Pre-dinner drinks, a five-course dinner and full country-style breakfast are included in the Jetsetter rate
Spacious Suites feature glass door walls that open onto terraces overlooking the roaring Waikato River
Over twenty possible dining venues, including an Africa room dotted with taxidermy from the owners’ collection
What To Know
Despite the “Lodge” in the name, the Suites are housed in outbuildings; bundle up to go to dinner in winter
The ambience is more formal than at some other New Zealand luxury lodges
With just 25 rooms and no bar per se, there's not much of a party scene
The North Island’s Lake Taupo region is known for trout fishing and adventure sports
Parking on site
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Former hunting lodge turned luxe retreat, with hot tubs, tennis courts and a top-notch restaurant
Built in 1924 by an Irishman who came to the area for its superlative fly fishing, and operated as a guest lodge for more than 25 years, Huka Lodge has a pleasingly comfortable worn-in look. Old World ambience pervades New Zealand’s original “superlodge,” where much of the decor, not to mention the staff, seems to have been airlifted straight from Scotland. The interior is made up of fireplaces, dark paneling, stately furnishings, taxidermy and tartan. But the reason you come is to fish. Trout-rich Lake Taupo is nearby, and the Waikato River roars right past the lodge. Catch your breakfast and they’ll cook it up for you. Just get cleaned up before heading to the dining room.
Bed and Bath
The Junior Suites and cottages are spacious and quiet, as they occupy separate buildings; the only sound is the surging river. The decor is simple and more contemporary than that of the main lodge, mostly shades of white and cream, with soft gray plaid throws to break things up. The monogrammed bed linens are luxurious, and fresh biscuits provide a nice touch. Bathrooms are spacious and light-filled, with bathtubs set next to large windows.
The lodge offers an impressive array of activities for a 25-room property: an outdoor swimming pool, two hot tubs, tennis courts, croquet, petanque, mountain bikes and in-room massages and facials. But as is the case at many New Zealand lodges, the primary activity is dining. Dutch-born executive chef Michel Louws brings continental flair to the five-course dinners (a standout during my visit was a deconstructed carrot cake with cake crumbles and cream cheese frosting wrapped in a carrot slice) and hearty breakfasts.
271 Huka Falls Road
Taupo, New Zealand
How to Get There
Flights are available to Taupo Airport (TUO) via connecting flights from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Transfers to/from TUO, about nine miles away, are free and can be arranged through the property. Taxis to/from TUO are approximately $42, each way. If you’re renting a car for the transfer, self-parking is free.