Escape to Middle-earth: This Remote Lodge Is in New Zealand’s Most Serene Valley

Middle Earth
Middle EarthCourtesy Image

New Zealand’s Ahuriri Valley, two and half hours from Queenstown, is sliced through by one of the best fly-fishing rivers on the planet. But up until recently, its accommodations were, well, lacking. No more.

Today it’s home to one of the sleekest new lodges in the country, the Lindis, a five-room hideaway on the edge of the Ahuriri River. Driving up to it is like arriving at the lip of the Grand Canyon: It’s not there, not there, not there…and then suddenly it’s there, the rolling hillside revealing itself not to be a hill at all but a timber-covered roof floating above a steel and glass inn.

Inside, the sprawling suites have uninterrupted views of the river and the Southern Alps beyond. A central lounge and bar splits the building in half, and the dining room serves local fare like pan-seared venison steaks and Mount Cook salmon.

As you dine, you can watch the fishermen work the braided stream below for trophy rainbows. When you’re tired of watching them hog all the fish, join in. Or hike and mountain-bike on the Lindis’ 6,000-acre spread, which is surrounded by three conservation parks full of snowcapped mountains, beech forests, and tussocky grasslands.

The lodge will even arrange for a gliding outfit to take you above the valley to witness it from a drone’s-eye view, with only the winds keeping you aloft. It’ll feel as if you’re floating above the last wild place on earth—which is similar to the high you’ll get from waking up in your bed the next morning, too.

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