The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Panoramic Pacific views on New Zealand’s North Island

See the Bay of Islands and Cavalli Islands from the panoramic cliffside location of The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, on the eastern edge of New Zealand’s North Island.

Secluded, timeless and wonderful for an off-the-grid escape, the 6,000-acre property delivers discretion and a highly customized experience. The 22-room lodge set on a working cattle and sheep farm offers three private beaches and an 18-hole golf course feels more like an intimate estate than a hotel. That’s exactly the vision of former Wall Street executive and philanthropist Julian Robertson, who, along with his wife, Josie, own Kauri along with New Zealand properties The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge.

As of November 2019, you have an option for even longer stays or multigenerational vacations at Kauri Cliffs: a trio of new four-bedroom residences, each with full kitchens, verandas and expansive views over the grounds, course and out to the Pacific Ocean beyond.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Hang ten. The boutique hotel boasts three gorgeous beaches, one of which has dramatic pink sand. Beginners can start with a two-hour lesson or book a daylong surfing safari on the Northland beaches nearby.
  • The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the British crown and Maori tribesmen signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 (considered New Zealand’s founding document), is an easy drive from the property. From here, explore other historic sites and taonga (treasures).
  • Despite only having 22 rooms, Kauri boasts a wide array of dining options, mainly focused on local and seasonal fare. Think crispy skin snapper with kale risotto, or Fiordland wild venison with parsnip and pickled carrots. Chefs can also design custom menus to suit your dietary preferences.
  • The spa, which faces a totara forest, helps you de-stress with a wide array of treatments. We suggest the healing cocoon, a wrap with local manuka honey, or the jet lag relief massage, a combination of hot compresses and pressure point.
  • The par-72 championship golf course, newly renovated by Rees Jones, is a golf lover’s dream with views over the Pacific Ocean and Cavalli Islands.

Things to Know

  • One of our favorite ways to experience New Zealand is by combining Kauri with multiple properties in the Robertson family. The Best of Both Worlds package offers two nights at Kauri, Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri with plenty of leisure time in between.
  • You’ll drive about four hours from Auckland or fly right into the Kerikeri (Bay of Islands) airport and drive 30 minutes to the North Island hotel.
  • While Kauri is certainly a great spot for adults and honeymooners, it also welcomes families. Children are welcome in the restaurant until 7 p.m., and private dining is also available.
  • While the area experiences all four seasons, it’s pretty mild year-round, with summer highs in the mid-70s and lows generally in the 50s.

The Rooms

  • Décor is minimalist, with a neutral color palette designed by New Zealand interiors pro Virginia Fisher. Choose from rooms in the main lodge or more private freestanding residences and suites.
  • The Deluxe Family Suites come with a master bedroom for the parents and an adjoining double bedroom for kids, plus two full baths.
  • Dreamy suites feature open fireplaces, east-facing balconies and gorgeous bathrooms with deep soaking tubs.

Nearby Attractions

  • Don’t miss the Guided Heritage Discovery program, which lets you explore everything from the history of Captain James Cook “discovering” Waiaua Bay to details about the island’s original Maori inhabitants.
  • In the nearby Waipoua Forest, you’ll see the 167-foot Tane Mahuta (god of the forest), one of the country’s largest and oldest kauri trees, thought to be more than 2,500 years old.
  • To see the famous Hole in the Rock, a 52-foot-high natural tunnel in the cliff-filled Motukokako island, the luxury hotel can arrange a helicopter tour.

Getting There
139 Tepene Tablelands Road, Matauri Bay, 0245 New Zealand
AKL (3 hr 50 min)  
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