Set on a magnificent lake 40 minutes drive from Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand, the magic of Blanket Bay has to be seen to be believed. Owned by Tom Tusher (retired president of Levi-Strauss) and his wife Pauline, Blanket Bay rests on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by mesmerisingly beautiful landscapes which have been captured on the big screen for a number of films, including Lord of The Rings.

“Adventure and romance abound at Blanket Bay, and it’s yours to grab hold of.”

The name Blanket Bay recalls the events a century ago when in 1861, a mob of sheep owned by Mr. William Gilbert Rees was shorn on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in a bay just south the small town of Glenorchy. This bay was named Blanket Bay after the Maori shearers used blankets to create the shed and shelters to protect themselves and the wool from the elements.

Suites, chalets and rooms

Little expense has been spared in creating a perfect haven, and is a far cry from the first campers in the 1860’s. Designed by American architect-to-the-stars, Jim McLaughlin, Blanket Bay is a majestic edifice that blends seamlessly with its southern surrounding. A facade of locally quarried schist and native timber is topped with a dormered slate roof giving the feeling that the lodge could almost have sprung out of the rocky mountain range behind it.

At the heart of the Lodge is a 30 foot high Great Room with its massive log fireplace, vaulted wharf-timber beams and antique wooden floors. Natural materials are showcased throughout and all 12 rooms and suites are filled with sumptuous furnishings and rich rugs; three suites even have their own stone fireplaces in both the bedroom and lounge areas, a spacious bathroom with steam shower, a separate tub and a 400sq ft private terrace. The chalets reflect New Zealand’s colonial architecture and complement the main Lodge through the use of schist stone and timber beams. And the views from each are to die for.

A romantic’s dream

Romantics are well catered for at the lodge and winter is the perfect time to visit with the one you love. Curl up together with a book and a glass of Otago red in front of a roaring fire; have a massage or a soak in the spa-pool with spectacular views of the lake.


The talented chefs cook up treat after treat at Blanket Bay; let them know if you have any dietary requirements prior to your arrival, and they’ll make sure you’re properly catered for. Expect to sample native specialties such as venison, and scallops from the Tasman Sea.

The wine list showcases the best New Zealand has to offer with an emphasis on those grown and bottled in the Central Otago region. The Tusher’s own the Amisfield vineyard near Queenstown, so sampling one of their Pinot’s is a must.


Blanket Bay Lodge sits at the north end of Lake Wakatipu amidst New Zealand’s finest scenery. Just 40 minutes from the world famous resort town of Queenstown (or 15 minutes by helicopter (which lands on the front lawn)), this is New Zealand’s activity and adventure centre.

The Lodge lies on the edge of one of the greatest alpine wilderness regions in the Southern Hemisphere – a brief helicopter ride away from the stunning snow-capped Mt Earnslaw Glacier, the beautiful quiet trout-filled rivers of The Greenstone Valley and the dense pre-historic rainforests of World Heritage Fiordland National Park.


À la carte restaurant, half board restaurant, bar, fitness center, spa facilities.


Recommended local restaurants:

The Glenorchy Café, Mull St, Queenstown-Lakes 9372, New Zealand – great coffee and delicious fresh food. The pizzas are a real treat.

Recommended local bars:

The Glenorch Lodge, Corner Mull & Argyle Street 23-25 Argyle St, Glenorchy 9350, New Zealand

Cultural highlights:

Artist Studios: Peter Beadle, Ivan Clark and John Crump

Discover more about Queenstown.


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