A rarefied coastal retreat
With diving, hiking, biking, fishing and endless exploration on its doorstep, Helena Bay Lodge is set to become the pinnacle of New Zealand luxury and adventure when it opens in November 2016. Its welltravelled owner, Russian steel billionaire Alexander Abramov, searched the globe for the perfect spot for a country retreat before finding this slice of pastoral bliss on the Northland’s Tutukaka Coast in 2007. Since then, every hectare of the estate has been crafted to provide an unparalleled experience for just 10 fortunate guests, from forging hiking trails into the forest to restoring local populations of native birdlife.
No expense has been spared in creating the lodge at the estate’s centre, a 45-minute helicopter transfer from Auckland. While it may look like a 100-yearold colonial homestead, the main building has been designed from the ground up. There are five suites fitted with super-king-sized beds, and waterfront balconies to admire the estate’s three kilometres of coastline. With four private beaches, numerous coves, bikes and electric-powered buggies, discovery is never far away.
Head chef Michele Martino, from Italy’s Michelinstarred Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890, provides ‘estateto-plate’ dining with daily changing menus, along with packed picnics and gourmet lunches made for exploring the pristine wilderness. www.helenabay.com