A wildlife retreat where nature takes centre stage
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Activity adventure | Eco-tourism | Mountains | Natural world
Hidden away among the rainforests, beaches, lakes and rivers of New Zealand’s Southwest World Heritage Area, this luxury lodge is ideal for those looking to explore New Zealand’s wildernesses. There’s a range of programmes run by naturalist guides that lead you along rainforest trails to hike spectacular seacoast. For something a bit slower, take to the lake for some relaxed kayaking. It’s all populated by penguins, seals and a rich range of wildlife.
You’ll have the choice of three styles of accommodation – Riverview, Rainforest and Garden. The former is the most enticing, with sun decks that take advantage of the view, spa baths and superking beds. The same relaxed style continues into its Rainforest counterpart with both featuring blonde wood furnishing, exposed timber beams and picture windows. Lastly, the Garden rooms are ideal for those on more of a budget, with expansive views of the hotel’s lush grounds.
Whether it’s whitebait from the river, seafood from the coast or game from the forest, dining at the Wilderness Lodge is a real delight. It’s all immaculately presented and complemented by delicious fresh vegetables and fruit, again sourced locally. You’ll take your dinners with views into the surrounding rainforest along with some of New Zealand’s finest wines. Indulgent pinot noirs from nearby Central Otago are found alongside crisp Marlborough sauvignon blancs.
At Wilderness Lodge, your stay will be all about exploring the great South Island outdoors. Led by the lodge’s founder and conservation ecologist, Dr Gerry McSweeney, the on-site naturalists will help you discover the secrets of a landscape that has remained almost unchanged from the time that the Polynesians first discovered New Zealand. There’s a selection of complimentary activities on offer that range from rainforest walks and waterway ambles to kayaking on Lake Moeraki and night safaris in search of glow worms. For further discovery, hike out through the rainforest for close encounters with fur seals, dolphins and penguins or kayak along the region’s lagoons.
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