New Zealand's a Diverse Destination for Meetings

Outdoor offerings and luxurious experience await groups visiting this lush destination

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke's Bay

New Zealand is a destination that offers something for everyone.

"Any traveler will marvel at some of the globe's southernmost wineries," says Karina Nicolau, founder of Tasting Escapes, which offers more than 20 wine and food experiences throughout New Zealand. "From luxury spa treatments to a helicopter ride over mountain ranges where you will appreciate the beautiful view of the Wakatipu basin to numerous food and wine day trips to leave every foodie content."

Added to its allure are luxury lodges that appear on many international "best" lists, and are perfect for executive board retreats and incentives.

Robertson Lodges, popular for incentive groups, include The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in Northland, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke's Bay, and Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown. They can accommodate 52, 56 and 32 people respectively.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs has a private beach where visitors can relax and have a gourmet picnic or join in some land-based fishing. Other experiences include ATVing, horseback riding and private hiking trails. Groups can also experience Kauri Cliffs' Guided Heritage Discovery Tour. It offers 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and Totara forest. The lodge boasts 22 luxurious suites and a two-bedroom Owner's Cottage. There are three private beaches, a waterfall, spa complex, two tennis courts, infinity pool and hot tub, fitness center, and a world-class Par 72 PGA championship golf course.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers a private sanctuary with the Cape Sanctuary and Kiwi Discovery Walk, where guests can spot Kiwi birds, the native bird of New Zealand -- something even many native New Zealanders have never gotten to do. The property also offers shepherding experiences, where visitors join a shepherd for an introduction to life on a 6,000-acre working sheep and cattle farm. It encapsulates rural New Zealand with a modern, rustic twist. Accommodations include 22 luxurious suites, in addition to a four-bedroom Owner's Cottage. The property includes a full-service spa and fitness center, and an array of activities including clay-pigeon shooting, picnics or a round of golf on the Par 71 golf course.

Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge has beautiful lake and mountain views and is only minutes away from the adventure hub of Queenstown. Many activities for groups can be arranged -- from arriving to the lodge by jet boat to skydiving, lake cruises, private wine tours with the winemaker, and an excursion to Milford Sound. Each of the lodges is close to some of the country's top wine regions and all offer food and wine options with dedicated chefs at the properties.

With panoramic views of the alpine lake and surrounding mountains, its accommodations include 12 luxury suites and a new four-bedroom Owner's Cottage. True to the adventurous spirit of Queenstown, local excursions include bungee jumping, hang gliding, skydiving and plenty more are available for groups.

"You can really bond with your team on any of these exciting shared experiences, taking your meeting to the next level and forming lasting memories of an epic incentive trip," says Michele Ballantine-Wooley, sales manager for Robertson Lodges.

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This article appears in the August 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.