Best Off-The-Beaten-Path Honeymoon Destinations In New Zealand

Skyscape accommodation in Twizel.

Kick-start your marriage with five-star memories.

Words by Jess Willemse

Photography by: Neat Places and Supplied 

Does the idea of booking an island resort for your couples getaway make you feel queasy? We hear you. Around here, honeymoons are less about lounging around and more about creating new memories with the person we love.

Whether you’re looking for something uber-luxurious or more down-to-earth, we’ve got you and your beau covered. Get off-the-beaten-path, from five-star treehouses to sleeping under the Milky Way; here’s seven unforgettable honeymoon destinations in New Zealand. 

Fall In Love With Sunny Nelson

Nelson Tasman

Whether you’re a sun-seeker or an adventure addict, the Nelson Tasman region has your back. It’s a tranquil base to unwind from the wedding stress, connect with nature and down a bottle of vino from the neighbouring wine region. Within the town, it’s easy enough to stumble upon the local creative scene, with plenty of craft boutiques and galleries lining the streets. As far as food is concerned, you’re spoilt for choice with artisan chocolatiers, legendary breweries and unfussy coffee roasteries galore. Mix in some time spent exploring the picturesque coastline by foot, boat or sky and consider this your go-to recipe for a memorable honeymoon.

View of boats from Mapua Wharf in Tasman region.

Wind Your Way Through The Catlins

Southland

Road trips are the definition of romantic. What better backdrop for your post-wedding getaway than the rugged seascapes of The Catlins? Situated in Southland, this coastal drive takes you from Balclutha to Invercargill through a route interlaced with nature’s best. Expect soaring clifftops, glistening secret coves, dramatic waterfalls and of course, the iconic Nugget Point lighthouse. Along the way, stop in at Niagara Falls Café for a taste of good old Southland hospitality—fresh seafood and sunny courtyards included. As far as accommodation goes, we recommend booking in off-the-grid views at Beresford Heights or keeping it casual and hiring a retro VW Kombi in Invercargill.

View of Nugget Point Lighthouse in The Catlins.

Cosy Up In Kaikōura

Kaikōura

Kaikōura is a nature-lovers playground, home to striking mountain vistas, untouched forest landscapes and some of New Zealand’s best surf. But the pick for a hall-of-fame honeymoon goes to Hapuku Lodge, tucked away at the foot of Kaikōura Seaward Mountain Range. To say this lodge is luxurious would be an absolute understatement. What takes Hapuku to new heights is their opulent Tree Houses. Perched 10-meters off the ground, these five-star stays overlook a working deer farm surrounded by lush native greenery. Everything you could want on a couples retreat is right at your fingertips—cosy common areas, a heated pool and plenty of surprises to discover along the walking trails. It doesn’t hurt that their on-site restaurant offers the whole farm-to-table experience, celebrating the best of Kaikōura’s artisans and producers.

Treehouses at Hapuku Lodge at sunset.

Sleep Under The Stars In The Waitaki

Waitaki

There’s plenty to love about Ōamaru and the scenic Waitaki region. Ōamaru’s Victorian architecture offers an elegant contrast to the wild spirit of the countryside, with pockets of untouched nature ripe for exploration. Lovers will want to make the most of the food and wine scene on offer. A cosy trip to Fleurs Place over in Moeraki is local cuisine at its’ finest. You can then enjoy a soak in a cedar tub overlooking breathtaking vistas of Otago’s mountainous landscapes at Hot Tubs Omarama. Finally, rest your head in style at Valley Views Glamping. With their rustic interiors and large picture windows, these luxurious domes make you feel at one with nature.

Inside Fleurs Place at Moeraki Boulders.

Make Magic In The Mackenzie District

Mackenzie District

It’s no secret the Mackenzie District is one of the most enchanting regions in New Zealand. Bringing together the best of high-country holidaying, you’ll find plenty of off-the-grid abodes to take in the calming countryside and dazzling night sky. Our picks for places with romantic wow-factor go to the dreamy High Country Cabin over in Ben Ohau or the truly immersive Skyscape glasshouse in Tekapo. Both take full advantage of their natural setting, offering experiences so good you won’t want to leave. Plus, there are plenty of quaint towns to explore en-route between the likes of Twizel, Fairlie, Tekapo and Mount Cook.

View of Mount Cook from the Hooker Valley.

Keep It Chill Up In Russell

Bay of Islands

For a breather after a pretty hectic event, Russell is where you’ll want to head quick-smart. Tucked away in the ever-picturesque Bay of Islands, this historic little town comes to life in the summer but is still equally charming in the shoulder seasons. There’s plenty of boutique accommodation to make your stay special—from the old school Duke Hotel to a private glamping escape at Omata Estate vineyard. In between picking up a cuppa from Hell Hole Coffee and catching some Vitamin D at the beach, you’ll want to book in for a night of good sips and tucker at Sage Restaurant. Brought to you by the hospo legends at The Lindis Group, a meal here is nothing short of world-class.

Exterior of The Duke of Marlborough at nighttime.

Neat Kaikōura Places

BeeBox

BeeBox sign.
Place Kaikōura
Cafes icon

An organic honey and coffee shop in one.

Flo & Co.

Woman about to take a sip of coffee.
Place Kaikōura
Cafes icon

Visit for the great aesthetics and damn good coffee.

Beach House Café

Man behind the counter serving a customer.
Place Kaikōura
Cafes icon

A true local’s favourite.

Middle Hill MTB

Man doing little jump on his mountain bike.
Place Kaikōura

For the ultimate adrenalin fix.