From Helena Bay to Waiheke: The Ultimate Wine Tour

A 'Private Flights' package from Helena Bay Lodge will take you to one of Waiheke Island's best wineries for lunch and a tasting

The firepit at Northland luxury lodge Helena Bay. Picture / Supplied

Three words that absolutely epitomise luxury are “helicopter”, “lodge” and “winery”. If you've got a spare $12,475 you can combine all three during a stay at the opulent Helena Bay Lodge in Northland. Its "Private Flights" package takes two guests by chopper to one of Waiheke Island’s premium wineries — either Cable Bay or Man O’ War Estate — for a tasting with the winemaker and a paired lunch. If you pick up a bottle or two from the vineyard, Helena Bay’s Michelin-starred chef Ernesto Iaccarino can design your lunch menu the following day to match with the wine.

A stay at the lodge itself, which has just been named on Conde Nast Traveler's 2017 Hot List of the year's top hotel openings, starts from $1550 per night for double occupancy of one of its five suites until the end of September. It has its own pretty private beach, gym, 25m in-ground heated swimming pool, and a luxe spa wing designed like a traditional Russian banya (bathhouse). Breakfast, pre-dinner drinks and dinner are also included.

The lodge, which is owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Abramov, only allows a maximum of 10 couples at any one time making it a totally exclusive experience. Getting whisked away in a helicopter for the day would be the icing on a very fabulous cake.

• Helena Bay Lodge is at 1948 Russell Rd, RD4, Helena Bay, Northland. Visit Helenabay.com

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New Zealand Herald

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