New Zealand is one of the most naturally stunning countries in the world. It’s home to Milford Sound, stunning white-sand beaches, island getaways, and thermal hot pools. Plus, it’s serene and peaceful – even the larger cities like Auckland and Wellington have a laid-back vibe. All of this makes New Zealand the ideal romantic destination.
In recent years New Zealand has gained tremendous momentum as one of the top honeymoon and babymoon destinations in the world! This is due to the many romantic getaways in NZ that you can choose from.
In this blog, I list 15 of the most amazing romantic getaways in New Zealand. And I’ll be honest, this list has me really itching to go on a weekend away with my partner.
Best Places to Visit for a Romantic Getaway on the South Island, NZ
The stunning tourist haven of Queenstown nestled among the Southern Alps and built on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is certainly one of the most photogenic towns on this list. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places for couples to visit and it’s also a very popular wedding destination. Queenstown is an adventurers paradise with skiing and snow sports available in the Winter and water sports like jet boating and jet skiing in the Summer.
Some of the most romantic activities in Queenstown include a soak in the famous Onsen Hot Pools (the most incredible view ever from your tub), wine tasting in the famed Central Otago valley, a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the mountains, and a private helicopter tour to Milford Sound.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Queenstown: Matakauri Lodge is just a 7-minute drive from the center of town but is set in a peaceful setting with the most spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, as well as Cecil and Walter Peaks. Your room here is not your ‘standard hotel room’ but is in fact a large cottage-style suite with floor-to-ceiling windows to admire the views. This place certainly comes at a price (and celebrities have been known to stay here) but the price includes breakfast and complimentary cocktail hour.
Of course, there are plenty of great hotels in Queenstown as well as Airbnbs to choose from. Read my blog about where to stay in Queenstown for more details on choosing the perfect accommodation for your romantic getaway in NZ!
Related Read: Check out my complete guide to planning a romantic honeymoon in Queenstown for more details on the best places to stay, eat, and things to do!
2. The Gibbston Valley
The Gibbston Valley is one of the most famous wine regions in New Zealand making it a very popular romantic hideaway for couples – especially given its just over a 20-minute drive from Queenstown. You will feel at peace surrounded by the mountains and vines.
Of course, the best thing to do in Gibbston Valley is to go wine tasting! Some of my personal favorite wineries near Queenstown include Peregrine, Gibbston Valley Winery, and Valli.
For the more adventurous couples, why not try out a bungy jump at nearby Shotover Bridge with AJ Hackett – it’s the first commercial bungee in the world! And of course, bungy jumping is one of the best things to do on the South Island – so give it a go!
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Gibbston Valley: Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa is a newly opened luxury accommodation featuring 24 stunning vineyard villas. Each villa is spacious with a deck area to enjoy the stunning scenery as well as a courtyard. This would be the ultimate romantic getaway for couples who love wine and the mountains (like I do!)
Often compared to nearby Queenstown, Wanaka is a smaller less-busy version of its famous neighbor. But don’t worry it’s equally as pretty! Wanaka is home to #thatwanakatree and taking a stroll along the shores of Lake Wanaka to the tree is one of the most romantic things to do here – especially at sunset. Even though Wanaka has that small-town feel, there’s plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars, and fun activities to fill your days.
In Wanaka, I highly recommend a visit to Rippon Winery for a wine tasting experience with the most spectacular view. Or for something a little more active, go on a sunrise hike to famed Roys Peak (make sure to take lots of photos at the summit). If that is a little too challenging there are plenty of other hikes in Wanaka to choose from.
You can even splurge on a flight over Wanaka and the Southern Alps in a helicopter – this would be the ultimate romantic activity in Wanaka!
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Wanaka: Wanaka Alpine Lodge has lovely views of the Southern Alps and is just 3 kilometers from Wanaka CBD. This cozy accommodation offers a hot tub and is both spacious and stylishly decorated.
4. Lake Tekapo
With its bright blue water and stunning surrounding mountain scenery, there’s no doubt that Lake Tekapo is one of the prettiest towns on this list. It’s a popular stop-off on the drive between Christchurch and Queenstown but in recent years Tekapo has really established itself as a tourist destination in its own right. There are numerous restaurants in Lake Tekapo town as well as cafes, and gift stores. Not forgetting loads of awesome activities and things to do in Lake Tekapo.
In Tekapo why not try out stargazing from a hot pool at Tekapo Springs, take some couple-photos at the Church of the Good Shepherd, and take a drive up to Mount John Observatory to admire the stunning views. Nearby Lake Pukaki (a 40-minute drive away) is very photogenic and well worth the drive if you have time.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Lake Tekapo: Mantra Hotel Lake Tekapo is one of the nicest hotels in Tekapo. It has an outdoor pool and is just a 2-minute walk from Tekapo town. It has a cozy vibe with fireplaces in the townhouse-style accommodation. Your townhouse even has a veranda to admire the views of the lake and stargaze at night (Lake Tekapo is located in a Dark Sky Reserve after all.)
