We have a saying in New Zealand: ‘take the memories with you but leave only your footprints’. If you’re looking for a little luxury outside of your campervan during your trip, try staying in a beautiful eco guest lodge that was built to be as environmentally sustainable as their stunning natural surrounds.
Enjoy a romantic and magical eco-friendly getaway surrounded by certified organic pastures on the banks of the Takou River. Choose from four private cottages, the lodge or indulge in ‘glamping’ down by the river for the ultimate nature retreat.
Each private cottage has its own alfresco clawfoot bath for guests to bathe under the stars, making the boutique, self-catered accommodation both eco-friendly and indulgent. Located on the North Island just a short distance from the Bay of Islands, it’s the perfect summer getaway to enjoy swimming, picnics and beaches, tropical walks and even spot a few glowworms.
For a truly special experience, Kokohuia Lodge on the North Island is a unique eco-lodge that only allows one couple to stay at a time for a luxurious escape. The lodge has been built to the highest sustainable standards, using recycled timber and New Zealand produced furnishings wherever possible.
Completely off the grid, Kokohuia produces their own solar electricity and hot water, and meals are prepared with organic homegrown or local produce. Panoramic windows mean the stunning coastal views aren’t obstructed, and the lodge sits nestled in its environment as if it grew from the ground.
Located on the Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island, Manawa Ridge is an earthy eco-lodge with a Californian ranch bohemian vibe. White concrete walls coordinate with recycled timber beams and earthen floors. Rooms are decorated with a neutral colour palette and classic furniture, and the surrounding gardens and communal space offer ample opportunities to relax with a good book.
Overlooking Waihi Beach, known as one of New Zealand’s safest and idyllic beaches, Manawa Ridge is perfectly located to see the sights of the North Island. Take a day trip to Rotorua, have lunch and see the dolphins in Tauranga, or take a walk to Homunga Beach, one of the most romantic and best-kept secrets of the Coromandel Peninsula.
For a truly unique experience, spend a couple of nights at Peppers Awaroa Lodge in the Abel Tasman National Park. Surrounded by water and lush native forests, the lodge is only accessible by foot, water taxi or air – which means getting to your destination is an adventure in itself!
Peppers aim to keep their footprint low to maintain their stunning surrounds, and guests can explore the national park’s beaches, waterfalls and hiking trails via kayak and guided walking tours. Its remote location means superb peace and quiet, and stunning, light pollution-free skies.
NB: The lodge is closed during winter.
Fancy sleeping in the treetops? The Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses, located 12km (7.5 miles) north of Kaikoura on the South Island, are a luxurious retreat with pristine views. Located on a deer farm, guests are treated to stunning greenery and maritime vistas.
From an ecological perspective, the team have tried to ensure that they are sustainable in everything they do. From planting native trees, re-introducing native birds and using recycled or salvaged timber to plant their lodges, to sourcing over 75% of ingredients from local farmers and growing all of their own produce, Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses is an environmentalists dream.
They even claim to have the most comfortable beds on the South Island, so get ready for the best sleep of your trip.
Eco-lodges are a great option when you need a break from the campervan while wild camping. With so many to choose from on both Islands, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect place to stay when planning your trip around New Zealand.