Valentine’s Day may have passed, but if you are looking for somewhere a bit different to pop the question to your one true love, here are 5 places in New Zealand that I think would be awesome.
1. Hawkes Bay
Drive to the top of Te Mata Peak in Havelock North where the hang-gliders launch over the view point of the Tuki Tuki River as it snakes behind Craggy Range Winery. From up here, you can look out over Hastings to the arching shoreline of Napier. Then – assuming your partner says yes – take your newly betrothed to Craggy Range for dinner on the terrace overlooking their little lake and gaze back up to the spot where the deal was sealed.
2. Bay of Islands
Tuck a bottle of champagne and some flutes into your day pack and take a water taxi or an island tour from Paihia out to Urupukapuka Island. If you’re feeling really flash, splash out on a helicopter. Walk up the track for about 10 minutes and you’ll find a quiet spot with stunning postcard views of the surrounding islands.
On your way home, hop off at Russell for a celebratory tipple on the veranda at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel.
My boyfriend became my fiance in front of Bridal Veil Falls, at Treetops Lodge. We were staying at the lodge and decided to go for a little hike the next morning on one of several trails in their 70ha bush. The staff can set up a picnic if you have planned ahead, but if not, a grinning selfie will do. It was the hiking out that put our impending nuptials to the test as we got lost and didn’t return until just before lunch.
4. Mahia Peninsula
Not as exotic as Treetops, but my cousin was recently surprised at the top of Mokotahi. After three times declining her boyfriend’s offer of a walk, before finally giving in, they climbed up the headland above the harbour where, on a clear day, you can see Napier across Hawke’s Bay. Just make sure the ring is securely stowed in your sock if you are planning this trip, as it’s a scramble in places.
They’ll never see this coming! Book a Sky Walk and as the “asker” gets changed, staff will sneak in to ensure the ring is attached secretly in your bright orange onesie then once out on the ledge, some 192m above the city, you will be given the nod to drop down and pop the question. They’ve done this before.