Travel is enthralling, but it can often be tiring. For those who would like to spend part of a New Zealand trip sequestered in a private world, just reading, relaxing and gazing out to sea, Annandale provides the perfect venue. (Full disclosure: I have not stayed at Annandale personally, but I have received enthusiastic reports from people whose opinions I trust.)
Located on the Banks Peninsula, approximately 80 minutes southeast of Christchurch, the property comprises four distinctive “villas,” set on a 4,000-acre sheep and cattle farm that has an extensive stretch of Pacific coastline. The principal house is the Annandale homestead, a grand five-bedroom Victorian structure, dating from 1884, which comes with a swimming pool, a tennis court and a gym.
In complete contrast, Scrubby Bay is a dramatic four-bedroom contemporary beach house of cedarwood, glass and stone, set on an isolated private cove, accessible either by helicopter or a 40-minute transfer by 4WD vehicle. The other two so-called villas are the one-bedroom Shepherd’s Cottage, set on a hilltop with views of the Pacific, and Seascape, an ultra-modern one-bedroom hideaway with a glass façade, situated on a private bay. At all four villas, gourmet food is either delivered or cooked on the premises by a private chef. And if, eventually, you tire of inactivity, you may explore the working farm, go hiking, biking and kayaking, or even take a cooking class.