Huka Lodge Offers Up A Stellar Line-up Of Talent

Huka Lodge is poised to celebrate, in inimitable style, its 90th anniversary with a stellar line-up of extraordinary talent for a season of inspirational and intimate occasions, during the autumn-winter months of 2014.

Highlights will include intimate dinners with authors Eleanor Catton and Alexander McCall Smith, an Italian Opera weekend with Sydney's iconic chef Stefano Manfredi in which Deborah Wai Kapohe will sing, along with emerging talent from the New Zealand Opera School and a Paspaley Pearl Discovery weekend where guests will create their own strands and dine on pearl meat, prepared by Huka Lodge Executive Chef Paul Froggatt.

A Celebrate the Art of Living weekend will bring together highly acclaimed and respected leaders in their fields.  Health and wellbeing expert Dr Libby Weaver, winemaker Kevin Judd, and purveyors of luxury jewellery brands Chaumet and Pasquale Bruni, Hartfield Jewellers, will all show guests how to get the best from life in so many ways. Aston Martin will also be providing their latest sports cars for a test-drive to continue the theme of inspiration and beauty from luxury brands.

A Rodd & Gunn Weekend showcases this iconic New Zealand brand and some of its typically favourite activities – driving with Range Rover, trout fishing, men's fashion and styling, bespoke leather accessories, celebrity guest and speaker Sir Graham Henry, Tasmania's NANT whisky, exploring Lake Taupo with Sealegs … and more.

An annual institution at Huka Lodge, the Bollinger Champagne Dinner will be hosted by Clive Weston, sharing with Huka Lodge guests part of the small global allocation of an R.D. (récemment dégorgé) release made in 2014, along with other vintages. The menu will be created by culinary genius Martin Benn of Sydney's celebrated Sepia, named 'Restaurant of the Year 2014' by the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Guide.

Join us for yet another splendid version of the Lodge's popular Big (Aussie) Red Dinner, hosted by great Australian and sporting legend Nick Farr-Jones. A selection of award-winning and rare red wines showcasing Australia's famed Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz styles will include the Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz and the Vasse Felix Heytesbury Cabernet Sauvignon amongst others.

This year's extraordinary programme of events at Huka Lodge concludes with an evening spent with Eleanor Catton, the recent recipient of one of the world's most prestigious literary awards, the Man Booker prize.

ITALIAN OPERA WEEKEND – Friday, 25 and Saturday, 26 April 2014

Join us at Huka Lodge for an Italian extravaganza – a memorable weekend filled with stunning operatic performances accompanied by superb cuisine.

Jonathan Alver, your Master of Ceremonies, has over 25 years experience in theatrical, screen and event production and as current director of the New Zealand Opera School.

Drawing together the talents of fabulous New Zealand opera diva Deborah Wai Kapohe and emerging artists Bianca Andrew, Oliver Sewell and Edward Laurenson from the alumni of the New Zealand Opera School, into a program of Italian musical recitals creates a truly magical event for opera lovers.

Add the talents of our guest chef for the event, the famed Stefano Manfredi from 'Manfredi at Bells' and 'Osteria Balla Manfredi' in NSW and you have an amazing combination of the best Italy has to share.

A surcharge of NZ$200.00 per room + GST (15%) applies to the tariff to benefit the work of the New Zealand Opera School.

A RODD & GUNN WEEKEND AT HUKA LODGE – Friday, 16 May and Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bringing together a tremendous offering of so many Rodd & Gunn favourite activities over two nights at Huka Lodge has to make this the most incredible country house party weekend for those seeking fun and adventure.

Guests will be transferred between activities in the latest Range Rover Sport, go trout fishing on Lake Taupo, mix and mingle with celebrity speaker Sir Graham Henry, enjoy a cooking demonstration – followed by lunch, with Executive Chef Paul Froggatt. Tutored whisky tasting with NANT whisky and Sealegs experience on Lake Taupo – all complemented by men's fashion seasonal forecast and personal styling sessions from the Head Designer and the team from Rodd & Gunn … and more.

Presented with a tariff of NZ$990.00 + GST per person, per night for double/twin occupancy of a riverside Junior Lodge Suite. The exclusive Owner's Cottage (with four suites) and the Alan Pye Cottage (with two suites) are also available.


Presented in association with the Auckland Writers Festival

Alexander McCall Smith, one of the world's most popular writers, is your companion at this intimate author event at Huka Lodge.

Born in Rhodesia, McCall Smith spent many years as an academic, working in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad as a Professor of Medical Law, before achieving success as the creator of the truly delightful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. Twenty million copies of his books, translated into 40 languages, have since been sold around the world.

McCall Smith now devotes his time to enhancing lives with his divine books, which are always eagerly anticipated for their humour, charming storytelling, and eccentric and utterly loveable characters.

Enjoy his fabulous company and storytelling prowess in person over a superb five-course gourmet dinner at Huka Lodge.

Presented with our compliments, at no additional cost beyond the normal tariff.

PASPALEY PEARL DISCOVERY WEEKEND – Friday, 06 and Saturday, 07 June 2014

Paspaley, a family owned company has devoted over 75 years to perfecting the art of pearl culture. Their unparalleled passion and expertise has ensured the Paspaley name is internationally recognised as the source of the most beautiful pearls in the world.

A member of the Paspaley family, along with their team of highly trained pearl connoisseurs will journey to Huka Lodge to present their unique style of Pearl Discovery Weekend for our lucky guests.

Learn about the fascinating history of these amazing Australian South Sea pearls, and participate in a tutored pearl discovery session. Take the special opportunity to wear a Paspaley strand at an intimate dinner and savour the unique flavour of Paspaley pearl meat during a masterclass with Huka Lodge Executive Chef Paul Froggatt.  

