A rar­efied coastal re­treat

Signature Travel & Lifestyle - - Travel & Style -

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

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