One of the most exclusive luxury lodges in New Zealand, Minaret Station rests in the setting of the Southern Alps. Only accessible by helicopter, this grand arrival sets the tone for the art of living that awaits you as you soar high above dramatic waterfalls, domineering mountain ridges and vivid blue glacial lakes. Minaret Station is aimed squarely at those searching for an adventure of epic proportions; this alpine property is a premium destination for traversing hundreds of kilometres of untracked terrain while heli-hiking and mountain-biking. Highly experienced guides and pilots will ensure that your experience is nothing short of spectacular, and all abilities are catered for. Keen anglers should keep a day free for a guided fishing tour; New Zealand a promised land for fishing, and renowned for its excellence in both saltwater and fresh water opportunities. Minaret Station privately owns a 50,000 acre parcel of wilderness providing guests with exclusive access to prime fishing rivers in the Southern Alps. Perhaps the most adrenaline-fuelled activity offered here is a range of scenic flights, where guests can bear witness to unparalleled views. One flight is the ‘Mount Aspiring and Glacier Discovery’, in which the mountain cuts a striking sight against the sky, and glaciers with crystal blue ice walls and deep crevasses tell a story about the dramatic natural wilderness of New Zealand. Another favourite is the ‘Milford Sound Highlights’; the visit includes a trip to the iconic Milford Sound and lands in a fiord, and the pilot will dive into the icy waters to pull out a crayfish for dinner that night!
Few places in the world have zero light pollution, and thanks to the remote situation of Minaret Station, this property is one of them, making star-gazing a must-do activity here, preferably from your own private deck hot tub. Four chalets are resplendently warm, reminiscent of high country design; carpets are luxuriously made in sheepskin, king size beds are adorned with possum throws and the bathroom boasts under floor heating. Each chalet is linked via a wooden walkway to the Mountain Kitchen, of which the charms cannot be oversold. As a working farm, Minaret Station raises a range of farm produce, including free range venison, beef and lamb, which Head Chef Jeremy Simeon incorporates into his dishes, displaying his fondness for European and Asian fusion fare. A prime geographical situation, guests can sample food that is distinctive to this region of the Southern Alps and Central Otago; local suppliers provide sweet stone fruits, active Manuka and Rata honeys, organic farm-fresh eggs and soft cheeses.
Wine is intrinsic to the Minaret Station experience; highly vaunted for being home to the world’s southernmost vineyards, New Zealand’s South Island enjoys fantastic Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris varieties due to unique climatic conditions resulting in intensely flavoursome grapes. Eclectic labels comprise the wine menu at Minaret Station, from acclaimed Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays to Cabernet Merlot blends.
Minaret Station is located at Lake Wanaka near Queenstown International Airport on New Zealand’s South Island.