Parnell businessman John MacCulloch has developed a retreat in the Hauraki ' />
Guests pay $13,000 a night to stay in Auckland's newest luxury lodge.
Parnell businessman John MacCulloch has developed a retreat in the Hauraki Gulf and says he has already had a string of visitors at the low-lying Hurakia Lodge on Rakino Island.
Guests get the entire 8ha rural retreat to themselves - with golf, all meals catered and adventure excursions on walks, mountain bikes and sea-based activities.
The property has a 70m jetty and the house is three long pavilion-style wings which form a Y-shape, enabling outdoor areas to be used regardless of prevailing winds.
The house has anodised aluminium cladding panels from Aluart, Mr MacCulloch's business, which supplies products for buildings as far away as Germany.
A 10-night stretch has been booked for 10 people during October 2011, coinciding with the final of the Rugby World Cup.
The owner says he is not aiming to fill the lodge all year around. About 30 nights are expected to be booked this year and 60 next year.
"Auckland has been lacking something like this. But it's a low-volume business. We're not expecting 75 per cent occupancy through a year. We're a niche within a niche, 1 per cent within 1 per cent," he said.
As for access, Mr MacCulloch said most guests landed at the airport and were taken directly to the retreat by helicopter.
Guests came mainly from the United States, Europe and Asia. They picked the retreat specifically for its isolation, he said.
Earlier this year, challengers involved in the Millennium Cup regatta associated with the Louis Vuitton series partied at the lodge, which was a prime viewing spot for regatta racing.
Tourism Auckland staff praised Hurakia Lodge and are planning an event there next month.
The lodge is not New Zealand's most expensive place to stay.
A top contender for this honour would be Eagles' Nest in the Bay of Islands, where guests pay between $37,000 and $42,000 a night, a rate which covers all activities plus your own chef and a butler.
It makes pristine Kauri Cliffs in Northland look like a bargain at just over $8000 a night.