On the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park lies Edenhouse hotel, an exclusive and elegant retreat in the Orinoco Valley.

Accommodation is comprised of just two large suites and a private garden cottage with two en suite bedrooms - all with air conditioning, fully stocked fridge and free Wi-Fi. The main building houses a sitting room with open fire, dining room, library and artist's studio. Outside there are several courtyard areas and lush well-tended gardens, and there are also orchards, olive groves and woodland perfect for exploring.

Edenhouse serves its own spring water with all meals, breakfast is fresh and organic, and dinner is preceded by cocktails and canapés. Activities in the area are plentiful, from trips out on the water to up in the air, where visitors can marvel at the stunning scenery - some of it used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Abel Tasman National Park is a haven for activities such as kayaking, seal swimming and hiking, and the seal colony at Tonga Marine Reserve is a popular stop-off point for boats.

More relaxing pursuits include spa treatments, Maori plant weaving workshops, vineyard tours and a visit to the unusual Wearable Art and Classic Car Museum. For truly unique experiences, visit the Motueka airport, where you can fly a Pitts Special Biplane, the only one of its kind in New Zealand, or stroll along Farewell Spit, the longest sandbar in the world.

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Frances is our 'Edenhouse' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.