romantic picnic. Onetangi Beach, with its golden sands and clear waters, is a popular choice.
Finally, when it comes to accommodation, Delamore Lodge, perched on the hillside with stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf, has luxury suites and a pool shaped like a Maori fish hook.
Grab a bite to eat at Oyster Inn if you’re a fan of fresh seafood then after dinner explore the island’s vibrant arts scene, which includes numerous galleries and the renowned sculpture park at Connells Bay.
There’s much to see in Rotorua, from Geothermal Valley Te Puia full of bubbling geysers to Maori historical sites. Just make sure to start your day with a ride on the Skyline Gondola up to the peak of Mt. Ngongotaha, to enjoy awesome views of the city.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, The Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel, Solitaire Lodge, and City Lights Boutique Lodge are just a few of the many luxurious hotels that offer a perfect setting for romance.
For a unique experience, visit the Polynesian Spa for a relaxing geothermal bathing session. Or if you’re an adventure-seeking couple, opt for a thrilling canopy tour, while those interested in Maori culture can enjoy a traditional performance or meal at the Tamaki Maori Village.
A visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set is a must for any couple visiting Matamata. Embark on a guided tour of the Shire, explore the hobbit holes, and end your visit with a refreshing beverage at the Green Dragon Inn.
For nature lovers, the Wairere Falls, the highest waterfall on North Island, offers a scenic walking track with breathtaking views of the waterfall and the surrounding countryside.
Stay at the Buckland BnB if you like cosy bed and breakfasts and want views of the Kaimai Ranges. When you get hungry for dinner check out The Redoubt Bar and Eatery.
4. Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula is a paradise of stunning coastal views, golden sand beaches, and verdant rainforests. Its picturesque landscapes provide a perfect backdrop for romantic walks, picnics, and photo sessions.
For those who love the great outdoors, consider a scenic hike to Cathedral Cove, a marine reserve with a beautiful white sandy beach and an iconic rock arch. When it comes to accommodation, consider a stay at the 970 Lonely Bay Lodge, a cute boutique hotel that offers privacy and luxury.
As far as food goes most of the local focus is on fresh, locally sourced seafood. The Pepper Tree Restaurant and Bar is popular among locals because of its charming historic setting and delicious cuisine.
Do not leave Coromandel Peninsula without visiting Hot Water Beach. Grab your shovel and dig your own hot water spa in the sand at low tide.
Queenstown is a haven of natural beauty, from its shimmering lake and snow-capped mountain ranges to its vibrant fall foliage. The town itself exudes a unique charm with its bustling waterfront, quaint streets, and cozy cafes.
Whether you’re adventuring outdoors or snuggling up by a fireside, Queenstown provides a romantic setting that’s hard to beat.
For thrill chasers, there’s AJ Hackett Bungy, Shotover Jet Queenstown, and skiing at Coronet Peak. For a more relaxed experience, enjoy a scenic gondola ride up Bob’s Peak, a leisurely cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, or a rejuvenating spa day at the Onsen Hot Pools.
Wake up your love and rush to Queenstown Hill to enjoy the sunrise. Get to the Basket of Dreams viewpoint for the best views.
6. Gibbston Valley
Gibbston Valley is often referred to as the ‘Valley of Vines’. Its panoramic vistas of vine-laden terraces against a backdrop of towering peaks provide a picturesque setting that’s perfect for romance.
Wine enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to explore world-class wineries like Mt Rosa Wines. Sip on a glass of Pinot Noir, the valley’s flagship wine, as you soak in the stunning views from the cellar door.
For those with a love for the great outdoors, consider a bike ride along the Gibbston River Trail, or take to the skies with a scenic helicopter flight over the valley.
Escape the world for a few days and stay at the Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa. Hot tubs, wine, good food, and chocolates, how much more romantic could it get!
7. Lake Tekapo
Whether you’re gazing at the Milky Way, soaking in the hot pools, or exploring the surrounding landscapes, the magic of Lake Tekapo is bound to leave you enchanted.
