Nestled in a national park.

Minaret Station is everything you could want in a remote wilderness retreat. You can’t drive there, or reach it by boat. You can’t drop in by fixed wing plane, or realistically even walk there. But you can arrive by helicopter, as everyone else does.

Minaret Station is a family-run lodge, and part of a vast working sheep and cattle station that starts down on the flat land around the shore of Lake Wanaka. Flying from the flats up through the narrow valley, the country changes quickly from grassy farmland to gnarly, stunted trees and then alpine tussock. Giant rock faces loom high above and entire mountains appear before us as the helicopter flies up the wild steep gorge. Suddenly a bowl-shaped valley opens ahead and the lodge appears as tiny dots in the distance. We cross the valley and drop quickly on to the helipad beside the main lodge building.

Accommodation here is in luxurious mountain chalets - designed and fitted with some lovely New Zealand features like the woollen rugs (from sheep on the property) and earthy alpine tones, they are cosy and inviting. The view out every window is stunning, and the chalets are connected to the main lodge building by sturdy wooden boardwalks.

 
 
 
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The Accommodation
  • there are four free-standing chalets, all with commanding views across the remote alpine valley
  • each chalet has a large bedroom, a separate dressing area that can take an extra bed, and a well-appointed ensuite
  • woollen rugs, possum wool throws, and decor to match the colours outside all help to bring the outdoors in
  • each chalet has a private hot tub on the deck
  • unlimited wifi, a nespresso machine and complimentary mini bar add to your comfort
The Main Lodge
  • the lounge, dining area, study/den and Mountain Kitchen share the main lodge area and are the heart of the lodge
  • a big open fire warms the space year round
  • there’s a satellite TV in the study and wifi throughout the building
  • a full breakfast, lunch (picnic or seated), pre-dinner canapés and a 3-course gourmet dinner are included each day
  • menus change daily to suit what is in-season and on-site
  • chefs use the best of delicious local meats, fruits and the exceptional Otago wines
  • the Mountain Kitchen is also available as a day venue, with helicopter transfers departing from Queenstown or Wanaka. The day can be spent at the lodge and around the farm. A three-course lunch with beverages is served in the middle of the day. Enquire about a Mountain Kitchen Lunch day trip.
The Rates
  • Includes accommodation, full breakfast, lunch (lodge or packed), pre-dinner canapés, most alcoholic beverages and a 3 course gourmet dinner
  • luxury chalet per night – $NZ 2,450 for 2 people (king or twin share)
  • extra adult is $NZ 500 per night, child (under 14 yrs) sharing suite with adults $NZ 250
  • return helicopter transfers from Wanaka – $NZ 1,950 per adult
  • the Mountain Kitchen Lunch (including return helicopter transfers from Wanaka) – $NZ 1,290 per person

 

The Activities
  • these are all about helicopters - heli-hiking, heli-skiing, heli-biking and heli-fishing
  • the wild vastness of Fiordland is within easy reach by helicopter, weather permitting, for hiking in some of the most massive landscapes in NZ
  • Minaret Station offers access to world-class river fishing for brown and rainbow trout, and a short season of salmon fishing as well
  • take a helicopter from the lodge to access vast mountain biking trails in the surrounding mountains, or spend a day hiking in the high country
  • in winter the tops are snow-covered so heli-skiing is great option
  • sea fishing is also available by helicopter to the fertile fishing grounds off the West Coast. Join a charter boat to catch bluenose, grouper, kahawai and blue cod.
 
 

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