Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
At a Glance
A spectacular remote location on Banks Peninsula, just an hour from Christchurch
Elegantly designed villas, perfect for a honeymoon hideaway or a family escape
Flexible dining options, allowing you to self cater or enjoy the services of an executive chef
A unique experience on a working farm, allowing you to explore the cast acreage on foot or by bike
A wealth of activities abound at Annandale, from hiking, cattle mustering, kayaking and paddle boarding to mountain biking, cooking lessons and scenic helicopter flights
Winner of World's Leading Experiential Luxury Award at the World Travel Awards 2015
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The climate in New Zealand is incredibly pleasant, with warm and balmy summers and cold crisp winter months with wonderful clear, blue skies. The warmer high-season months of November to April are perfect for outdoor exploration. The colder months of June to August are the best time to ski.
Both North and South Islands are drier on the east coast, rather than on the west, where mountain ranges act as a trap for the moisture-rich winds from the Tasman Sea. It is also worth remembering that it is usually a few degrees cooler on the South Island than the North Island and as New Zealand has a maritime climate, the weather can change rapidly.
To start planning your vacation to Annandale
Step off the beaten track and discover Annandale, set amid a rugged landscape of hills and bays on Banks Peninsula. Only an hour from Christchurch, this hidden gem sits on a 4000-acre farm in one of the world's most spectacular coastal locations.
Hidden away on Banks Peninsula, just a scenic hour's drive (or 15 minute helicopter) from Christchurch, you can sample rural New Zealand at its best here at Annandale, a collection of four distinctive yet laid back luxury villas. Each of the private and secluded villas has its own character and can be booked separately or together for a big celebration.
The largest of the four, The Homestead, was built in the 1880s and features five bedrooms, magnificent grounds and state-of-the-art recreation facilities, including an infinity pool, spa pool and tennis court. Elegant rooms, shaded verandahs, well-kept gardens and exclusive use of the outdoor leisure facilities make the house a great place for relaxation and reflection as a family.
Scrubby Bay offers another great option for families, located in a spectacular valley on the outer reaches of the Annandale property. In this amazing and isolated location, it would be easy to imagine yourself one of the early pioneers but for the modern comforts to be found in the luxurious cedar-clad beach house. A sun-drenched deck, three ocean-front bedroom suites plus a bunk room that can sleep 8, and a huge open plan dining and living space, well stocked with books and games for all ages, mean there is plenty of space for everyone to relax and do their own thing, coming together as and when you choose.
For two guests, perhaps on a honeymoon or looking for a secluded getaway, the Shepherd's Cottage is the perfect retreat. On arrival at Annandale, one of the drivers will escort you on a spectacular 30-minute 4WD journey across the cliff-top farm tracks to this exclusive and remote property, previously only enjoyed by generations of Annandale shepherds. Now it has been carefully restored and extended to ensure a romantic and memorable stay: relax in the outside bathtub at the end of the day and snuggle up on the sheepskins in front of the open fire, before heading upstairs to the warm bedroom under the eaves.
For a coastal escape, Seascape is the perfect spot. The sparkling jewel in Annandale’s crown: a picturesque private bay, above which an ultra-modern retreat provides a truly romantic experience. Accessed by helicopter or by a 40-minute transfer in a 4WD Annandale vehicle across the cliff-top farm tracks, this awe-inspiring setting is perfect for honeymooners. From within, it appears you are floating on the open sea, yet safely embraced by luxury and modern comforts. Outside, dolphins and seals often frolic in the glittering water, with only you and the tussock grass to witness them.
Dining at Annandale is a true pleasure, and there is total flexibility to choose the level of service you require, from private chef to stocked pantry, then make the experience your own. For a honeymoon couple who want total seclusion, have all your groceries delivered to your villa for you to prepare and enjoy the freshest local produce in the privacy of your own space. If you'd prefer not to cook for yourself on vacation, then we can arrange for the award winning chef to come and cater for your every need.
Annandale offers every luxury and comfort on the inside, but it is what’s on the outside that really sets this place apart. Whilst on the property, guests can see all kinds of wildlife, including dolphins and some of New Zealand's unique native birds, experience a 4WD farm tour, mountain biking, hiking, or perhaps even help with some sheep and cattle mustering.
Only a 30-minute drive from the Annandale homestead is the French-influenced town of Akaroa. Nestled in the center of an ancient and extinct volcano, which is now an enormous and picturesque bay, its streets are lined with cafes, bistros, and quirky shops. A number of water-based activities depart from the main pier, including fishing and diving charters, dolphin-watching and dolphin-swimming tours and penguin viewing tours.
Each of the four luxury villas offers relaxed Kiwi-style informality and total privacy from which to explore the spectacular farm with its 10 kilometers of coastline and connect with the surroundings, share precious time with friends and family, and indulge in the finest local produce. Accommodating from 2 to 14 guests, simply select the property and level of service that suits your party.
For the ultimate in romantic escapism, choose Seascape. Dramatic architecture in a highly theatrical location, where the ocean is the star performer. Sleeping just two guests, Seascape is unforgettable. You have an open plan bedroom, lounge and kitchen, set on different levels to split the space, surrounded by glass at the front. Step out onto your balcony with outdoor seating, outdoor firepit and a jacuzzi. Your ensuite bathroom is huge with double shower and bathtub facing the craggy cliffs at the furthest side of the bay.
