Lake Taupo, Queen Charlotte Sound, Abel Tasman National Park – with so many natural wonders on its doorstep, it’s a no-brainer that New Zealand offers a wealth of sustainable accommodation options. Here are nine of the best hotels and stays you’ll have at your disposal.
Chalet Eiger is a boutique lodge nestled above the scenic Acadia Valley in Lake Taupo. Besides offering some lovely lake views, this environmentally-friendly accommodation is known for its privacy and tranquility. Guests get to choose between luxury suites that are spread between two floors and have access to a spacious outdoor entertainment area and opulent guest lounge. Food is another highlight here; cooked-to-order breakfasts and lunches are available, and you can have a two-course dinner for an extra fee. All food uses locally sourced ingredients, including produce from the lodge’s very own vegetable garden.
Split Apple Lodge sits just outside Kaiteriteri, in a stunning setting – the ideal base for those wanting to explore Abel Tasman National Park. Ecofriendliness is this accommodation’s strong suit; your hosts have taken extra care to provide energy-efficient facilities (LED lighting is found throughout), all rubbish is recycled, food leftovers are composted and the water supply is 100% rainwater-based. Room options include a mountain view apartment, three sea view rooms and three mountain view rooms, all of which come with complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and spa access.
Tucked in a bush setting just a few minutes from Kaiteriteri beach, Kimi Ora Eco Resort allows you to enjoy nature at its purest. Choose from self-contained wooden chalet, stylish spa suite or airy studio. Solar water heating and energy-efficient lighting are some of the sustainable features. Plus there’s a fully licensed vegetarian restaurant that uses in-house, local and organic produce.
SiloStay takes ecofriendliness to a whole new level. This selection of self-catered apartments, made out of repurposed grain silos, can be found in Little River, just under an hour’s drive from Christchurch city en route to Akaroa, with easy access to a cycling trail. Each of the two-level cylindrical apartments feature their own kitchenette, ensuite bathroom, flat-screen TV and free wifi; bike hire and off-street parking are also available.
Located right on the water’s edge in the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound, the Lochmara Lodge offers plenty of opportunities to get up close to nature. Getting here is an adventure in itself, as there’s no road access; instead, you need to take a water taxi from the port town of Picton. Accommodation options include chalets and apartment units that cater to solo travellers as well as families. On arrival, you get to experience local wildlife encounters, with access to the famous Queen Charlotte Track.
This family-owned operation takes pride in its sustainable facilities: the seven-bedroom adobe-lined building is surrounded by subtropical vegetation; the shared bathroom and shower facilities are fitted with composting toilets; and the communal dining room and lounge areas are heated by a mud oven in winter. The artsy, Mediterranean-style lodge is a short stroll from Pohara Beach, near Abel Tasman National Park. Self-contained family units are available for those who seek a self-catering option – and privacy. Sans Souci’s restaurant has earned a solid reputation for fresh, slow-cooked meals with most ingredients coming straight from the organic garden.
The Rainforest Retreat, in the forest that surrounds Franz Josef Village, has been designed to make the most of its West Coast environment. The West Coast Wildlife Centre is a three-minute walk away, and the Franz Josef Glacier a few minutes’ drive. The retreat caters to all budgets and features a holiday park with campervan facilities, motel rooms, flashpacker dorms, as well as luxury cottages, tree houses and tree huts.
The Eco Villa is a boutique hotel in Christchurch known for its sustainable conscience. Free bicycle hire, an edible garden, outdoor baths and fully equipped shared cooking and dining facilities allow like-minded travellers to enjoy the surroundings without fretting about your carbon footprint. If you seek a bit of privacy, you can escape into one of eight bespoke rooms, all of which come with complimentary internet access, air conditioning, modern furnishings and wooden knick-knacks.
Private, sustainable and self-contained, Catlins Mohua Park has all the elements for the ultimate South Island countryside escape, with four self-catering cottages are designed to be shared by two people, with great views of the Catlins River and forest. In-house meals are available upon request, using a combination of home-grown and locally sourced produce. As a bonus, Catlins Mohua Park offers guided wildlife tours of the area.
For more incredible places to stay in New Zealand, check out our pick of the best hotels in Hokitika, New Zealand, bookable on Culture Trip.
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