Consider a scenic hike up Mt John, a leisurely bike ride around the lake, or a kayak tour on the crystal-clear waters. For a unique experience, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, a charming stone chapel that offers stunning views of the lake and mountains.
And as night falls, don’t miss the chance to stargaze at the observatory, where you can witness the breathtaking beauty of the southern skies.
Stay at The Peppers Bluewater Resort or the Mantra Lake Tekapo as they are among the top-rated romantic hotels in the region. For a more intimate stay, consider booking a private holiday home with stunning lake views.
8. Milford Sounds
Milford Sound’s towering peaks, mirrored waters, and lush rainforests provide a stunning backdrop for romance. Whether you’re exploring by boat or on foot, the sheer grandeur of this landscape is sure to leave you and your partner in awe.
Embark on a scenic cruise or kayak tour to explore the fjord’s deep waters and towering cliffs. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including dolphins, seals, and penguins.
When it comes to accommodation, try an overnight boat cruise. These cruises provide comfortable cabins, delicious meals, and unrivalled views of the starry night sky.
For the more adventurous, consider a hike along the Milford Track, one of New Zealand’s most famous walking trails. Or take to the skies with a scenic flight over the sound for a bird’s-eye view of this spectacular landscape.
From the tranquil bays of the Bay of Islands to the ancient Kauri forests, Northland has many picturesque landscapes that are perfect for any romantic photoshoot.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll on one of the region’s many pristine beaches, explore the historic town of Russell, or embark on a scenic boat tour around the Bay of Islands.
For the more adventurous, consider a hike through the Puketi Forest or a dive beneath the waves to explore the underwater world of the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve.
Rent a car and take a scenic drive down to the renowned Cape Reinga. While you’re there get a shot of the light
10. Bay of Plenty
The Bay of Plenty’s stunning coastline, vibrant towns, and lush landscapes provide an alluring setting for romance. The region’s beautiful beaches and active volcanoes offer endless opportunities for exploration.
While you’re in the bay indulge in a couple’s massage or mineral hot pool at Fernland Spa, or even go glamping under the stars at Phoenix Valley Retreat. But if you want to escape the crowds, head over to Bowentown.
Bowentown is in the middle of Waihi Beach and Katikati—Anzac Bay is the place to be if you want to kayak in crystal clear waters or lounge out on the shores with your love.
Make sure to visit Tauranga, the largest city in the region. It has a lively waterfront area with a host of restaurants and bars. Take a stroll along the harbour or have a romantic dinner at one of the local eateries.
Raglan boasts a unique blend of natural beauty and creative flair. Its black-sand beaches, lush native forest, and picturesque create romantic sparks, while its thriving arts and music scene adds a vibrant cultural dimension to any visit.
For those who love water sports, Raglan’s famous left-hand break is considered one of the best surf spots globally. Beginners can take surf lessons together at one of the local surf schools, creating memories and learning new skills.
If you prefer land-based adventures, consider exploring the area’s walking and cycling trails. The Wainui Reserve Walk takes you through native bush to a cascading waterfall.
Art-loving couples should check out Raglan’s galleries and studios, which showcase the work of local artists. Consider signing up for a pottery or painting class for a fun and creative date.
12. Lake Taupo
Lake Taupo is surrounded by an array of natural wonders, including snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and geothermal hotspots. You can enjoy rose gold sunsets with a glass of wine, soak in steaming thermal pools with waterfalls, or have a picnic with views over the vast lake and mountains.
For thrill-chasing couples, there are plenty of opportunities to take jet boat rides, skydive, and even do tandem bungy jumping. If you prefer a more laid-back experience, consider a romantic boat cruise on the lake or a leisurely walk along the lakeshore.
Test out your team working skills on a kayaking excursion to the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings.
