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Deep in the untouched landscapes of the South Island, resting upon the emotive Lake Wakatipu is Matakauri Lodge, a sanctuary so welcoming, you might just never want to leave ...

Matakauri Lodge is a union of twelve luxurious guest rooms and suites, settled amid the native Toi Toi’s and wild flora. The retreat is located ten minutes from the Queenstown-township, a distance worth lusting-over during the high season.

Arriving at Matakauri proved to be more picturesque than I had envisioned; the property is stretched-out along the powdery-blue Lake Wakatipu, falling just below a mountain range. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the dining room allow for bursts of warm sunlight and incredible views over the mirrored-lake. The grounds themselves, are full of native plants and birds, a tribute to the sacred life-forms unique to the South Island. 

In-keeping with the dramatic scenery, the suites (and their free-standing tubs) had certainly risen to the occasion. Each space offers a different perspective, notably those that are looking over monumental peaks like Walter, Cecil and the Remarkables. The space is positioned to make the most of the location, with the bedroom, living room and private deck all commanding a front-row seat. If you are here in time for the dramatic New Zealand winter, spark the fireplace, and leave it crackling the entire day- in time for a cosy return.

Perhaps the most spectacular corner of Matakauri is the outdoor infinity pool, elongated along the glistening Lake Wakatipu, with the sight of mountain ranges in the background. If you just want to relax, you’re only a few steps away from the hotel spa; and I must say, the hour long deep-tissue massage will melt away the stresses back home.

Your experience is well and truly complete after a night-in, at the Matakauri restaurant. Allow executive chef, Dale Gartland and his team to curate you a truly spectacular degustation. Feel right at home with a glass of local wine and a selection of hors d’oeuvres by the crackling fire, all while your table is being prepared. Gartland ensures a delicate selection of seasonal, and organically sourced produce, where possible, grown on site. The wine selection is predominately curated from local Central Otago wine; I recommend the Pinot Noir, something, which Central Otago is renowned for.

Leaving Matakauri Lodge will always come too soon, but the memories of freshly baked cookies still lingered for at least another week or so ...

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