There will also be a presentation of wines from Bunnamagoo Wines, also owned by the Paspaley family.

This unique Paspaley Pearl Discovery Weekend is presented on a complimentary basis within our normal tariff, with lunches being the only additional cost.

CELEBRATE THE ART OF LIVING – Friday, 25 and Saturday, 26 July 2014

This inaugural weekend was such a great success last year that we have decided to create another one for you to enjoy during the winter, and over a fabulous two-night stay at Huka Lodge.

We have invited some expert presenters to share with you all their specialist knowledge and passion, for their given areas of practice.

A highlight of the event is sure to be the 'Optimal Health' workshop presented by the celebrated nutritional biochemist Dr Libby Weaver.

This will be followed by stunning jewels from Chaumet and Pasquale Bruni, presented by Margaret Foley and Rebecca Foley from Hartfield Jewellers and the latest Aston Martin sports cars to test-drive during your stay.

A Winemakers' Dinner showcases Kevin Judd's superb Greywacke wines from Marlborough. There will be a cooking demonstration followed by a delicious luncheon with Huka Lodge Executive Chef Paul Froggatt.  All included within the normal tariff, with the exception of the luncheon with Paul Froggatt.

CHAMPAGNE BOLLINGER DINNER – Saturday, 30 August 2014

Now an annual institution at Huka Lodge, this year the Bollinger Champagne Dinner hosted by Clive Weston, features something truly unique for Champagne aficionados.

It has just been announced that there will be an R.D. (récemment dégorgé) release made in 2014. The global allocation for this is small.  However Huka Lodge guests will be able to 'taste' this rare wine at the event, along with other more readily available Bollinger vintages.

Our guest chef for this special occasion is Martin Benn from 'Sepia Restaurant' in Sydney. This highly regarded culinary genius has enjoyed a stellar career with many titles and awards to his name – with many more to come.  In the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Guide 2014 'Sepia' was again awarded Three Chef's Hats and named Restaurant of the Year 2014.

We have our fingers crossed that Martin may have advance copies of his first book SEPIA with him!

This event is presented on a complimentary basis, at no additional cost beyond that of our normal tariff.

THE BIG AUSSIE RED DINNER – Saturday, 27 September 2014

Every year we look to find ways to make our annual events even more exciting, especially for those of you who have attended your favourites so regularly.

This year we are focussing on a carefully selected group of celebrated wines that are often award-winning and rare examples of the two most famous red varieties of Australian wine – Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The selection will include the Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz 2011 from the Hunter Valley, the Vasse Felix Heytesbury Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from Margaret River, the Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 2008 from the Barossa valley and from Jim Barry, The First Eleven Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from Coonawarra. 

The five-course dinner created especially, to enhance the robust flavours of these wines, will be beautifully presented by Huka Lodge's Executive Chef Paul Froggatt.

To take the great Australian theme still further we have lured Nick Farr-Jones over the Tasman to help us entertain you. Fondly remembered as the captain of the Wallabies, Nick has gone on to enjoy a successful business career, while also continuing to be in great demand as an engaging speaker.  A surcharge of NZ$100 + GST per person does apply for this event due to the relatively high cost and rarity of these wines.

AN EVENING WITH ELEANOR CATTON – Saturday, 04 October 2014

Eleanor Catton is the youngest author yet to become the recipient of one of the world's most prestigious literary awards the Man Booker prize, with her second novel The Luminaries. Set in the wild west coast of the South Island of New Zealand during the gold mining days of 1866, The Luminaries delivers 832 pages of extraordinary storytelling.

Come and join us at Huka Lodge to hear Eleanor Catton talk – about her work as an internationally acclaimed novelist, all the excitement surrounding the announcement of a television mini-series of The Luminaries and her plans for the future. Take the opportunity to engage with this truly wonderful novelist in a small and very private celebration of her recent success.

Afterwards, join Eleanor for a delicious five-course dinner featuring a special menu created by Executive Chef Paul Froggatt, showcasing the finest of seasonal produce in the intimate ambience so unique to Huka Lodge.

If you do not already own a copy of The Luminaries you can take the opportunity to purchase one during your stay and have it signed for you by Eleanor – as a memento of a truly special occasion.

Presented with our compliments, at no additional cost beyond the normal tariff.

With Italian Opera, Eleanor Catton, Alexander McCall Smith, Paspaley Pearls, Dr Libby Weaver, Chaumet and Pasquale Bruni, Nick Farr-Jones, Aston Martin, Champagne Bollinger, a Rodd & Gunn weekend … and so much more book now so you don't miss out.


From 01 – 30 April and from 01 October – 14 December 2014 the Huka Lodge rates are from NZ$990.00 + GST per person, per night (double/twin occupancy), for a Junior Lodge Suite. The Owner's Cottage and Alan Pye Cottage start from NZ$2,325.00 + GST per person, per night (double/twin occupancy).  

From 01 May – 30 September 2014 the Huka Lodge rates are from NZ$795.00 + GST per person, per night (double/twin occupancy), for a Junior Lodge Suite. The Owner's Cottage and Alan Pye Cottage start from NZ$1,850.00 + GST per person, per night (double/twin occupancy).  

All rates are inclusive of accommodation, pre-dinner drinks and canapés, superb five-course dinner, country breakfast, use of all Lodge facilities, and return Taupo Airport transfers will be provided, if required.

Huka Lodge has certainly 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 its 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.

Huka Lodge is a sister property to Dolphin Island, Fiji and Grande Provence Estate, South Africa. All three properties comprise The Huka Retreats and are the vision of their founder, entrepreneur Alex van Heeren.

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