The Lindis – luxury in the wilderness

August 28, 2020

The Lindis – luxury in the wilderness

If you’re looking for the ultimate winter getaway I’ve just had a couple of days enjoying the luxury at The Lindis, a stunning lodge, close to the Lindis Pass in the South Island.

The undulating wooden roof, mimicking the surrounding hills of the Ahuriri Valley will have you captivated and it will be a place you will want to go back to again and again.

The Lindis

Our journey

We headed off early from our home near Arrowtown via the Gibbston Valley to Cromwell. But instead of taking the direct route, we detoured to St Bathans, a place I had not visited before. Hangry from an early morning start, we rang ahead to check the famous Vulcan Hotel was open. The lunch menu had been scaled back, but I was very happy with one of Wanda’s (the proprietor’s) homemade beef and a blue cheese pies…delicious.

Lunch at the Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans – a delicious beef and cheese pie

St Bathans is a very old town, established during the gold rush, but sadly it’s now has a ghostly feel. However, it’s not surprising as not much has happened for well over 100 years since the miners deserted the town in droves. In fact, the locals believe the old Vulcan Hotel is haunted. A famous resident and prostitute, Rose, died in the Vulcan over 100 years ago. The locals believe her spirit haunts the hotel and she has appeared before many male guests.

The Vulcan Hotel is the only remaining hotel in St Bathans after the gold rush

The town started as a tented city, but over time it turned into a real town. Streets were formed and wood, iron and mud-brick buildings replaced the calico huts. At the height of the gold rush, the population peaked at 2,000 and was served by a police station, courthouse, jail, hospital, 13 hotels, two banks and many businesses.

While much of the historic remains have turned to rubble, the big drawcard to St Bathans today is across the road from the hotel, the Blue Lake at the foot of Mt St Bathans. It’s a small man-made lake, the result of sluicing operations that began in 1873 to mine the gold.

It’s a great summer destination for swimming and picnics. The lake is surrounded by the most amazing rock formations made up of 200-million-year-old greywacke giving the lake an incredible aqua colour.

The Blue Lake at St Bathans is a great summer attraction

Back on the road, we headed to The Lindis arriving in the late afternoon and were let through the gate continuing on the gravel driveway to the lodge.

The gate to The Lindis blends in with the environment, again mimicking the undulating hills like the roof of the lodge

The staff greeted us at the lodge entrance and we were ushered to the lounge and dining area. With a glass of wine in hand, we chatted about the architecture, the lodge owners, Ben Avon Station and the activities we could embark on during our stay. The staff made an enormous effort to make our stay exceptional, personalising service wherever possible.

The dining areas in The Lindis lodge

A little later, pre-dinner canapes and drinks were enjoyed before a stunning three-course dinner. The food was flawless as you would expect, as was the breakfast the next morning.

But what really differentiates this luxury lodge from others is the environment. Having negotiated the Lindis Pass we had turned off the main highway onto Birchwood Road and continued on a gravel road for 20 kilometres, up the glacial valley. The rawness and remoteness of this location is the magic, with 6,000 hectares of Ben Avon Station as a playground. During our stay, we ventured out on several occasions to hike on the property and also e-biked. The rugged landscape and winding river, renowned for great fly-fishing, creates a very soulful experience. Although we didn’t ride, a stable of 16 horses is available for riding as well as any number of excursions including Aoraki, Mt Cook heli-experience and much more.

Hiking the trails on the Ben Avon Station

With a choice of accommodation, we opted for one of the three pods, the newest additions to the lodge. Each pod is completely stand-alone and private. Primarily constructed from glass the 18 square metre pods are self-contained, with a king bed, ensuite and outside bath. They create a real connection to the wilderness, just what I was looking for. They are also in the process of constructing a spa,  however it’s running behind schedule due to Covid.

The three pods at The Lindis

Our pod with its outside bath

The lodge has five suites in the main building, somewhat different from the pods. They are spacious with more amenities and luxury.

A view of one of the suites in The Lindis

Magnificent view over the river and up to the mountains from the lodge suites

With overseas visitors unable to come to New Zealand The Lindis is offering a local special until November 2020 starting from $770 NZD pp a night, inclusive of pre-dinner drinks and canapes, dinner and breakfast.

If you are looking for other great adventures in New Zealand, click on:

Oamaru – our historic Otago adventure







2020-10-23T19:37:44+13:00August 28th, 2020|NEW ZEALAND|

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  1. Sue Marsh August 29, 2020 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    As always, gorgeous photos and commentary Jane! I’ve read about
    The Lindis and seen a few photos. Such a beautiful place, one I know I would love. I too would want to stay in a pod – I can think of nothing better to be in that environment with all that glass so you could see all aorund you and that outdoor bath is pure luxury! I would never want to get out!!

    Thanks once again for sharing your travels and accommodations.

  2. Pat Perry September 10, 2020 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    What a fabulous place. The pod would something totally different. We have been to St Bathans and when we were there, in summer time, the lake was an amazing colour. . We love Central Otago, so many old buildings with so much history..

    • Jane Jeffries September 24, 2020 at 11:05 am - Reply

      You would love ethe pods. They are certainly very different

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