Remote and lovingly crafted, this historic one-bedroom cottage has been restored and extended to offer a maximum of two guests a timeless experience at any time of year. Whilst not directly on the ocean, you have views across the fields of the sea, and often watch the shepherds bringing their sheep past in the distance. There's a cosy lounge with open fireplace, a porch where you can while away the hours with a coffee or glass of wine in hand, and an outdoor bathtub too.
Set amid extensive gardens on the eastern shore of Pigeon Bay, the restored homestead offers a luxurious and relaxing experience for up to 12 guests, with ancilliary accommodation for up to four at The Stables. Ideal for groups of friends or large families, it's the base for many of the activities on the farm or coastal activities such as kayaking and the marine life tours, so is great for those keen to get out and about. There are tennis courts, large lawns, a swimming pool and gym for your use, too.
In its own sweeping bay, surrounded by hills of tussock, lies this luxurious cedar-clad beach house, which emanates a wonderful Scandinavian style. With three-ocean front master suites, each ensuite, and a bunkroom for 8 children, Scrubby Bay has plenty of space for everyone. There's a hot tub to the front, overlooking the bay, and a heated swimming pool to the back.
Children are more than welcome at Annandale, with acres of space for them to run around and enjoy New Zealand's great outdoors. Both the Homestead and Scrubby Bay offer flexible, family friendly accommodation.
Annandale offers guests total flexibility when it comes to food – simply choose the dining option that suits your needs. Award winning chef Paul masterminds the menus for all the Annandale villas, taking the utmost care to ensure your dining experiences reflect the fresh and local ethos of the farm.
For the ultimate dining experience, choose the 'private chef' option. Award winning chef Paul Jobin will create a unique farm to table offering, showcasing the best of Annandale produce.
For a more relaxed approach, and for a farm to table experience that won’t compromise your privacy, the culinary team will prepare a delicious multi-course meal for you to simply finish and plate - they call this concept "We Create, You Serve". The whole meal will be delivered to your villa, along with a step by step guide for final cooking and presentation. Breakfast and lunch provisions featuring Annandale and locally sourced produce will be provided in your villa for your enjoyment.
For total freedom and privacy, choose the 'stocked pantry' option - this way, you can manage your own meals from your fully stocked pantry with your choice of fresh and delicious regional produce, grocery items and the very best of South Island boutique wines and craft beers. All pre-selected by you and stocked in your villa ready for your arrival at Annandale. You have the freedom to choose when, how and what you cook.
Katie Fewkes (Staff)
Annandale is one of those places that you never really want to leave. Scenically the farm reminds me of parts of the British coastline, but more rugged and beautiful in many ways. The service here is exceptional, dining is exquisite and there is plenty to keep you busy, from kayaking and RIB boat trips to look for seals, to farm tours to see the shepherds in action. You'll definitely want at least one day to just relax and enjoy your beautiful house, whichever one you're staying in - enjoying the remote and peaceful location, taking an outdoor bath at the Shepherd's Cottage or hopping in the hot tub at Seascape. This escapism from the rest of the world is very much part of Annandale's beauty - you'll see what I mean when you get here.
The houses are all so different and stunning in their own way - the cottagey charm of the Shepherd's Cottage is perfect for a romantic couple's retreat, I could have stayed there forever. Seascape is the ultimate architectural design piece, reminiscent of a home in Grand Designs and with so many thoughtful touches, down to the bathtub being angled to take in views of the far headland across the bay. Scrubby Bay is an amazing Scandinavian-style family retreat, with three main bedrooms for the grown-ups, and a bunk room for the children, a heated pool and a hot tub, and an entire bay to explore. And the Homestead is a gorgeous historic Victorian home set in manicured gardens, with a huge swimming pool and tennis courts, and the base for many of the activities - ideal if you want to get out and about more.
Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise and Dolphin Swim
Cruise around an extinct volcanic crater on a catamaran and discover the impressive coastal wildlife and landscape on this once in a lifetime experience swimming with native New Zealand dolphins.
Annandale clay target shooting
Annandale offers clay target shooting in one of their secluded valleys, under the guidance (and if you need it, tuition) of one of Canterbury's most experienced gun club instructors. A great way to test your reflexes!
Annandale farm tour
Learn more about the workings of Annandale's extensive sheep and cattle farm from your guide, exploring rugged tracks and great views from elevated parts of the property. Visit the historic woolshed and get up close to some of the livestock.
Mountain biking at Annandale
Annandale has mountain bikes and trail maps available for you to use to explore the farm on two wheels - a good way to work up an appetite for some of the superb food you'll be enjoying during your stay here!
Nature cruise by powerboat
Take to the waters of Pigeon Bay in Annandale's powerboat, exploring and searching for marine and wildlife. The Banks Peninsula is home to Hector's dolphins, fur seals and numerous bird species nesting along the coastline.
Stargazing from Annandale
Like much of New Zealand, the night skies here are unforgettable. Take into account the total remoteness from any light pollution, particularly from the Shepherd’s Cottage, Seascape and Scrubby Bay and you have front row seats to a spectacular starscape.
TranzAlpine Adventure - By Train and Road
Enjoy a scenic train journey from Christchurch to visit Arthur's Pass. Crossing the Canterbury Plains, you will visit this beautiful National Park, which sits 740m above sea level.
Location & directions
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
Located to the south of Christchurch, the biggest city on New Zealand’s South Island, Banks Peninsula’s exposed contours and complex coastline are breathtakingly dramatic yet largely undiscovered. Small communities full of artisans and farmers have established in some of its bays, although many remain completely undeveloped.