The seduction of seclusion

Where to stay in Banks Peninsula


Annandale Coastal Farm Experience and Luxury Villa Collection

Play lord of the manor at this historic homestead an hour from Christchurch. Tucked into Banks Peninsula’s rugged hills with views over Pigeon Bay and out to the Pacific Ocean, for more than 100 years this beautiful home has delivered restrained elegance to its owners.  This is what manager Lyndsay would like you to feel you are during your stay on this 1,600 hectare working farm. The Lodge offers five separate accommodation options  – an historic homestead, a stylish seaside retreat, a characterful shepherd’s cottage, converted stables and a secluded beach house. Each assures guests of total seclusion from the outside world, with the option of a sociable table d’hôte dinner at the end of the day.

But there’s no need to get your hands dirty at this particular farm. Leave the sheep and cattle to Andrew and Naomi while you explore Annandale’s 10km of coastline; or tag along with them to watch the dogs at work, or the shearing gang in the shed (some of that wool made the rugs you’ve been walking on).

Or you could just go play, messing around in boats in Pigeon Bay’s turquoise waters, or riding a mountain bike on the farm. That won’t reveal all the other accommodation options, though: Seascape is an ultra-modern retreat accessible only by helicopter or 4WD, so remote in its private cove, with the sea right outside, that you could watch rare Hector’s dolphins while surrounded by luxury. How about taking a bunch of friends to the architectural marvel that is Scrubby Bay, in a similarly private setting, and doing your own thing? Or settle into the cute little Shepherd’s Cottage on its hilltop? Wherever you lay your head, you’re assured that not only is your every need met, but pretty much all your desires, too. 


Things to see and do at Annandale



So far from town, there’s no light to spoil your view of the heavens. The Southern Cross, the Milky Way, Scorpio and Orion — they’re all there, with billions of neighbours, sparkling away just for you. If you’re at the Shepherd’s Cottage, you can look at them from the steamy comfort of the outside bathtub.



For the energetic, there is the 14km Pigeon Bay Walkway to follow, as well as farm tracks over the hills and down to deserted little bays where yours are the only footprints across the sand. It’s like being Robinson Crusoe – except, much, much more comfortable.



To be so far away from distractions, so surrounded by nothing but nature, is to rediscover the rewards of long, deep thought, of reconnecting with forgotten priorities and distant memories. This is a luxury that money doesn’t necessarily buy – but at Annandale it does.



The food at Annandale is so staggeringly good, you won’t want to miss a single meal, so get Paul to pack you a gourmet picnic lunch when you’re out and about. With only the sheep to see you, there’s no need for manners: get properly stuck in to enjoy every morsel.


Other accommodation choices in New Zealand


Whare Kea Chalet, Southern Alps

Located at 1,750 metres (5700 feet) in the Albert Burn Saddle on the north side of Dragonfly Peak, Whare Kea Chalet is a 15-minute scenic helicopter flight from the Matukituki Valley base. With two double bedrooms and a spacious loft, the chalet provides comfortable accommodation for up to six guests, and a bunkroom for two staff. Relaxed yet luxurious, the Chalet has power, a hot shower and large windows framing astounding views of Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring with its tumbling glaciers.

This exclusive alpine venue and its surrounding adventures can be enjoyed year-round by friends, families and small groups. Four months of the year the area is covered in snow making it the ideal base for heli-skiing, and in summer, the slopes of tussock grass are dotted with wild flowers and tarns offering a range of fantastic hiking routes for all abilities.

You can tailor your own Chalet experience – from a short day trip with a relaxing lunch and a glass of wine on the balcony, to multi-night accommodation with action-packed alpine adventures, through to celebrating your wedding or special event – the Whare Kea Chalet offers something for everyone.


Minaret Station’s Alpine Lodge and Alpine Chalets, Lake Wanaka

Drop by helicopter into a remote alpine valley and discover a uniquely luxurious haven in an untouched wilderness full of active adventure opportunities.


Wyuna House, Glenorchy

Its big windows making the most of spectacular views of lake and mountain, this four-bedroom house is an hour out of Queenstown and plumb in the centre of Middle-Earth.


Westhaven Retreat

On the tip of the South Island overlooking private peninsula Golden Bay, this secluded luxury lodge spreads over 405 hectares bordering marine reserve and national park. By day, enjoy the local walking tracks or kayak the pristine bays, or relax with the infrared sauna and indoor heated pool.



Other regions to consider:


Marlborough Sounds:

West Coast:

Share this article