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Wanaka New Zealand
Mark faceshot swords travel


New Zealand. The land of jaw-dropping landscapes, adrenaline-fuelled adventure, Maori culture and the opportunity to really get away from it all. But can you really get a taster of this epic country in just a few short days? Imagine the thrill of watching sperm whales from the air, or lunching on a glacier after being transported there via helicopter? Fancy something a little more relaxed? Perhaps stargazing and wine tasting is more your thing? Mark from Swords Travel actually experienced all of these and more. Having travelled extensively for the past 17 years, even Mark was overcome by just how much New Zealand left its mark. So much so that he now firmly believes his trip to New Zealand earlier this year is his best yet.
“Before I went to New Zealand I always had a perception that it was a secondary destination to visit alongside Australia,” Mark admits. “However, now that has completely changed and I would happily dedicate a whole trip just to New Zealand.”
Over a week, Mark had the opportunity to stay in seven luxury lodges. From the grandiose elegance of Blenheim’s Malborough Lodge in the South Island, to the breathtaking beauty of the treetop houses at Hapuku Lodges, nestled in the rich and diverse canopies of the Kanuka grove – each property is unique and sublime. “The best for me had to be The Lindis,” enthuses Mark. “This lodge is situated in the Ahuriri Valley, which is in the middle of nowhere. It was being able to experience the untouched beauty all the while staying in such a sophisticated and architecturally outstanding accommodation. With such welcoming hosts as well as delicious food I didn’t want to leave!”
​For Mark, it was the once-in-a-lifetime experiences which really made the New Zealand trip such a memorable one. “The absolute highlight for me was the thrill of taking a jet boat along the Dart River in Queenstown and exploring Mt Aspiring National Park in the morning,” recalls Mark. “And then in the afternoon, I felt like I was in a James Bond movie. We stopped on an island to be collected by helicopter and flown to the top of a glacier for a champagne lunch. Afterwards, the helicopter swooped us over the mountain ranges before dropping us off at The Lindis. Just wow. I still get goosebumps just thinking about that day.” New Zealand has so much to offer and Mark is unequivocal in recommending it for a next adventure. He believes New Zealand should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. “New Zealand is just so beautiful, it really makes you appreciate life,” says Mark. “It’s relaxed, scenic and offers some of the best cuisine and service I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Everyone I met were so friendly and welcoming, and made a huge impact. So, whether you’re an adrenaline lover, foodie or just want to relax and unwind then New Zealand has something to offer everyone.
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