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HAVE IT YOUR WAY
Where: Huka Lodge Dining, Taupo, North Island, New Zealand
Why Go: Forget your own table: At this Anglo-inflected lodge, you can have your own wine cellar, terrace, trophy room, or riverbank.
A Side of Atmosphere: As the Waikato River slices through the North Island's grand, green wilderness, it rushes through the lodge's 17-acre estate, giving the manicured grounds an earthy, primordial feel. You can arrange to have your own table set up just about anywhere on the property, with 16 spots to choose from. (Hotel guests get priority, so if you're not staying here, book well in advance.)
Appetite for Seduction: The five-course set menu changes nightly, so if you've worked up an appetite during your day of fly-fishing or bungee jumping, you'll find at least one hearty, gamy dish, such as saddle of venison with honey-glazed turnips or oven-roasted lamb with braised pumpkin.
The Hot Seat: Even though there's not a dud among the eating enclaves, pretty much everyone wants a splendidly secluded two-top on the banks of the misty Waikato River, where the burbling water sounds even more dramatic after dark and the southern constellations illuminate your meal.
Huka Lodge Dining
271 Huka Falls Road
Taupo, New Zealand
Tel: 64 7 378 5791