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Lodges | Natural world
Set on 17 acres of manicured grounds, Huka Lodge lines the banks of the blue-green Waikato River, just upstream from the magnificent Huka Falls. It’s enough to have earned the grounds the ‘Garden of National Significance’ rank by the New Zealand Gardens Trust; there’s everything from giant Californian redwoods to delightful English garden plantings. It was first discovered in the 1920s as an incredible fly fishing spot – something it remains today. However, since its humble beginnings, the lodge has hosted such luminaries as HM Queen Elizabeth, Bill Gates and James A. Mitchener, who wrote part of Return to Paradise here.
Given that the lodge dates back to 1924, you’ll be treated to timber-panelled luxury that hints at the Scottish Highlands while soft linens, feather pillows and relaxed colour palettes recall New England. Each of the Junior Lodge Suites rest on the banks of the Waikato River with French windows and wooden terraces that make the most of the view. Back inside, en suites feature deep baths, heated floors and twin basins. Upgrade to a Lodge Suite for even more space, including a lounge and dining area, complete with cosy fireplace. For something extra, book into the multi-roomed cottages where 1920s oak furnishing, parquet floors and sunny promontory positions make for a truly indulgent stay.
Having cooked to the highest level of Michelin Stars in restaurants across the world, executive chef Paul Froggatt ranks among the world’s most talented chefs. Gourmet cuisine is served either by the log fire of the restaurant or in the 20 private dining areas, spread throughout the lodge. Whether it’s the outdoor fireplaces, antique tables of the study, the jetty pavilion or the log fire of the library, you’ll be ensured an intimate setting. Whatever you choose, degustation menus are sure to excite, as is the superb wine cellar.
As you’d expect by now, the facilities at Huka Lodge are near unparalleled, improved only by impeccably attentive staff. Take a walk through the gardens to reach the pool, tennis court and croquet lawn or make use of the mountain bikes and fly fishing rods for further sporting activity. Guests can also enjoy a full range of spa treatments in the privacy of their room. Outside the lodge, the mountains, rivers and lakes of Taupo are an ideal backdrop to everything from hiking trails, horse rides and boat cruises to golf and scenic helicopter flights. There are even such adrenaline-fuelled activities as bungee jumping, skydiving, quad biking, gliding and white water rafting.
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