Great places to propose

February 14, the special day of lovers, is a mere six weeks away. To mark Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing what we think are the best spots for grand romantic gestures – or, the grandest of them all, the wedding proposal.

Creating a special experience that will appeal to your future husband or wife relies on personal knowledge and a little effort.

Hopefully our favourite romantic locations will give you some ideas for impressing your valentine this year, whether or not you’re intending to pop the question.

If you do want a bit of assistance to pull off the perfect proposal, we’re experts at creating memorable moments. Whether you need a picnic hamper helicoptered to a special spot, a private chef, a sky writer, a string quartet, or just help finding the perfect ring, we’d be delighted to be of assistance.

Cruising the Bay of Islands

Charter a yacht for the day – or a couple of days – and explore the idyllic group of 144 islands that is the Bay of Islands. There are secluded white sand beaches everywhere, so find your own private island paradise and pop the question as you bob about in the area’s sparkling turquoise waters.

Heli-picnic above Queenstown

Imagine this: You and your beloved are dropped off in a sheltered spot high up in the Southern Alps – and there is no one else for miles.

You have a picnic rug, a basket of gourmet food, a bottle of chilled bubbly, and uninterrupted views of snow-capped mountains. When you are ready to return to earth, you just call your helicopter pilot on your handheld radio and tell him the good news.

In the lap of luxury

There are few experiences that can make you feel more pampered than a night at one of New Zealand’s famous luxury lodges. All are spectacularly located – take your pick of mountain peaks, crystal-clear lakes and rivers, sparkling sea, or untouched native forest.

Choose a lodge on a large estate and ask them to set up a candlelit table in a secluded spot. The food and service is guaranteed to be world class, the views to die for, and afterwards you can retire to your luxury suite to toast your future happiness.

Here's our pick of the best of New Zealand's super lodges:

  • For alpine splendour: Blanket Bay and Matakauri Lodge (both in Quenstown)
  • For coastal romance: Kauri Cliffs, Eagle's Nest (both in Northland)
  • For country charm: Otahuna Lodge (Christchurch), Wharekauhau Country Estate (Wairarapa), The Farm at Cape Kidnappers (Hawke's Bay)
  • For lakeside tranquility: Lake Okareka Lodge (Rotorua)
  • For a walk on the wild side: Treetops Lodge (Rotorua)
Hot and steamy

The Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown are a fantastic way to unwind with a special someone. The Japanese-style pools are all housed in private cedar-lined bathing rooms that have a wonderfully unique feature - at the press of a button, the front wall and roof retracts but your privacy is maintained.

Imagine relaxing into the warm water after a day of adventure activities. Your pool room is lit with dozens of candles and there is a bottle of champagne waiting in an ice bucket. You retract your roof, breathe in the mountain air, and gaze up at the stars together on a clear night. Surely any proposal now would come with a guaranteed yes?