Nestled between the grand Kaikoura Mountain Ranges and the Pacific Ocean sits an eye-catching accommodation option like no other. Imagine spending an evening nesting amongst the trees in your very own luxury treehouse. We were excited to hear such a place exists and recently spent a fantastic spring weekend away at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses.
Hapuku Lodge is located in the pretty tourist town of Kaikoura. It’s best known for it’s wildlife experiences, mouthwatering crayfish and picturesque scenery. Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses are arguably positioned in one of the best spots in New Zealand.
The Tree Houses grew out of the thought that “if one could but be a bird one could more fully appreciate the beauty that is Kaikoura”.
Perching high over the manuka and kanuka canopies, the Tree Houses truly allow you to feel closer to the mountains, the ocean, and the birds. Positioned away from the main lodge there are five separate Tree Houses. Made from a number of different timbers including New Zealand redwood and manuka, the main features certainly complement the natural environment. Unlike our childhood tree houses the Hapuku Tree Houses do not spare the luxury element as every detail has been well thought out to ensure maximum comfort for all guests.
The interior design is that of textures and earthy tones. The rooms are fully equipped with everything you can expect from a five-star hotel yet what really makes this a unique experience is the exceptional location, views and the instant feeling of relaxation and peacefulness.
Over the years the site has expanded to what is today, encompassing over 500 acres of deer farm. Along with its vast deer farm that supplies the restaurant with venison there is an olive grove that produces approximately 600 litres of oil each year.
We cannot mention the impressive accommodation without talking about the wonderful culinary experience presented by executive chef Fiona Read. It is evident that exceptional food and wine is part of the Hapuku experience. All produce is sourced locally including the lodge’s own vegetable and herb garden, venison from the deer farm and fresh Kaikoura seafood.
During our visit we of course had to experience some of what Kaikoura has to offer. Still rallying around from its destructive November 2016 earthquake, the town is making a strong comeback. Whale watching is at the top of Kaikoura’s attraction list and we were lucky enough to experience this by plane with Wings Over Whales. The Oahu point Seal Colony was a highlight, viewing the seals up close in their natural surroundings was special.
Our stay from the get-go was outstanding, the team at Hapuku genuinely offer guests the whole package. A relaxed down to earth experience without failing to offer impeccable service. They showcase the wonders of what New Zealand and Kaikoura have to offer not only in regards to the environment, but also New Zealand’s fresh produce and seafood. We say Hapuka Lodge & Tree Houses is a must-stay and without a doubt one of New Zealand’s hidden gems. We recommend you check them out.
Words: Jo Walton & Hannah Walton | Photography: Stephen Duffin