The Best Luxury Eco-Lodges in New Zealand

Courtesy of Hapuku Lodge / Expedia
Photo of Thalita Alves
10 August 2020

Set in exquisite locations, New Zealand‘s eco-lodges not only offer travellers peace of mind when it comes to sustainability, but a healthy dose of luxury and a great health kick. Culture Trip rounds up the best of the best to get you inspired.

Split Apple Lodge, Kaiteriteri

Eco Hotel
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Courtesy of Split Apple Lodge, Kaiteriteri / Expedia

Split Apple Retreat is a luxury lodge right in the middle of the Abel Tasman National Park, near Nelson. It is named after the Split Apple Rock, one of the area’s most famous geological formations. Besides enjoying some of the country’s best hikes, a trove of sheltered beaches and lots of sea-kayaking opportunities, the lodge also has quite a few relaxing treats up its sleeve: a Japanese spa that overlooks the bay, a yoga pavilion and a meditation centre, as well as massage therapy treatments and nourishing cooking lessons.

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The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge, Motueka

Eco Hotel
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The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge, Motueka
| The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge / Expedia

The Resurgence was voted one of the world’s top 25 eco lodges by National Geographic Traveler magazine in 2013, and most recently won Lux Magazine‘s Best Luxury and Wilderness Experience award for 2017. These accolades are all thanks to its distinctive approach to luxury – drawing on the idea that it is achieved through hospitality and tranquility rather than material objects. The lodge, set in the Riwaka Valley near Nelson, is within close range to two national parks (Abel Tasman and Kahurangi) and boasts its own swimming pool, hot tub, gym and yoga area. For those searching for a romantic treat, the lodge offers intimate wedding packages and relaxing weekend escapes.

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Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses

Hotel
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Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses
Courtesy of Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses / Expedia

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses combines the unique natural landscapes of Kaikoura with the architectural prowess of the family owners who designed and built it from scratch. Eco-friendliness is at the heart of the lodge’s operations: its premises were built primarily out of recycled timber, its kitchen produce comes straight from the local garden and other ingredients are mostly sourced from local producers. For the couple searching for just the right amount of relaxation, the lodge offers a two-night Treetop Hideaway package that includes gourmet meals with indulgent add-ons like a couple’s massage and a scenic mountaintop picnic, and a three-night Hapuku Honeymoon experience that can include a safari to view Kaikoura’s famous whales.

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Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown

Eco-Lodge
Map View
Courtesy of Matakauri Lodge
Courtesy of Matakauri Lodge / Expedia
The Matakauri Lodge gives you a front row seat to the cloud-laced peaks of the Remarkables and the glacier-carved Lake Wakatipu. As well as its cinematic views, the lodge treats you to delicious meals made with season-dependent and locally sourced ingredients. You can peruse the book-filled library and sip on world-class wine on the plant-fringed patio, or indulge yourself with a muscle-relieving mud treatment at the spa. Respite can be found in one of the warmly decorated suites, lodge rooms or even the capacious Owner’s Cottage with its own glass-enclosed lakefront deck that features a barbecue and oval-shaped hot tub.
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Lakestone Lodge, Twizel

Eco-Lodge
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Lakestone Lodge, Twizel
Courtesy of Courtesy of Lakestone Lodge / Expedia
The Lakestone Lodge sits in one of the largest Dark Sky Reserves in the world – a prime spot to see the smoky, star-dotted plume of the Milky Way. It’s not just a haven for stargazers, it will tick the boxes of eco-conscious travellers, too – think energy-efficient LED bulbs, an in-house recycling centre, solar-powered heating and an abundance of native plants. Rooms are designed with the striking surroundings in mind, offering views of the ice-blue Lake Pukaki and snow-cloaked mountains from the deep bathtub tucked under a window.
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Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat, South Canterbury

Eco Hotel, Lodge, Luxury
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Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat, South Canterbury
Courtesy of Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat / Expedia
Ringed by thick pine-tree forests, sapphire-blue lakes and jagged mountain ranges, the Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat drops you into the heart of breath-stealing nature. The family-run establishment boasts its own tennis courts, a private spa – featuring a whirlpool tub, massage room and a small gym – and an on-site wine cellar stocked with some of New Zealand’s finest vino (and a few bottles of Scottish whiskey for good measure). There’s even an observatory for taking crystal-clear photos of stars, planets and galaxies. When you’re not peering through the telescope, you’ll be in your sandy-hued room, decked out with Italian sandstone flooring, a clawfoot tub and a pillowy king-size bed.
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Chloe Byrne contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on August 10, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.