5. Milford Sound
Often dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World, Milford Sound is one of the most popular places to visit on the South Island, attracting about one million visitors annually! But unfortunately, most of the tourists to Milford Sound come just for the day (or even a few hours). The real magic here can be felt early in the morning or later in the afternoon – when you feel like you have the place pretty much to yourself. That’s why spending a night or two here is the perfect romantic getaway on the South Island.
On your romantic getaway to Milford be sure to take a stroll along the Milford Foreshore Walk to the Milford Swing (built by a local worker for his girlfriend – how sweet), then hop on a boat cruise through Milford. I recommend booking a smaller boat like this nature cruise for a more intimate cruise experience.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Milford Sound: At the Milford Sound Lodge in the heart of Milford, you can book a luxurious river-view chalet that really makes you feel like you’re at one with nature. It’s the perfect accommodation if you’re after a peaceful romantic getaway. Plus, there is nowhere else to stay as close to Milford!
6. Marlborough Sounds
With a whopping 1500 kilometers (930 miles) of coastline, the Marlborough Sounds is certainly one of the most beautiful getaways in New Zealand. There are three main Sounds here: Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru, and Pelorus which are all equally beautiful..
Some of the best activities available in Marlborough Sounds are kayaking around the headlands, hiking the epic Queen Charlotte Track, and going on a dolphin-watching tour (where you’re likely to spot both whales and dolphins!)
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Marlborough Sounds: Punga Cove Resort overlooking Endeavour Inlet on the Queen Charlotte Track boasts a large outdoor pool, two restaurants, and epic views. It has a relaxed and peaceful vibe and is a 2-hour drive from Picton.
Hot tip: The Malrborough Wine region is not far from the Marlborogh Sounds and also the perfect place for a romantic getaway in NZ. It’s also one of the best stops on the drive from Kaikoura to Picton.
7. The Catlins
The Catlins is an area of rugged almost untouched natural beauty about an hour’s drive from the city of Invercargill. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places to spend a romantic weekend away in New Zealand.
There are lots of great things to do in The Catlins. Here’s just a few of them; the very photogenic Cathedral Caves, which are only accessible at low tide; Curio Bay, to see the petrified forest and yellow-eyed penguins; and Nugget Point Lighthouse, to watch an epic sunset.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in The Catlins: Seascape Accommodation at Kaka Point has stunning ocean views and is located a short drive away from Nugget Point Lighthouse. It has three modern apartments all with ocean views. In the small town of Kaka Point, there are a few restaurants and a nice beach.
Glenorchy is Lord of the Rings territory – did you know that many of the scenes from The Fellowship of the Rings were filmed in Glenorchy?! This little town with a population of 500 is a breathtaking 40-minute drive from Queenstown. The town has a few cafes/restaurants and a general store.
Whilst in Glenorchy one of the best things to do is a Lord of the Rings Tour. But, there are also some great hikes in the area like the Glenorchy Walkway and Routeburn Track (one of New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks).
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Glenorchy: Kinloch Wilderness Retreat is the ultimate romantic getaway for couples! Located 26 km from Glenorchy this retreat is the closest accommodation to the Routeburn Track and Greenstone Tracks. Choose their King Room for a luxurious and peaceful stay.
Best Places to Visit for a Romantic Getaway on the North Island, NZ
9. The Coromandel
Famed for its gorgeous beaches – if you’re after a romantic beach getaway the Coromandel is the place for you. At just over a 2-hour drive from Auckland, this is a very popular tourist destination with Kiwis.
There are plenty of fun things to do on the Coromandel Peninsula. Relax at The Lost Spring Geothermal Spa in nearby Whitianga, kayak to Cathedral Cove (a beach made famous from The Chronicles of Narnia movies), or dig your own hot water pool at Hot Water Beach.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Coromandel: Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is set on 25 acres of native bush. It’s a large resort with a spa, sauna, and pool facilities as well as an on-site restaurant. This is the perfect luxury stay to base yourself at while exploring the Coromandel
Northland is one of the lesser-discovered areas in New Zealand which I find strange considering it’s home to Cape Reinga (the most Northerly point in New Zealand) and tons of stunning beaches. The largest city here is Whangarei and it also has some lively larger towns like Paihia and Kerikeri. It’s often nicknamed the ‘winterless North’ on account of its mild weather.
