Otago Uncorked – Exploring New Zealand's Finest Wine Retreats

The South Island wine region in New Zealand is home to some of the world's most renowned vineyards. The cool maritime climate and alluvial river valleys provide ideal growing conditions for chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, and pinot noir grapes. This region is particularly famous for its crisp and aromatic sauvignon blanc, which put New Zealand on the world wine map many years ago.

But it's the intense, complex pinot noir from Martinborough, Marlborough, and Central Otago that has also gained worldwide recognition. The region's landscape is diverse, from the Canterbury Plains to the rugged Southern Alps and the fertile plains of Marlborough, but one thing remains consistent: New Zealand's commitment to producing exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of the region.

When it comes to boutique hotels in the South Island wine region of New Zealand, luxury is the name of the game. The region boasts some seriously amazing accommodations, like the stylish and sophisticated Eichardt's Private Hotel.

Perfectly situated in Queenstown, this exclusive retreat effortlessly blends modern elegance with the natural beauty of the Otago region. And, of course, no trip to the region would be complete without trying some of the world-class wines that the area is known for. So, whether you're looking to explore the vineyards, or simply unwind in ultimate style and comfort, the South Island wine region should definitely be on your travel hit list.

Join Locay as we explore some of our favourite places to stay in and amongst the vines.

Escape to Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa, where you can experience the ultimate luxury getaway amongst the breathtaking vineyards. The secluded villas offer the perfect private oasis for your stay.

Immerse yourself in premium winery accommodation with spacious open-plan living, luxurious amenities, and a private courtyard. Be captivated by the modern décor and featured works by local artists. And, during the winter months, indulge in the bliss of heated floors.

After exploring the vibrant city of Queenstown or embarking on a bike ride along the Kawarau River lake, the sauna and private hot tub await you.

Experience the unique atmosphere of The Lodge Cellar, where you can savour historic vintages. And, for a more intimate experience, enjoy a private screening in the small movie theatre.

Take a moment to stargaze outside by the cosy fire pit while sipping on a glass of Gibbston's Pinot Noir. It's the perfect way to end a memorable day.

Only 25 minutes away from downtown Queenstown, Gibbston Valley is steeped in rich gold mining history. As the home of some of the oldest vines, it's also a haven for wineries, restaurants, pubs, and the historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge.

With activities like canoeing, bike riding, wine tasting, dining experiences, and jet boating, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Gibbston Valley.

Eichardt's Private Hotel

Lake Wakatipu

Situated on the stunning shores of Lake Wakatipu, Eichardt's Private Hotel is a captivating architectural masterpiece in the heart of Queenstown. With a rich history dating back to 1861, this luxurious boutique hotel is a true symbol of elegance and sophistication.

This exclusive boutique hotel offers a blend of old-world luxury and modern convenience, providing access to a vibrant and exciting destination. From the classic interior styling to the top-notch amenities, Eichardt’s is a place where sophistication meets comfort. It comes as no surprise that this exceptional accommodation attracts celebrities and sports stars alike.

The hotel features exquisitely designed suites and apartments, each offering breathtaking views of the picturesque lake. Conveniently located within walking distance of the town's main retail street, Queenstown Mall, this is the perfect base for your adventures in this exciting locale.

Indulge in the epitome of luxury at The Penthouse, where heritage timber, vaulted ceilings, and designer furnishings create an unforgettable experience. Pamper yourself in the spa, unwind in the sauna, and take in the awe-inspiring views from Queenstown's largest waterfront private terrace. The breakfast room, adorned with log fires and sumptuous leather furniture, sets the stage for a delightful dining experience. Come evening, it transforms into a charming wine bar and restaurant, offering superior-quality dishes crafted from simple, locally sourced produce. Whether you're a guest or a local, this space radiates the quintessential Queenstown ambience, making it a truly unique and unforgettable destination to savour.

Millbrook Resort Arrowtown


Located on 650 acres of picturesque fairways, rolling hills, and tranquil streams, Millbrook Resort stands against the stunning backdrop of the Remarkables Mountain Range. It's a hidden treasure, off the tourist radar, with a charm and character that can only be found in its heritage-filled village, Arrowtown. This quaint destination stuns visitors with its beautiful trails, perfect for walking and biking, and its charming Buckingham Street, home to some of the country's finest dining and shopping experiences. Situated beside the sparkling Arrow River, Arrowtown is a modern haven that exudes a captivating history. Don't miss the chance to explore the well preserved miners' cottages from the gold rush era dating back to the 1870s.

With its opening in 1993, Millbrook Resort offers luxurious accommodation across four tiers, including Deluxe Studios and one or two-bedroom suites. In addition to premium amenities and services, guests enjoy complimentary access to the health and fitness centre, a convenient shuttle to Queenstown and Arrowtown, and preferred rates for green fees at the picturesque Arrowtown Golf Course. You can also indulge in relaxation and wellness at the award-winning day spa on-site, ensuring an extraordinary experience that sets Millbrook Resort apart from the rest.

Black Estate B&B


Set amidst the verdant expanses of Black Estate's organic vineyard, this bed and breakfast provides a haven of serenity and scenic beauty. Occupying the ground floor of an architectural marvel, this property offers panoramic views of the organic winery, extending all the way from the meticulously maintained gardens and vineyards to the awe-inspiring Southern Alps.

Staying here is an invitation to imbibe the rhythm of life on the vineyard. From observing the daily activities of workers in the vineyard and the gentle hum of the tractor to the natural spectacle of stars, a resident hare, a myriad of insects, and the lush flora, every moment is a vignette of life amidst the vines. Complimentary light breakfast provisions are supplied, and there is a complimentary wine tasting at the cellar door. For those with a thirst for adventure, the B&B is located on the Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail. Mountain bikes are available to explore the property during your stay, giving you the chance to experience the intoxicating blend of nature, tranquillity, and world-class wine.

Wine is the reason to stay a while in this part of New Zealand, which is known for silky pinot noir and aromatic riesling. Often recorded as the driest location in New Zealand, the long, hot summers and cool winters provide grapes with a long ripening time. To add to your gourmet experience, there are olive groves, nut farms, and fields of lavender.

This picturesque valley is just 45 minutes north of Christchurch. The town is a great place to stretch your legs, either on the cycle way between the wineries or on one of several beautiful walks. Enjoy wandering through Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park; this disused quarry has been converted into an art gallery with enormous steel sculptures.

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Maree Sheehan
Potts Point, Sydney

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