Matakauri Lodge

Deep in the untouched landscapes of the South Island, resting upon the emotive Lake Wakatipu is a sanctuary so welcoming, you might just never want to leave. Matakauri Lodge is a perfect union of twelve luxurious guest rooms and suites, settled amid the native Toi Toi’s and wild flora. The retreat is located a blissful ten minutes from the Queenstown-township, a distance worth lusting-over during the high season.

Arriving at Matakauri proves to be more picturesque than I had envisioned; the property is stretched-out along the powdery-blue Lake Wakatipu, falling just below a noble mountain range. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the dining room allows for bursts of toasty 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) have certainly risen to the occasion. Each space grasping a different perspective, notably 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 incredible sight of mountain ranges in the background. If it’s too chilly for a dip, step into the bubbling Jacuzzi. If you just want to relax, you’re only a few steps away from the hotel spa; and I must say, an hour long deep-tissue massage is just what the doctor ordered to let the stresses of home melt right away.

While the view will keep you enthralled, the service will keep bringing you back, right from your first few moments at Matakauri. The staff had requested insight into any food preferences we had prior to our arrival; little did I know the chef was busy preparing an indulgent batch of gluten-free cookies to be left in our room. As you can imagine, they were incredible, and we might have eaten the entire batch.

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 champagne 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…

The Editorialist © 2021