Some of New Zealand's most prestigious hotels and exclusive baches are offering Kiwis a discounted taste of luxury. With the country's borders closed to international travellers and the low-season fast approaching, these luxury stays are cutting their prices. In some places resorts are offering discounts of up to 70 per-cent on five-star stays.
It's time to explore the backyard in style.
Donkey Bay Inn, Bay of Islands
The cliff-side lodge is perhaps the quirkiest accommodation in the country. Described as "Alice and Wonderland meets Salvador Dali" the entrance to architect Gary Underwood's subterranean lodge is through a huge yellow tunnel. In spite of the "down the rabbit hole" entrance, guests are treated to fantastic airy views over Donkey Bay.
The grassy top makes it hard to spot from afar, but it hasn't escaped spotlight. Hidden under the largest living roof in the southern hemisphere the Inn was voted the "world's best eco-hotel" at the World Boutique Hotel Awards. Starting from $427.50 (normally $735) from July through to October 23.
Rabbit Island Huts, Nelson
The Rabbit Island huts are ethical, eco-friendly and oh so elegant. They're now extremely affordable, too. The wooden huts outside of Nelson, made from reclaimed timber have attracted eco-minded tourists from around the world. You'll not regret taking a plunge in their characterful, outdoor bush bath - even in July. Discount on their winter glamping packages are also available for adventurous tourists.
Rabbit Island huts from $140 (down from $160) or $175 ensuite (normally $195)
Sanctuary Palms, Bay of Islands
Pride of place above Paihia and the Bay of Islands the Sanctuary Palms' sea views normally command a suitably premium price. However, this luxury retreat is welcoming couples for seventy per-cent off their normal rate.
Five minutes walk from Paihia's beaches and the Russell ferry the entire bay is on your doorstep to explore. Though its tranquil setting, fireplace and spa bath might make it difficult to leave. From $385 a night, normally $1290
First Light House, Hawks Bay
Voted New Zealand's most unique bach, the solar-powered beachfront stay is also the country's best-travelled house. The wooden designer bach, which began life in Wellington, travelled to Waimarama Beach via Washington DC as part of an international design showcase. Now back in Hawkes Bay, the award-winning bach is available to rent from $325 a night (normally $390)
Chateau Tongariro, Ruapehu
The palatial 1920s gem at the foot of Ruapehu is the 'grand dame' of the North Island ski fields. The 100-room hotel, with its chandeliers and high-ceiling rooms is a throwback to a different era of luxury - in the best way possible. A half-way house between the Tongariro river and the pistes of Whakapapa, the Chateau is offering some appealing deals on ski accommodation. Starting from as little as $124 a night (normally $480) through July and August.
Furneaux Lodge, Marlborough
Reaching the golden sands by your complementary return ferry ticket, the Furneaux Lodge is one of Marlborough Sounds most scenic locations.
Backing on to the Queen Charlotte Track, the region is home to New Zealand's favourite tramping trails. You'll hardly be roughing it though, with a dip in the hot tub waiting at the end of the track.
Endeavour Suites are available for $180pp a night including ferry transfer, with additional nights for $80.
Gibston Valley, Queenstown
Half an hour outside Queenstown and overlooking the Gibston vineyards these luxury lodges are some of Otago's newest. Until October the lodges are offering 60-per-cent off for Kiwi visitors. Guests will enjoy daily wine tasting, bike hire, hot tub and sauna access.
A three-night minimum stay will set you back a mere $990 per couple, instead of the usual $2475.