For the best beaches visit Matai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula and the Tutukaka Coast which is home to the country’s most stunning beaches like Whale Bay and Matapouri. Because of all of the beaches, the best time to visit Northland (and New Zealand in general) is during the summer months.
A visit to Tane Mahuta, the largest Kauri tree in the world, is another unique experience in Northland.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Northland: The Duke of Marlborough is a beautiful place to stay in Russell and is set right on the waterfront. The rooms here are stylish and comfortable. Ask for a waterfront room to enjoy the views from your veranda.
Related Read: The drive from Auckland to Paihia through Northland is adventurous and fun in itself!
11. Muriwai Beach
Muriwai Beach boasts an impressive 47 kilometers (29 miles) of black sand beach. It’s a popular surf destination and seeing as it’s just a 30 minute drive from Auckland, it’s very popular with holidaying Aucklanders. In fact, a day trip here is often considered one of the best things to do in Auckland.
See the huge Gannet colony (sea birds) on the cliffs here. For something a little more active, walk the Muriwai Beach Loop track which should take about 90 minutes and of course go surfing.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Muriwai Beach: Exclusive Sanctuary on the West Coast is a large vacation rental with three bedrooms. There’s a large garden and patio area. Inside the unit you’ll find two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a washing machine – perfect for a home away from home. Oh, and it is located only 600 meters from the beach!
12. Waiheke Island
Another fantastic wine region in New Zealand is Waiheke Island accessible by ferry from Auckland City Center. The island’s gorgeous vistas and walking tracks make it a stunning destination on its own, but of course, the excellent wine grown here is an added bonus!
On Waiheke Island, go on a wine tour (some of the best wineries on the island include Tantalus Estate and Man O’War Vineyard); walk the 3-hour Church Bay Circuit Track; or treat yourself to some spa treatments at Delamore Lodge.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Waiheke Island: Cable Bay Views is a short walk from Mudbrick Vineyard and is conveniently close to the ferry terminal. The rooms are luxurious and the sun beams onto your patio until late in the day. An added bonus is the gorgeous view from your bed overlooking the vines.
13. Bay of Plenty
The Bay of Plenty has a rich Maori history and is famous for its surf. The area is home to the cool town of Tauranga which is where I recommend spending your romantic getaway. In fact, a hike up Mount Manganui from the town at sunset is one of my top things to do in this area. This famous hike is one of the best on the North Island.
A visit to Mataatua in Whakatane is a must-do in the Bay of Plenty and tells the story of Maori chiefs throughout history. You can also see gorgeous Maori carvings here. Kite and windsurfing are other popular activities in the Bay of Plenty.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Bay of Plenty: Trinity Wharf Tauranga hotel boasts epic views over the Tauranga Harbour and it’s just a few minutes walk from the CBD. The rooms here are modern and comfortable.
A small laid-back beach town that’s popular with Aucklanders. Raglan is only an hour and 45-minute drive from New Zealand’s largest city and boasts gorgeous black sand beaches.
Surfing is popular here but that isn’t the only reason to visit Raglan. Many artists call Raglan home and there are a few galleries in town featuring photography, pottery, and jewelry making. The 55-meter-high Bridal Veil Falls is well worth the short hike up to the viewing platform and one of the most romantic things to do on your NZ getaway.
For more info, check out all of the best things to do in Raglan while you’re there!
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Raglan: Nikau Sanctuary is Raglan’s first luxury yurt and features an outdoor bath and barbecue. The yurt is a unique hideaway surrounded by native palm trees.
15. Lake Taupo
A popular winter ski destination that is equally stunning in the other seasons. The town of Taupo is built on Lake Taupo, which is the largest lake in New Zealand.
There are plenty of fun things to do and see in Taupo. Visit the gushing Huka Falls and the thermal pools at Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa whilst in town.
An absolute must-do here is to visit the huge Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. Stretching several meters above Lake Taupo’s waters on a cliff face, you’ll see carvings by artist Matahi Brightwell. It’s super impressive and one of the top attractions on the North Island.
Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Lake Taupo: Millennium Hotel at Lake Taupo has uninterrupted views of Lake Taupo. The resort features a plunge pool, sauna, and gym as well as 12 luxurious treats if you want to treat a loved one. The 39 hotel rooms are all spacious and stylishly decorated.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this blog has helped you choose the perfect romantic getaway in NZ! It’s true, New Zealand really can be a romantic place and it is the perfect escape for couple’s looking for a little downtime.
If you found this blog helpful, then you’ll love some of my other blogs too! Check out what I consider to be the best things to do in New Zealand, an ideal Queenstown itinerary, and the best hikes on the South Island. Also, just browse around, you’ll find lots of other interesting blogs about NZ right here!