After two years of winter lockdowns and other restrictions, quarantine-free travel from Australia to New Zealand has finally returned. That comes as terrific news to Aussies, who are just a short flight away from Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Every bit as epic as its reputation would suggest, the region goes from the sweeping shores of Lake Wakatipu to the majestic slopes of the Southern Alps. Along the way are acclaimed vineyards, exciting helicopter flights, relaxing spas, unforgettable sights, and so much more. For modern thrill-seekers, it’s nothing short of paradise.
But if it’s truly paradise you seek, have you heard of Airbnb Luxe? True to the name, it gives travellers the chance to stay at the world’s best luxury retreats and most extraordinary homes. To ensure nothing but a five-star experience, the service connects you with a dedicated trip designer, who helps put together your stay and itinerary down to every detail. Every listing is vetted to the utmost standards, hence the swanky interiors, tailored services, high-quality amenities, and more. Guests are also welcome to shell out for luxury add-ons and AirBNB Experiences such as your own private chef, driver, and waitstaff.
To say that Airbnb Luxe listings offer the best of the best in modern travel is to practically undersell the experience. How do we know? Because we just returned from our stay at an Airbnb Luxe property, The Homestead, at Lake Hayes in Otago, just outside of Queenstown on the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Our lakeside luxury dwelling took the form of a masterfully-restored farmhouse. Blending extraordinary heritage with contemporary design, it sat on 15 acres of century-old orchards and delivered an endless supply of ultra-premium features.
Upon our arrival in Queenstown, we veered just outside the town limits and followed 100-year-old Sequoia trees to a beautiful landscape of snow-covered orchards, gardens, lawns, and scenic views, soon arriving at our recently renovated destination. Historic on the outside and supremely modern within, The Homestead has no shortage of delights up its proverbial sleeve. On the main floor alone, these include a tasteful selection of furniture, curated artwork, a chandelier-lit dining room, and a state-of-the-art kitchen.
Our subsequent journey through the interior uncovered five bedrooms (four of which had en-suite bathrooms), three fireplaces, a hot tub, tall windows with breathtaking views, an exercise room, a library, and multiple entertaining areas. Outside was a heated swimming pool, trampoline, treehouse, BBQ facilities, croquet lawn, floating fireplace lounge, greenhouse, and other mind-blowing features.
With The Homestead’s proximity to all kinds of outdoor activity—especially during the winter months—we found ourselves in the midst of constant adventure. After kicking off each morning with piping hot fresh coffee, brief workouts, and a continental breakfast, it was time for all kinds of fun. For the first day, we went skiing and snowboarding at the Cardrona Alpine Resort, home to excellent trails of every skill level. The day after, we explored the historical Arrowtown, followed by a short scenic e-bike ride along suspension bridges above the Shotover River. On day four, a personal masseuse arrived at The Homestead and treated us to 60-minute bespoke massages as part of a larger afternoon spa experience thanks to AirBNB Experiences.
To top this off, we went heli-skiing on Harris Mountain where they brought us to the top of the mountain by way of a helicopter before dropping us off for a series of seven untouched ski runs that were the best we’d ever seen, with a fully-qualified specialist as your guide. Each run varied from 1,500 to 2,500 feet and took us through treeless terrains in sheltered basins, bowls, and wide rolling mountain flanks. Trust us when we say that you haven’t truly skied until you’ve heli-skied in the mountains of New Zealand!
And then there was food. Wanting to get a true taste of Queenstown, we ate our first dinner at nearby award-winning Chef Josh Emett’s modern eatery Rata. Two nights later, we dined at hatted Sherwood Restaurant, where a hyper-seasonal menu plucks produce straight from the garden of Executive Chef Chris Scott. On nights two and four, our personal chef (yes, Airbnb Experiences allow for this too) cooked a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of The Homestead. From fresh seafood to grilled meat to locally grown veggies, everything was resoundingly fresh and delicious.
After each dinner, we gathered at The Homestead around the outdoor firepit, sipping local Pinot Noir beneath a blanket of stars. We hot tubbed it up around midnight and then retired to our cosy bedrooms. Just beyond our respective windows, the Remarkables Mountain range loomed like a painting brought to life whilst the lake surface shimmered and sparkled in the moonlight. All in all, it was an experience we’ll never forget.
We’d like to extend our warmest thanks to Airbnb Luxe, a sensational gateway to modern luxury travel. The Homestead is but one amongst a variety of five-star destinations throughout New Zealand, with each one offering exceptional features and amenities along with a slew of add-on services. It just doesn’t get any better than this, folks.
The Homestead Details
- Luxury stay in Threepwood, Lake Hayes, Otago, New Zealand
- 10 guests / 5 bedrooms / 7 beds / 5.5 baths
13 km to Skycity Casino & Queenstown shops, restaurants & nightlife
13 km to Queenstown Gardens
13 km to Skyline Queenstown
15 km to Wakatipu Yacht Club
13 km to Remarkable Golf Tours
16 km to Queenstown Golf Course
21 km to Coronet Peak Ski Area
24 km to The Remarkables Ski Area
9 minute drive to Queenstown Airport (ZQN)
The author of this article, Scott Purcell, was invited to Queenstown NZ as a guest of AirBNB.