The first time my husband and I spent any time together away from the kids was when our eldest Arabella turned four. We’d separately had time apart from the kids, but never together. It was time to prioritise ‘us’...
It was my husband’s 40th birthday and we went away for three nights with some friends. The day before we left, the girls both got gastro (it’s typical, isn’t it?). My mum kindly insisted we go anyway and knowing they were in good hands, we still went away. At first, it was a little strange and I did check in with my mum so much she told me to stop calling and go and enjoy myself. We’re so used to being a family unit of four, that when we were just back to two, it felt like something was missing. But the minute we relaxed, it felt wonderful (even if we did spend most of the holiday talking about the kids).
A year later, and leaving them for a few nights doesn’t feel as hard as it did a year ago. We’ve headed away on our second adventure together – just the two of us. This time, we’re headed to one of New Zealand’s most luxurious lodges: Kauri Cliffs. A four-hour drive from Auckland (or a short plane ride away), it’s located on 6,000 acres of sprawling hills near Matauri Bay. One look at the sensational 180-degree views of Cape Brett and the offshore Cavalli Islands, and you’ll know why it’s Northland’s premier luxury vacation destination.
Rolling farmland, spectacular coastline, pristine secluded beaches, fine dining, tranquil spa, luxurious accommodation and world-class golf. In other words, we’re off to paradise for three nights.
There are just 22 guest suites at The Lodge Kauri Cliffs and a two Bedroom Owner’s Cottage. Every exclusive suite offers its own private porch, bedroom with sitting area and open fireplace, walk-in-wardrobe and ensuite. What’s more, the cottages are nestled in a native forest overlooking the golf course and the Pacific Ocean. One look at the calming water views and I’m instantly relaxed.
You’re likely to want to play on the award-winning golf course, but there’s also plenty of other activities on offer. Three private swimming beaches (including the famed Pink Beach where regular barbecues are held in the summer months), mountain bikes, guided nature walks, fishing and horse riding are all popular activities on the property.
When it comes to dining, private à la carte dining is available in the main dining room (which has a gorgeous farmhouse feel to it) or on the verandah overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. Executive chef Barry Frith oversees the daily-changing à la carte menu, which specialises in modern, seasonal, local dishes including New Zealand lamb, beef and seafood. Gourmet picnics can be arranged and enjoyed around the expansive grounds.
Also don’t miss Kauri Cliffs’ cocktail hour from 6.30pm. Complimentary wine, beers and canapés are served on the veranda to piano and jazz music – the atmosphere is fabulous.
Now, if you don’t want to leave the kids at home, extra beds can be added to Lodge and Ridge Suites. So it’s a perfect escape for couples or families (take my advice
and try and go without the kids).