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Check out the hotels on our All-Gay Escapade

We can’t wait to touch down in New Zealand (a country long on our bucket list) with back-to-back trips that focus on the North and South islands. This post in particular serves up a taste of the places where we’ll slumber on our North Island Cultural Adventure.

New Zealand is one of the smallest nations we visit…both geographically and population-wise. It’s rugged, unpretentious, and sparsely populated. However we still found some of the most accommodating people and places to welcome you to the Land of Middle Earth. Our stays range from modern 4-star hotels to a private cabin where we can really feel like fam. Read on to check out where we’ll be checking in.


Nesuto Stadium Hotel, Auckland

A newly updated property in the core of Auckland

To make your landing less abrasive (after a likely long-a** flight), you’ll love the comfortable beds and serene design in your room. The property has recently undergone a major refurbishment with updated decor and a modern new look. Need to stretch out? Why not wander down to the harbour, just steps away from the hotel. If you’re craving a bite to eat check out the trendy alfresco-style restaurant, NOOK.

Nesuto Stadium Hotel dining
NOOK restaurant awaits you.
Nesuto Stadium Hotel Superior
Refined, understated elegance will help you sleep off the jet lag.

The Sudima, Lake Rotorua

Wind down with some geothermal activity

Lake Rotorua is an important Māori homeland. Famous for sulphur pool and bubbling mud pits, it inspires some of our hotel’s best offerings: three private spa pools and signature massage treatments. Time permitting you can also check out the world-famous Polynesian Spa next door.

The Sudima Pool at Lake Rotorua.
Spa pools are the real highlight of the Sudima.
The rooms at The Sudima Rotorua are pared back, but offer a warm welcome.
The rooms at Sudima are pared back, but offer a warm welcome.

Kohutapu Lodge, Murupara

Our own private home…in the middle of a resort

Our stay at this family-run affair will further connect us with Māori culture and history. We will learn the haka dance, devour a traditional meal cooked in the ground, and are welcome to ask our hosts about their history. Interestingly, our stay at the resort will be in our own, self-contained home on the property. The lodge features three bathrooms, a sweeping deck with views of the lake, and five bathrooms, meaning for one night only some group members may be bunking with up to three others. In the modern kitchen we can gather around a huge floating island, or head outside to enjoy the sunken fire pit and – wait for it – rustic wood-fired bath tubs! The resort itself is known for its community support. By staying here we help local support scholarships, internships, and meal programs.

Communal island at the Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara.
The island is a perfect gathering place in our own exclusive lodge.
Wood-fired hot tubs at the Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara.
Care for a swim?

Suncourt Resort, Lake Taupo

A low-slung affair by the country’s largest lake

When you check in to your room at this cheerful, family-run hotel, you’ll quickly feel the lines between inside and out disappear. The rooms feature floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that connect you to Lake Taupō – the country’s largest lake by surface area – with Mt Ruapehu in view.

Rooms with a view at Suncourt Resort Lake Taupo.
Boom! There’s the water…right outside your lakeside room.

Castaways Resort, West Coast

A truly civilized retreat on the wild coastal cliffs

What’s better than falling asleep to the soothing sounds of a wave machine? Falling asleep to actual waves crashing on the rocks below your room. Located in the outer limits of Auckland, the hotel was recently renovated and is home to Berentai Spa. The studio suites are thoughtfully modern, a suave contrast to the rugged setting.

Rugged and simple at Castaways Resort New Zealand.
Fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing down below.
Rugged seaside accommodations at Castaways Resort New Zealand.
Enjoy these rugged accommodations on rocky shores just outside Auckland.

Copthorne Paihia, Bay of Islands

Settle into 60 acres of subtropical gardens

As our tour winds to a close, we land in one of the most beautiful settings yet. Located in the Waitangi National Reserve, rooms at the Copthorne have a laid-back coastal vibe. But where the sun really shines is poolside, with sublime seating areas, gorgeous gardens and great places to make a splash.

The gardens at Copthorne Paihia Hotel in the Bay of Islands New Zealand.
The gardens and water features are a true highlight.
The gardens at Copthorne Paihia Hotel in the Bay of Islands New Zealand.
Simple rooms at Copthorne Paihia Hotel in the Bay of Islands New Zealand.
These contemporary rooms make it easy to unwind.

Let us know if we’ve piqued your interest in checking out New Zealand North Island Cultural Adventure. If you’re seeking something a bit more adventurous, trek on over to our Active South Island Expedition. These two trips make a perfect back-to-back pair, and if you’re aching to visit Australia, our Summer Down Under trip featuring Mardi Gras is another tour you can tack onto this trip.

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