Taupo Sights & Activities

Fly & boat fishing

Golf (2 international courses)

Thermal parks & spas

Tongariro National Park


Scenic cruises & flights

Whitewater rafting


Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Quad biking

Skydiving & bungy jumping

Cafes & Restaurants

Art galleries

Boutique shopping

Wineries & wine tastings

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Choosing between a boutique lodge and a 5 star hotel

Boutique lodges in New Zealand have become synonymous with great New Zealand wines and cuisine, fabulous settings, often with expansive lake, mountain, rural or ocean vistas, and an interactive environment, where guests may choose to mix and mingle with the hosts and other guests, especially during gourmet breakfasts, during pre-dinner drinks and often also over dinner.

Those who choose to stay in boutique lodges cite a number of reasons, including:

  • Wanting to interact with people, especially the hosts, and learn about New Zealand and the local community and culture
  • Wanting to sample the best of New Zealand food and wine
  • Wanting to avoid a hotel environment. Many guests at boutique lodges travel, or have traveled extensively in their work, staying at hotels in all corners of the world. On vacation, they are looking for something different - something more relaxed, more personal.
  • The settings in which boutique lodges are located. One of the primary reasons international travelers come to New Zealand is its outstanding scenery. Boutique lodges offer unique opportunities to capture the vistas New Zealand has become famous for.
  • The very personal assistance offered by hosts in planning itineraries and activities. Most hosts have intimate knowledge of their region and its hidden gems, and are only too happy to share their knowledge and help plan and book the day's activities.
  • The sense of casual yet attentive luxury. Beds and pillows that are more comfortable. Exquisite toiletries. Gourmet teas and coffees. Private nooks in which to read and relax. Pampering, such as on-site relaxation massage. Home made cookies, chocolates, preserves and other treats. Beautiful gardens and grounds to roam. 
  • Every experience is different. Boutique lodges are individually owned, not part of a chain. Each lodge reflects the personality and interests of its owners. Passions of lodge owners are likely to include wine, travel, fishing, gardening, boating, hiking, reading, music, politics ...the list is extensive.

If you're considering boutique lodge accommodation in New Zealand, a very good web site to begin your exploration is at


. This web site features about 100 individually owned properties, all with a Qualmark 4 or 5 star rating, and all with owners who are committed to delivering exceptional hosting.

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