With proposals these days no longer done at a candlelit dinner on knee, hopeful grooms-to-be are always on the lookout for the most magical place to pop the question. This year, New Zealand is coming to their aid by offering its stunning natural landscapes and breath-taking views as a backdrop for an unforgettable moment.
Above Waitemata Harbour aboard the amphibious Auckland Seaplanes. With the sea as runway, these robust little machines taxi out through the wharves of Wynyard Quarter before soaring over the island jewels of the Hauraki Gulf.
“We fly the guests to magnificent Motuihe Island, then leave them on a deserted beach with a bottle of chilled bubbles. Returning some time later, we fly the happy couple on to Waiheke for lunch, to enjoy the rest of the day or stay overnight. We’ve never had anyone say no yet,” Auckland Seaplanes CEO Chris Sattler describes their most popular proposal package.
Cape Brett Walkway in the Far North for the active type beloved. The hearty 16-kilometer hike to an isolated lighthouse takes eight hours. Taking a shortcut and chartering a water taxi part of the way is an option, slashing the trip to a two-hour five-kilometer ramble amid the raucous tweeting of native birds, the roar of the sea and the wind in the branches of the Manuka trees.
Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Night Reserve. Gazing up at the heavens can often make a couple feel like canoodling, or perhaps formalizing their union with the South Island’s phenomenal starscape providing the glitter. With a designated 4,300-square-kilometer light pollution zone, the only thing that could outshine the twinkle in a lover’s eyes is the glittering constellations above.
Olivers Lodge and Stables in Clyde. Once a bustling Central Otago gold mining town, Clyde sits beside the Clutha River and is popular with history buffs, cycling enthusiasts and hikers. The jewel in Clyde’s crown, though, is the lovingly restored Olivers Lodge and Stables, an elegantly historic accommodation complex that deserves every one of its five stars. Olivers plays host to plenty of weddings, given its fabulous gardens, exquisite food, wine, deli, and brewery.
Te Araroa Trail. A long walk is a magical way to nurture a relationship, making the Te Araroa Trail an outstanding place to propose. Starting at the tip of the North Island and finishing in Bluff in the South, this journey takes 50-80 days per island to complete. It can be the first step to take towards a life-long commitment.
It’s hard to pick just one bended-knee moment with so many picturesque spots but stopping about halfway along on the Paekakariki Trail just outside Wellington could be perfect – between the very top of the Devil’s Staircase with impressive views of the Kapiti Coast, or in the middle of one of the breath-taking swing bridges along the way.