The Banks Peninsula (which is made up of two former volcanoes that have since eroded into a series of bays and harbors) has the advantage of feeling exceedingly remote, though it’s just a short drive—and even shorter helicopter trip—from the Christchurch. Annandale is actually a fully functional sheep and cattle farm, with a stunning garden and orchard (needless to say, were sold as soon as we saw the greenhouse) and seemingly endless grounds for exploring on foot, on bikes, or in kayaks. The property itself has a main farmhouse—built in the 1880s and warmly restored—plus four private villas, each on their own section of the island. Food is prepared and delivered ahead of time and prepped for easy heating in the oven—everything is made with ingredients sourced on-site, and the result is immensely intimate dinners without even the interruption of staff. Honeymooners should ask about the Seascape beach cottage, an isolated one-bedroom along the beach with a fireplace, spa pool, and an all-to-yourself-view of Pigeon Bay, where you’re all but guaranteed to see adorably miniature Hector’s dolphins (seriously, Google them) seeking refuge.

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