Reclaimed design, locavore dining and stunning location make this the ideal eco-friendly option
Eco-tourism | Natural world
Set in a stand of native bush, The Sanctuary is home to one of the few remaining virgin rainforests in an area renowned for its supreme coastal and marine beauty. From its jutting decks, you can expect to be treated to raking views that soar over the dense canopy to reach the shimmering waters of the Bay of Islands beyond. It’s hard to imagine that it’s all just a five-minute drive away from Paihia, As the bay’s gateway, this small town is ideal for exploring with cruises, coastal walks and watersports all represented.
In keeping with its private reserve credentials, the lodge’s design uses only native timbers in its construction. The effect is at once traditional and forward thinking with floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive decking making the most of the stunning panoramas; every major room of the retreat offers views across the Veronica Channel towards the historic town of Russell. On a good day, the eye can see as far as Black Rocks and Motuora Island. The accommodation itself comes in the form of just four spacious bedrooms where soft earthy tones blend seamlessly into their spectacular natural setting, a position enhanced by the private balconies. King size beds and feather pillows provide the comfort while iPod docking stations, complimentary high speed WiFi and movies keep you connected.
But its green commitments don’t stop there; the lodge’s kitchen focuses on locally sourced organic produce, serving a range of hearty and healthy meals. For breakfast, think homemade toasted muesli, fresh juices and farm-sourced cooked options while dinner is equally considered. Perhaps start with home smoked salmon served on a bed of leaves before tucking into chicken stuffed with everything from buckwheat to pearl barley. Round off with an indulgent orange chocolate tart.
While the lodge is arranged around an infinity plunge pool and a wraparound sun deck, it’s the activities that really stand out. Choose from the selection of therapists on offer with everything from massages and acupuncture to beauty treatments and craniosacral therapy. The in-house yoga is particularly good. If you’d rather explore further, there’s sailing, golf, winery visits, rainforest walks and nation-defining history on your doorstep
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