Queenstown, New Zealand
- Fine Dining
- Going Solo
- Thermal Facilities
- Horse riding
- Pool – Outdoor
Matakauri Lodge is an alpine lakeside retreat nestled in one of the world’s most serenely beautiful landscapes. Spectacularly situated on Lake Wakatipu and only seven minutes from Queenstown.
The Lodge and adjoining suites, originally constructed in 2000 with a contemporary New Zealand design, reopened in August 2010 after undergoing extensive refurbishment by acclaimed New Zealand Interior Designer, Virginia Fisher.
Matakauri Spa is located on the edge of a pine forest, with uninterrupted views to Lake Wakatipu and towering Cecil Peak, the spa offers a private experience in an unrivalled natural environment and treatment rooms have mountain views.
Features include a luxurious infinity pool, Jacuzzi and a fully equipped gym.
- Two treatments rooms, each with shower, changing room and private deck surrounded by native vegetation
- Heated swimming pool
- Fitness centre while taking in the spectacular lake and mountain views
The Main Lodge offers accommodation in twelve luxurious guest rooms and suites, with eight outlying cottages and four suites within the lodge.
Each suite offers a private porch, bedroom with sitting area and open fireplace, walk-in wardrobes and a bathroom. All nestled in native forest overlooking the lake and the mountain panorama.
Modern New Zealand cuisine served in variety of dining spaces, including the Library, Dining Room, Remarkables Patio, Courtyard and Lounge. Private dining can be arranged upon request.
Facilities and Activities
- Walking trails
- Horseback riding
- Mountain biking
- Fly fishing
- Water sports
- Adrenalin sports
- Wine tours
- Scenic flights
I love writing reviews, I really do. But this was one I was reluctant to write, not because it was not worth reviewing – quite the opposite! Matakauri Lodge is SO wonderful that I wanted to keep it all to my selfish self. But I realised that it was my duty to regale the story of my precious moments here, to tell you that this place is one that you will never forget and one that you will probably choose not to tell any of your friends about, because like me, you will want to keep this this place secret.
I’d just spent five weeks in New Zealand driving and living in an RV. You would be forgiven for assuming that my love affair with Matakauri was borne from the fact that I was finally able to rest in something that didn’t have four wheels or I had to plug in at night. But it started the moment I pulled up outside and was greeted by Stephen.
Was Stephen an old school friend? An old work colleague? A distant relative maybe? No, Stephen’s warm welcome was part of the Matakauri experience because here, you are immediately brought into the family. A family that was created because its owner fell so in love with the ‘Milton Sound’ trip he decided he had to share the experience with his friends and family. And of course with the need for a place for them to stay – Matakauri Lodge was born. Sitting at the bar (which is check in, without having to check in) chatting to my new family (the friendly staff) I was half expecting said owner to wander through with tea and cake in his jim jams.
Matakauri Spa is located on the edge of a pine forest, with uninterrupted views to Lake Wakatipu and towering Cecil Peak, the spa offers a private experience in an unrivalled natural environment and treatment rooms have mountain views. The entrance to the spa is past the luxurious infinity pool, Jacuzzi and a fully equipped gym. Scoff you may at the notion of working out in such beautiful surroundings, but that’s kinda the beauty of this gym. I’m not sure the pain in your glutes will matter even if you drop a thousand squats because yep you guessed – the view from this gym will take your mind right off it and beats the sight of any sweaty Adonis.
Dumbbells down and into the spa for a well deserved treatment – after 6 weeks on the road my body was screaming out for some TLC. I chose the Matakauri Facial & Back Massage which is a signature 90 minute treatment. The facial is combined with a relaxing or remedial back, neck and shoulder massage to create both a beneficial and rejuvenating spa experience. I drifted off midway, dreaming I had landed on the most beautiful place on earth. I awoke to realise that it was a reality.
Lanolin Rehydration Treatment – This is the ultimate treatment for dehydrated skin. The treatment starts with a welcome foot bath, followed by a full body massage concentrating on your areas of concern. A rich application of rich Lanolin Cream, which is made in New Zealand, is applied to the body to hydrate dry and tired skin.
The phrase ‘A room with a view’ doesn’t quite cut it here. First of all, this isn’t just a room, nor is it just a view. It’s a cottage with a view that robs your breath that, for a fleeting moment that you think you may never breathe again. I almost fell flat on my face on the walk to my cottage because I couldn’t look where I was going. My eyes were fixed on the remarkable, Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges that wallop you in the face and the serene, stunning Lake Wakatipu.
I entered one of the eight precious outlying cottages, a stone’s throw from the main lodge. A private porch, a walk-in wardrobe, a bathroom and a bedroom with sitting area and large open fireplace.
The bed was palatial, elevated up some stairs to accentuate the view (not that it needed to be accentuated any more). A mini bar stocked with quality nibbles, jars of liquorice and nuts, a TV hidden behind a picture – all very James Bond. So like Miss Moneypenny, I slipped out of something more comfortable and into the piece de resistance, an oversized tub with a window view of the lake, glimmering so vividly blue and green, as though a Disney movie had sneezed all over it. Walt would have been proud.
Breakfast. A mini buffet fit for a princess. Sit outside and take it all in, you just can’t get enough of that lake.
Dinner time is flexible. Like most things here, your wish is their command. When they asked in advance for my dietary preferences, who would have guessed that the chef was going to create a menu just for ME. And I mean literally. I was presented with my OWN menu. With my OWN name. A wishlist of MY favourite food. I felt like I was being seduced by Matakauri, my date for the evening.
Choosing was the hardest part since all of the choices had been created for me. After much deliberation I chose the poached paradise prawns with coconut, cucumber and papaya salad with nam jim dressing and the North Island tarakihi fish, smoked eggplant, snow pea and spinach with caper and raisin puree.
I decided against the dessert, but happily agreed to the plate of incredible homemade chocolates which rounded off my date with the new love of my life. Matakauri.
The Milford Sound fly-cruise-fly, the reason that Matakauri was born. You cannot come to NZ and miss out on this experience. A short flight in a six seater plane takes you from Queenstown to the magnificent Milford Sound over lakes, glaciers and fiords. This is the stuff that The Lord Of The Rings was made from. Literally.
Once at Milford Sound a small launch cruise takes you the full length of the Sound. If you’re as lucky as I was you will spot whales who swam right up to my boat. There was magic in the air that day, and I can only guess that’s true to say about everyday in New Zealand.
Then for those who are looking for an extreme adrenaline buzz, I HIGHLY (literally) recommend facing all fears and jumping 134m from the Nevis bungy, like I did. Death defyingly brilliant.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to throw yourself out of a plane over Queenstown. I promise it’s an experience you will never forget. The boys at NZONE Skydive will take care of your life!