Destination: New Zealand
Bay of Many Coves Resort
Queen Charlotte Sound, at the top of the South Island, is arguably one of the country’s more stunning locations. New Zealanders have holidayed there for decades. But with no roads and boat-only access, it’s a place where comfort seems an extravagance. Until recently, it had no accommodations that visitors would consider four-star, so only die-hard outdoorsy types and Kiwis, known for their enthusiasm for roughing it, dared venture there. Typically, the area’s accommodations were cheap structures built to house non-campers trekking the four-day Queen Charlotte Track, one of the country’s more serene bush walks. Now, however, a young Kiwi couple has surmounted the odds and built the Bay of Many Coves, a relaxed retreat perfect for families, hikers and water lovers. Each of the apartments, which descend a hill right to the water’s edge and range from one- to three-bedrooms, has a kitchen, a dining area, and an expansive deck so inviting that it becomes a kind of outdoor living room. The Foredeck, the best restaurant in Queen Charlotte Sound, is also part of the resort. If your family is like mine and must have mac ’n’ cheese on call 24/7, the kitchen comes in handy. If, on the other hand, you have no desire to take the 30-minute boat ride to the town of Picton to shop for groceries, the Foredeck is all you need. Otherwise, you can tap the abundant supply of terakihi, blue cod fish and snapper for dinner merely by dropping a line in the water. The hotel can arrange fishing trips, or if you want mobility and are a competent boat handler, I recommend renting your own craft in Picton. Mobility means you can picnic on completely empty beaches, cruise with giant pods of curious bottlenose dolphins and go for day walks on the Queen Charlotte Track. Rooms from $234.
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