Culinary Journeys to Remember

Relais& Châteaux has revealed three new Route du Bonheur itineraries to help the discerning travellers explore Australia and New Zealand.Each new journey offers personal recommendations from three internationally renowned and passionate travellers: Hollywood actor and winery owner Sam Neill, Sydney's Grand Chef Tetsuya Wakuda and US hedge fund manager and hotel owner Julian Robertson.
Each shares his insights into the countries they inhabit and love, helping travellers to create magical holidays based on authentic, genuine experiences – from visits to secluded fishing spots or boutique wineries to scenic golf holes and unusual wilderness attractions.
“Route du Bonheur” is the French catchphrase that describes the art of creating one's own personal road to happiness, in this case by journeying around the countryside finding extraordinary places to dine and stay.
On his Route in Australia, Sydney's celebrated Relais& Châteaux Grand Chef Tetsuya Wakuda takes travellers on a journey from his treasured fishing spots near Hamilton Island's Qualia resort on the Great Barrier Reef, to the Wooden Boat Centre on Tasmania's Huon River, where he built his own boat, and to the magnificent oyster beds of Wineglass Bay. His journey ends with a few nights at the exquisite SaffireFreycinet resort.
In New Zealand, Hollywood actor Sam Neill traces a route from fly fishing spots at Huka Lodge in Taupo to Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet in scenic Wanaka, the historic former manor home Otahuna Lodge in pretty Canterbury and his own winery, Two Paddocks, in Central Otago. The route includes a day trip to the charming former French settlement of Akaroa and to the glaciers of Mt Cook.
US hedge fund manager and hotelier Julian Robertson's itinerary takes travellers on a journey to his three magnificent properties – the former sheep farm that is now The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in the Bay of Islands, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in the Hawke's Bay and his newest creation, the 11-suite Matakauri Lodge, just 7km from Queenstown's centre. Two of the world's most awarded and scenic 18-hole golf courses are located at the properties, as are extraordinary bird sanctuaries housing gannets and the famous national symbol, the kiwi bird.
Relais& Châteaux was first created from a “Route du Bonheur”, when a group of hoteliers in the 1950s created an itinerary for travellers to follow between Paris to the Riviera. It was led by La Cardinale hotel owners Marcel and Nelly Tilloy, who joined forces with seven other hoteliers to draw holidaymakers off the famous National Route 7 highway and towards their unique properties, each of which was known for its similarly high standards of elegance and fine cuisine.
This itinerary allowed travellers to discover the region and its terroir, according to locals who knew the region best. The group of hoteliers later became what is now known as Relais& Châteaux and it grew to include 520 fine hotels and restaurants in 61 countries around the world.

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