Cabanes Bendigo: Luxury mountain cabins under $250 a night


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I’m tucked away in the mountains in a small but luxurious cabin. The snow-capped peaks of the Pisa Range frame my view, and no one is in sight. You can spend thousands on a South Island mountain getaway, but you don’t need to break the bank here. I can’t believe this experience is $250 a night.

You have the choice between two cabins.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

You have the choice between two cabins.

Since Covid-19 hit I’ve been lucky enough to travel the country and stay in dozens of places. But for the price, Bendigo Cabins is my all time favorite find in my home.

The place

The property has two luxuriously rustic cabins perched on a rocky outcrop, overlooking the enormous Clutha Basin filled with farmland, vineyards and distant mountains.

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It feels a world apart, but is only 15 minutes from Cromwell – or you can fly direct from Queenstown Airport and be here in an hour. And you can get there by car.

The cabins overlook the Pisa range.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The cabins overlook the Pisa range.

Space

There are two huts to choose from; the Dunstan or Pisa huts.

The interior is small but luxurious.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The interior is small but luxurious.

They are both designed with the view in mind, with all-glass facades. The bed is raised off the ground, tucked away in a large cubbyhole. The main living room also has a fire, which makes winter getaways very cozy.

There is also a modern bathroom, with bathrobes and a luxurious shower. Both cabins have an outdoor tub with stunning views.

The mountain bath is one of the best places to relax.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The mountain bath is one of the best places to relax.

The installations

If glamping and a five-star hotel had a baby, these cabins would. You have all the luxuries of a hotel suite like a cozy bed, a kitchenette and even Bluetooth speakers. This is combined with the remoteness of glamping and features like an outdoor bath.

You could spend your entire stay in a dressing gown reading a book, and no one would know.

The food

While the cabin has a fridge, toaster and kettle, you are encouraged to sample the local restaurants, which are a short drive away. The in-room guide has an abundant list of options.

One highlight is Cloudy Bay Shed, which is open for lunch – with a delicious menu and wine pairings.

Cloudy Bay Shed is home to an excellent dining experience.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

Cloudy Bay Shed is home to an excellent dining experience.

Worth going out

During the winter months, you might get a light dusting of snow at the cabin. Sitting in front of the fire with a book surrounded by a winter wonderland is the kind of bliss you’ll never want to leave.

However, there’s plenty to explore nearby, like the popular Lake Dunstan Trail and Highlands Motorsport Park – not to mention heritage mining towns like Clyde.

The barren hills around Cromwell are also teeming with vineyards; it’s the epicenter of the Central Otago wine region with no shortage of wineries to choose from.

The outdoor bath is a highlight whatever the weather.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The outdoor bath is a highlight whatever the weather.

The climax

This mountain getaway doesn’t break the bank.

low light

The secret is starting to come out. Although these cabins have not been advertised, word of mouth is spreading and availability is already hard to come by.

The verdict

If I only had $250 to spend for one night anywhere in New Zealand I would stay here. Romance with the perfect touch of beauty and adventure.

The cabins have absolute privacy.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The cabins have absolute privacy.

Essential:

Stay there: Bendigo Cabins is $189 plus cleaning and service fees, which works out to about $250 a night. There is a minimum stay of two nights. See: bendigocabins.co.nz

Getting There : The cabins are a 15 minute drive from Cromwell.

Carbon footprint: Flying generates carbon emissions. To reduce your impact, consider alternative ways to travel, bundle your trips and, when you have to fly, consider offsetting emissions. To offset your carbon emissions, go to airnewzealand.co.nz/sustainability-customer-carbon-offset.

Stay safe: New Zealand is currently under Covid-19 restrictions. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.

The author’s trip was supported by Tourism Central Otago. See: centralotagonz.com. This story was produced through an editorial partnership with Tourism New Zealand. Learn more about our partnership content here.

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