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High-End Experiential Travel in New Zealand

Westhaven Retreat

Farewell Spit

Westhaven Retreat

If you've ever wondered what lies at the end of the road, this is one for you.  If you try and go any further it'll be in the surf and headed for Australia!  This is a special place with an unusual history, unusual owners and unusual hosting!

First the location - 1,000 acres of peninsula just south of Farewell Split - the northenmost part of the South Island.  Getting here is an adventure in itself.  From main road to country roads to a gravel country track (large enough for two vehicles), over bridges and causeways and finally a single track steep gravel road.  

And at the end of the road - a rather large feat of engineering.  Bruno started out as a fighter pilot in Austria in the height of the cold war and then after a successful career in construction and engineering "retired" here twenty years ago.  He and Monika farmed this piece of land and raised their daughter Monika here.  When working out what to do next with their lives they decided to build a luxury lodge on this land which they know intimately and share it with likeminded people from around the world.

The lodge is enormous, the rooms are beautifully built, the pool area is huge and it could probably withstand a direct meteor hit.

The cuisine reflects the history of the owners and the place.  As much as possible is home grown, authentic, delicious, and the dishes have an aura of Austria.  The hospitality is that warm generous hospitality which used to be widespread in the Alps.

The peninsula is extremely beautiful in a wild sort of way.  Rugged, with fascinating rock formations, lush grass of the sort I last saw on the west coast of Ireland covering tracks, and hundreds of beautiful nikau trees.  You immediately want to grab a picnic and disappear somewhere - alone - with great views.  Not a problem here with only seven rooms - you could drop a jager regiment in here and not bump into one of them all day.

And - for people like me - there is an abundance of seafood you can gather and eat - oysters, mussels, abalone and surfcasting for kahawai (mackerel).  Or charter a launch and hit the snapper, kingfish and blue cod.  Then go home, have a massage and relax in the enormous swimming pool.  Did I mention the deep end was deep enough for scuba training?  Or that it doubles as a reservoir in case the local authorities quickly need to fill their monsoon buckets and fight a remote fire?

You will find discussing the farm, how the family has lived here, and how they built this phenomenal structure at least as interesting as your remote romantic walks.


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