Rotorua, New Zealand

In conversation:
Ian Coley

We talk to Ian Coley, from Ian Coley Sporting about a recent holiday to New Zealand.


New Zealand was always a country I had wanted to go to, but to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect before we arrived. I knew the country had a small population with quiet roads, but in the end, I couldn’t believe how diverse it was.

Why did you come to us to help?

I wanted to experience the very best of New Zealand in luxury, with a big focus on wildlife encounters and outdoor activities which I knew Bailey Robinson could deliver.

What was your must do?

To see a kiwi in the wild. Which I did.  Stewart Island, which is way down in the south we saw kiwi birds at night with an infrared lamp. They say 95% of New Zealanders have never seen a kiwi so we felt very privileged. We saw four that night and it was spectacular, within seven or eight yards of us. I loved Stewart Island, it was very quaint.

What was your top wildlife encounter?

Because we’re country people, it was the wildlife in particular that blew us away. My top wildlife encounter was outside Queenstown on South Island, near Minaret Station, which you can only reach by helicopter. We went deer stalking with our cameras at the height of the rut and the deer were roaring all around us. They called a stag and it called back. It was spectacular in the mountains, overlooking a lake, I can’t tell you how amazing that was.

Minaret new zealand helicopter

What was your best adventure experience?

We went heli-fishing for blue cod from Eden House at Ngatimoti near Kahurangi National Park in South Island. We landed and cooked our catch for lunch at someone’s house and then we just spent the afternoon chatting with them about life!

What was your favourite place to dine during the trip?

Food throughout was spectacular but if I had to think of one standout restaurant it would be at Huka Lodge in Taupo, that was the most special. When we arrived there, I was told they had 22 restaurants, which slightly baffled me but in reality it was 22 private places around the property where you can dine.

Huka Lodge, New Zealand

What was the most relaxing part of the trip?

I would say Waiheke Island, off the coast of Auckland – we stayed at The Boatshed, which was lovely and a perfect way to start our trip, looking at some of the wineries there.

What was your best place to stay?

In terms of a favourite place to stay, I’d say Poronui in Taupo, where again we went fishing and also deer stalking with our cameras. Some of the deer almost whistle when they call, and we just sat on top of a hillside listening to all the noises, and that was really magical. And Minaret Station, that I’ve already mentioned, certainly had a wow factor, landing by helicopter. The Alpine scenery was stunning, and I loved the trout fishing we did from there.

minaret-luxury-lodge-new zealand

What advice can you give to someone planning a trip?

It’s a long old way, that’s for sure, but if you can treat yourself and go Business Class, it makes a big difference. Also with a multi-stay trip like this one, Bailey Robinson’s help and organisation was key. The itinerary was complex, but all we had to do was sit back and go along for the ride – and enjoy every bit of it.


If you’ve got a passion for the country way of life and for the countryside, then you’ll love New Zealand’s rural scenery. We recommend taking as long as you can – for us three and a half weeks was ideal, although I could have easily stayed for longer. New Zealand is perfect for anybody looking for the holiday of a lifetime – it certainly was for us.

Hapuku Lodge, New Zealand

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