Environmentally-conscious travellers navigating the natural gems scattered around New Zealand’s Taranaki region will be pleased to know there’s an array of eco-friendly accommodation options they can stay in.
Whether keen to get up close to the mountainous national park, surrounding coastlines or peaceful farmland, here’s 10 great options sure to bring the right amount of eco-friendliness to your visit.
A tranquil, eco-friendly option that’s conveniently located in central New Plymouth. Egmont Eco Leisure Park is set within seven acres of scenic parkland and features an array of communal self-catering facilities, a conference space, an adventure course and enough accommodation options to cater to some 150 guests. To give you an idea, travellers can choose from a range of shared rooms, single rooms, chalet dorms, family rooms, apartment units and a tranquil campsite with facilities for both camper vans and tent-based campers.
Nestled in a picturesque rural setting overlooking Lake Rotorangi, Ariari Lodge is a good option for the eco-conscious traveller yearning for a luxurious retreat. Its four wooden chalets are perched on an exquisite ridge lined by lush native trees, and peaceful birdsong is practically a constant throughout. All accommodation comes with fully equipped kitchens and the owners encourage guests to help them lower the local carbon footprint by recycling all food scraps, plastic and glass used on the premises.
Tucked right inside Egmont National Park, Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge offers an intimate experience for those wanting to view Mt Taranaki in its finest form. The lodge, which was originally built in 1896, lies on the southeastern slopes of the park’s majestic mountain and allows guests to relish their forested surroundings while immersing themselves in their chic, Swiss-cabin style rooms. Along with its selection of intimate suites, plus a collection of shared retreat rooms for families, writers and large travelling groups, Dawson Falls also has its own cafe and licensed restaurant.
Ducks & Drakes has evolved from a 1926 stately manor to various hotel and backpacker hostel iterations, and finally into the eco-friendly accommodation that we see today. This homely venue features a lovely landscaped courtyard, two outdoor decks and a lounge with a wood fire to cosy up to in the colder months. Ducks & Drakes also partnered up with Eco Hospitality NZ to implement sustainable programs and practices that ensure the accommodation is taking its commitment to the environment seriously. New Plymouth visitors staying there get to choose from a selection of cottage-style motel rooms, shared backpacker dorms and single, twin-share and double-rooms.
Tairoa Lodge & Cottage is a sheltered boutique accommodation and function venue just 15 minutes from the South Taranaki town of Hawera. With four opulent, self-contained cottages to choose from, guests are set to relish a true sense of tranquility as they admire the stunning native trees and gardens that surround them. The Kingfisher Cottage in particular is nestled just above the Mangatoki Stream and enjoys plenty of birdsong throughout the seasons.
Wheatly Downs Farmstay is a rustic lodge and backpacker hostel set right in the midst of a farm. If you want to get a taste of rural New Zealand, this is the place to do it: guests are welcome to feed the horses and pigs, wander down the country fields, take a dip at the nearby lake and can even help the farm owner walk the dog if they want to. As a bonus, a portion of the accommodation tariffs are donated to local environmental projects. There’s a selection of single, family and multi-share rooms as well as a four-sleeper chalet suite and tranquil tent sites to choose from.
Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park is a sheltered coastal escape that still manages to be quite convenient to New Plymouth city. Camping, glamping and cabin stays are the main options available; if you’re travelling with kids, there’s a playground and swimming pool right next to its facilities. Besides offering plenty of opportunities to walk, cycle and swim on the oceans, the holiday park is also quite committed to sustainability: in fact, New Zealand’s very own tourism quality assurance body, Qualmark, has given these premises a Bronze Enviro Award for their efforts.
Te Henui Lodge offers both short and long term stays for budget-conscious travellers spending some time in the Taranaki region. Rooms here are studio-style, fitted with their own en-suites, wardrobes, work desks, TVs, Wi-Fi internet as well as tea and coffee-making facilities. The lodge is convenient to New Plymouth’s city centre and its surrounding coastal and forested walking trails.
Sunflower Lodge is a recently refurbished hostel that enjoys plenty of tranquility. Given it’s located right next door to Te Henui Walkway, anyone who stays there will be able to spend some time admiring the native trees, birdsong and the rippling sounds of the nearby Te Henui river. Multi-share rooms, women-only dorms, a selection of single, twin and double-rooms as well as outdoor picnic and BBQ areas are some of the lodge facilities guests can tap into.
Oakura Beach Holiday Park sits right next to its popular namesake beach, as well as being within 15-minute driving distance from New Plymouth. The park has been awarded the Silver Enviro accreditation from Qualmark, and features a number of shared facilities that are sure to encourage all travellers to make the most of the outdoors: including BBQ and picnic areas, communal kitchen and easy access to a nearby playground and skate park. Accommodation options range from beachfront campsites (powered and non-powered) to self-contained sea view en-suites.