13. Muriwai Beach
Muriwai Beach’s expansive black-sand beach stretches for 50 kilometres. Add to this the mesmerizing cliffs and the area’s rich birdlife, and you have a setting that’s perfect for keeping your love alive.
The beach itself is a great place for a romantic stroll, and during the summer months, it’s a popular spot for surfing. Surf schools in the area offer lessons for beginners, making it a fun and adventurous activity for you and your beau to try together.
When it comes to dining, nearby Waimauku Village is home to several top-notch restaurants like The Tasting Shed which has an extensive wine list. Also, no visit to Muriwai would be complete without a stop at the local vineyards, where you can enjoy wine tasting amidst the beautiful scenery.
Go to Gannet Colony. The best time to go is during August and March, when around 1,200 pairs of gannets nest on the cliffs above the beach, offering an incredible wildlife viewing experience.
Surrounded by the awe-inspiring Humboldt and Richardson Mountain Ranges, this tranquil town is a quaint hideaway from the stressful city life. Take on scenic walks like the Glenorchy Walkway, which winds around the lagoon and has views of the mountains and Rees River.
If you need more adventure, try hiking the famous Routeburn Track. From boutique lodges to rustic cabins, you’ll have no shortage of places to rest your head for the night.
Blanket Bay Lodge, for instance, is a luxury lodge with panoramic lake and mountain views, gourmet dining, and a spa for ultimate relaxation. And when you get hungry, taking out a bite to eat from Mrs Glen’s Cafe, is perfect for a private picnic with your love.
Take a horse trekking tour with Lighthorse Adventures Horse Treks! Immerse yourselves in the natural beauty of Glenorchy as you explore on horseback, traverse through native beech forest, along crystal clear rivers, and across open farmlands.
15. The Catlins
The Catlins’ rugged cliffs, dense rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and array of wildlife create an intimate and serene atmosphere that’s perfect for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
There’s no shortage of places to stay such as Catlins Mohua Park with intimate eco-friendly cottages nestled amidst native forest or Fern & Thistle Luxury Accommodation, for a serene retreat in the heart of The Catlins.
In terms of exploring, one of the must-visit sites is Waipapa Point & Lighthouse, known for its historic lighthouse and frequent sea lion sightings. Another unique experience is exploring the Curioscape Campground, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history and biodiversity of The Catlins.
Visit Slope Point—the southernmost point of the South Island—for breathtaking views of the ocean. Also don’t skip out on Fortrose Cliffs, where you can witness the waves crashing against the rugged shoreline.
16. Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sounds consist of four distinctly beautiful waterways that are all worth exploring: Queen Charlotte Sound, Kenepuru Sound, Pelorus Sound, and Mahau Sound. The blend of clear turquoise waters, lush greenery, and captivating wildlife creates an intimate and peaceful atmosphere perfect for couples.
If you’re a couple that enjoys hiking, take on the Queen Charlotte Track, a 70km trail that winds through native bush, offering spectacular views over the Sounds.
For water-loving couples, there are ample opportunities for kayaking, sailing, and fishing. If you’re lucky, you might even encounter local wildlife like dolphins and fur seals.
For a little taste of luxury, stay at The Bay of Many Coves Resort and make sure you check out some of the vineyards in the area because the Marlborough region is New Zealand’s largest wine-growing area, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lake or embark on a more challenging hike up Mount Iron for a panoramic view of the town. The region is also home to several vineyards like Rippon and Atiken’s Folly Vineyard allowing you to indulge in wine-tasting tours.
For adventurous couples, there are options like skydiving, jet boating, or skiing during the winter months at the nearby Cardrona and Treble Cone ski fields. And if you’re after a truly unique experience, don’t miss out on a scenic flight over the Southern Alps.
Stay at The Wanaka Haven if you like stylish rooms, gourmet breakfasts, and a tranquil outdoor hot tub with mountain views. But if you want a more secluded retreat, the Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet has exclusive access to a private beach and stunning views over Lake Wanaka.