Ann's Blog

Published on February 27th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard


Huka Lodge -Taupo

Who doesn’t love a luxurious country lodge? Especially during the cooler months of autumn and the rug-up-by-the-fire month-s of winter.

They don’t come any more luxurious than Huka Lodge in Taupo New Zealand and this year, as the lodge celebrates its 90th anniversary, the theme is luxury upon luxury.Hapuku Lodge -

An ambitious line-up of events beckon you across the ditch to be pampered, cossetted and to get up close to celebrity authors and chefs, renowned winemakers and the names behind some of the world’s most iconic brands.

Think intimate dinners with authors Eleanor Catton and Alexander McCall Smith.

How about an Italian Opera weekend with Deborah Wai Kapohe singing and Stefano Manfredi cooking?

What about a Paspaley Pearl Discovery weekend, where you’ll celebrate pearls and dine on pearl meat, prepared by executive chef Paul Froggatt?

There is something for all tastes.

Health and wellbeing expert Dr Libby Weaver, winemaker Kevin Judd, and purveyors of luxury jewellery brands Chaumet and Pasquale Bruni, Hartfield Jewellers, are just some of the names to present.

Aston Martin will provide its latest sports cars for a test drive.

Rodd & Gunn will showcase typically favourite activities: driving with Range Rover, trout fishing…and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

A Huka Lodge annual institution, the Bollinger Champagne Dinner, hosted by Clive Weston will include sharing part of the small global allocation of an RD release made in 2014, along with other vintages to a menu created by Martin Benn of Sydney’s celebrated Sepia.


Sporting legend Nick Farr-Joess will host the lodge’s popular Big (Aussie) Red Dinner, showcasing rare red wines including a Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz and the Vasse Felix Heytesbury Cabernet Sauvignon among others.

This year’s extraordinary program at Huka Lodge concludes with an evening with Eleanor Catton, the recent recipient of the Man Booker prize.

Huka Lodge has come a long way since the charming Irishman Alan Pye founded it in 1924.

His simple tented camp on the banks of the Waikato River quickly gained a reputation for generous hospitality and for trophy-size trout.

While these still draw people to the property to this day, Huka Lodge has grown to become a much richer and more unique experience – one worthy of inspiring such a spectacular celebration for its 90th year.

?More details of events and reservations on

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About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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