Perfectly secluded and immaculately presented, nature takes centre stage here
Activity adventure | Natural world | Sports & activities
Nestled among the carpeted islands of the Marlborough Sounds, Raetihi Lodge commands superb views over its famous turquoise waters. More specifically, it’s idyllically sited on the shores of Kenepuru Sound, a secluded spot right in the centre of the formation’s mass of twisting waterways. The most popular way to arrive is by water taxi or the lodge’s boat, but, for something different and equally scenic, enquire about the use of a floatplane or helicopter. Moorings are also available for those with their own boat.
Dating back to the 1930s, the lodge has a reputation as one of the sounds’ favourite getaways. But dated it is not. In April 2014, Alan and Liane Campbell purchased Raetihi and – with the help of an interior designer – completely renovated the lodge, adding a fresh, contemporary upgrades. While the rooms are simple, they’re ideal for letting the scenery take centre stage with floating jetties, lush gardens and expansive grounds making the most of the views. Back inside, there are 14 rooms that can accommodate up to 30 guests with the Seaview offerings particularly impressive. It’s all won a series of Certificates of Excellence from Trip Advisor
Given the lodge’s remote location, you’ll be pleased to learn that you’ll be well looked after. Breakfasts range from homemade muesli and smoked salmon bagels to chorizo sausages and a full complement of cooked options. After a light lunch where local seafood is well showcased – think salt and pepper squid salad and Marlborough green lip mussels – you’ll end the day with an indulgent dinner. You can expect mouthwatering beef fillets, wild mushroom risotto and smoked salmon salads.
At Raetihi you’ll have a fantastic choice of complimentary activities that get the most out of the sounds. There are mountains bikes and nature reserve trails for the interiors and kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, fishing rods and dinghies for the waters. After getting your toes wet with a swim, return to a fire-heated guest lounge complete with pool table, board games and books. There’s also boules and croquet lawn and a nearby nine hole golf course which is sheep grazed with fenced greens. And, at a nominal $15 dollars a head, it’s excellent value.
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