Taking Cover

Mar 12, 2002

After you check in at the Lodge at Blanket Bay, general manager Philip Jenkins may invite you into his so-called war room. Here, he will refer to a map, pointing out ideal spots for extreme pursuits such as hang gliding and tandem parachute jumping. If bungee jumping is your endeavor of choice, Jenkins knows just the place: the world's first-ever commercial site for the sport, which is located 20 minutes by helicopter from your strategic position on Lake Wakatipu.

Less intense recreation, such as salmon fishing and sailing on Wakatipu, is possible mere steps from the main lodge at Blanket Bay, an intimate alpine resort set on 65,000 acres on New Zealand's South Island. Guests at Blanket Bay stay in the main lodge's rooms and suites (eight total), or in the property's two New Zealand Colonial-style chalets, which include two 700-square-foot suites apiece, lakefront decks, and private courtyards. 

Blanket Bay's outdoor pursuits can be countered with such leisurely activities as sampling New Zealand vintages in the wine cave; warming up to the grand stone fireplace in the Great Room, where 30-foot-high timber-beamed ceilings and expansive windows afford views of the lake and Humboldt Mountains; or enjoying a deep tissue or aromatherapy massage at the spa. The treatments, administered in a lake-view suite, offer a peaceful way of preparing your muscles for - or helping them to recover from - a day of doing battle with South Island's extreme terrain.