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Uncovering the Hidden Gems of a New Zealand Vacation: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Updated: Apr 3

With so many direct international flights into Auckland, New Zealand - Ripples Retreat is a closer vacation than you may think!

Just a 12-hour direct flight from Los Angeles to Auckland and a 3-hour car journey will get you to this stunning Riverside Retreat - without any jetlag!


Map of flight times from the World to New Zealand including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong Dubai. USA Japan, Korea and ChinaLA, SF, Houston, NY, Dallas and Vancouver in North America
Direct flights to New Zealand.

Did you know there are direct flights from 6 cities in the US and another from Vancouver Canada? with more being added all the time.

Flying direct is so easy. And if you wish to break up your journey, take a stopover at any of the Pacific Islands en-route. We did this in 2017 when we flew to the States - stopping in Hawaii before returning to New Zealand.


Map of flight times from the USA to New Zealand including LA, SF, Houston, NY, Dallas and Vancouver in North America
Direct flights from US cities.

Nearly all international flights come into Auckland Airport and Ripples Retreat is just a 3-hour drive away. It's a truly enchanting destination to stay at when entering or exiting our beautiful country. Alternatively, for a super relaxing holiday, you can fly into NZ and stay for a week in this central location before departing. This is something many of our guests are choosing to do, to experience our culture and the beautiful surrounding areas. Download an 8-day list of adventures you can experience while staying at Ripples by clicking on this Link

When is the best time to come? Seriously every season is a great time for a New Zealand Vacation at Ripples Retreat. We are centrally located on our family farm near Waitomo Caves, an area known for its lush farmland, Hobbit limestone bluffs, and moderate climate with mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.

Beautiful New Zealand farm views of a riverside accommodation cabin in Waitomo New Zealand Ripples Retreat
Luxury retreat 3hrs to Auckland Airport

Summer Dec-Feb Temps 20 -27+ C (68 -81+F)

Is the most popular time to visit Ripples for sunny riverside days and water adventures, It's the perfect season for enjoying wild swimming, fishing, and kayaking in our private and unique river swimming pool that runs through Ripples. The days are long and warm and you can take one of the many scenic day trips in every direction, that are available from here. However, please remember to book in advance as securing your dates for summer can be difficult.



Autumn Mar -May Temps 16 -22 C (61 – 72F)

This is my favorite season for photography. Many of these photos are in our Ripples gallery The Autumn colors really start to turn in April/May and the days are cooler making it a great season for day walks and hikes up the farm for views of Mt Ruapehu. You can still swim in March and the evenings are sublime – sitting on the deck listening to birdsong and the river, just turn on the outdoor heater in the evening, if it gets a little cool.


 Map of the 3 hr drive time from Auckland Airport to Ripples Retreat. Including times from Hamilton Taupo Tauranga, New Plymouth, Piopio and Wellington
Ripples Retreat is centrally located under 3 hours from Auckland International Airport. an easy drive when you arrive or depart New Zealand

Winter June-Aug Temps 12 -16C (54 – 61F)

Winter is the way to go if you are looking for the ultimate stargazing accommodation - best viewed from our outdoor bath. Ripples Retreat has some of the clearest night skies in New Zealand with close to zero light pollution - one of the few clear night sky areas in the North Island. The Milky Way galaxy is visible from February to October but at its brightest in the winter months of June and July. Go to our website for the next best dates for viewing the Milky Way. at Ripples Retreat. You may also get to experience a crisp, frosty morning where you wake up to glittering white crystals all over the ground.



Photograph of Ripples Retreat's outdoor bath underneath the Milkyway some of the clearest night skies in NZ
Milky Way galaxy views from the outdoor bath at Ripples Retreat. Check out of website for the next best viewing dates of the Milkyway

Spring Sep-Nov Temps 16 – 22C (61 – 72F)

Spring at Ripples is when the weather starts to warm up again. It’s the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, and spring skiing is often available at Whakapapa Ski Field, a 2-hour drive away.

At Ripples Retreat you’ll find our farm full of bouncing lambs and spring blossoms, and we always have a pet lamb or 2 for you to meet and feed. Warm days and cool nights are common and November in particular can be a very pleasant time of year for a vacation here.


Springtime Lambs, cute farm animals in Waikato New Zealand
Meet Fred and Ginger our pet lambs at Ripples

Who should come? We have not only designed Ripples as a Romantic Getaway for couples but also made a secret space for up to 3 teenagers and children over the age of 5. Many of our guests return with their children to experience this magical family accommodation and create lasting memories. For more insightful information and tips we've learned travelling through NZ and further afield with our kids, you can read our early blog in this series Travelling with Teens in NZ



What's to do at Ripples? Many of our guests arrive with plans to explore the stunning surrounding area, but once they experience the beauty and serenity of Ripples, they find themselves not wanting to leave this little piece of paradise. Those who choose to venture out can visit remote beaches with tunnel entrances, explore the adventure wonderland of Waitomo Caves, enjoy a Hobbit tour, (The Hobbit was filmed here in 2011) visit the World renowned Hamilton Gardens, or the extensive summer Gardens Magic light display in New Plymouth, cycle or walk one of the many walkways, or fish, swim, kayak, waterfall walk or hike up the farm to amazing views over the Central Plateau. Click on this link to download our full adventures map of everything to do

Families kayaking, playing and having a wonderful vacation holiday in the river at Ripples Retreat
Romantic getaway or Family holiday, we have complimentary kayaks and river toys at Ripples.Ripples is highly rated with numerous 5 star reviews. Be sure to book enough days - if they're available!

We look forward to welcoming you. Just make sure you book enough days as our guests just don't want to leave!

Click here if you would like to book your New Zealand Vacation at Ripples Retreat.

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