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Scary Valentine – NZ’s top lover frights for February

It’s bubble, bubble toil and trouble for star-crossed lovers on our latest New Zealand hotels concoction. A dash of mischief, a dollop of scary thrills, lashings of love —and a few glasses of champers — are a magical mix when Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day weekend coincide.

An underworld exploration of the Waitomo Caves is the perfect place to snuggle up close in the dark as the boat drifts under a star-scape of glowworms. A two-minute walk away is the Kiwi Paka Waitomo offering basic accommodation for budget minded travellers.

Escaping through your wardrobe is exotic, fun and frightening when it leads to a stroll though the dense forests and craggy rocks of Narnia, surrounding the White Witch’s camp at Woodhill Forest, an hour’s drive north-west of Auckland. Then ease back to reality in your spa-whirlpool at the Stamford Plaza Auckland, followed by a chic cocktail at the Knight’s lobby bar.

Get dark and bubbly with a visit to Rotorua’s Hell’s Gate Reserve, or the Black Gate of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Then make like a pair of hobbits back to the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, tantalizingly close to the Polynesian Spa voted by readers of Conde Nast Traveller magazine 2004-2007 as one of the Top Ten world spas. Ahh, the precious!

Creep about in Larnach Castle, Dunedin, the only castle in New Zealand, discovering its tragic history since 1871. For those who prefer warm bodies in their bed, the nearby Visitors Centre houses guests and offers a Scottish themed breakfast in the stables, and the opportunity to dine in the castle itself.

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