If you're heading to New Zealand and don't want camping mayhem, try a tucked-away b&b instead.
Queenstown has the reputation for being a year-round party town. People flock there to ski, snowboard, bungee jump, backpack and well party.
On the edge of Queenstown is a fringe of b&bs for those who want the fun but prefer to have somewhere comfortable to sleep, rather than camp or bunk up with others.
Tucked away so well that even many locals don't know it's there, is the charming 120-year-old Loose Box. It is owned by husband and wife Ben Calvert and Lucinda Macfarlane and the barn, stables, woolshed and loft were converted by her grandmother 45 years ago. The distinctive stone buildings have proved irresistible to photographers and artists.
It is on 1.2 hectares and landscaping has been cleverly designed to ensure total privacy and provide a beautiful outlook across the gardens to Lake Hayes (which is filled with trout) and to the mountains.
The main house and guest lodge are separated by a terrace. The lodge is self-contained with a sitting room and open plan kitchen and is surrounded by willows and old evergreens. Guests are welcomed on arrival with fresh flowers, shortbread and champagne. They may dine with Ben and Lucinda if they wish they offer a three course "best of New Zealand" gourmet dinner or they might prefer to do their own cooking. They are also invited to enjoy cocktails on the terrace or in front of an open fire.
One bedroom in the main house was once a chaff room, and two horses used to sleep in what is now the kitchen. The name Loose Box came from the term for a wooden stall or stable.
The Loose Box is light and romantic. In summer, cooling breezes are very welcome, and during winter, guests can watch snow falling on the mountains from the snug comfort of their lodge.
Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island.
Loose Box accommodation costs around $425 per double a night.
Qantas flies daily to Christchurch with connections to Queenstown. Return economy airfares start from $944 from Sydney; $997 from Melbourne and Brisbane; $1270 from Adelaide; $1369 from Perth and $1627 from Darwin, per person. Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of recording but may vary at time of booking. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
The Loose Box
Lake Hayes, RDI Queenstown NZ
Ph/Fax: (0011) 64 3 442 firstname.lastname@example.org