New Zealand

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Located in the heart of the 2.7 million hectares that make up the Te Wahi Pounamu World Heritage Area, Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki has a unique location that few places in the world can rival. This nature lovers' paradise provides the perfect wilderness retreat and boasts spectacular beaches home to fur seals and crested penguins, untouched lowland rainforests spread between pristine lakes and rivers which drain the snow-capped Southern Alps.

Accommodation here is warm and comfortable rather than ultra-luxurious. Rainforest rooms, look out to the verdant rainforest and bird watching from your window is a very popular past time while the more spacious premium river view rooms have private decks and beautiful views over the Moeraki River rapids. The Riverside Restaurant offers lovely views, excellent wilderness food and the wine cellar boasts a selection of fine New Zealand wine. You can choose to dine with other guests exchanging stories or individually just enjoying the atmosphere.

Developed by biologist Dr. Gerry McSweeny and his wife Anne in 1989, Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki was set up firstly to protect the rainforest but also quite simply because they wanted to share this extraordinary place with others. They still run the lodge today. The surrounding landscapes provide a glimpse of what New Zealand must have looked like when the first Polynesians stepped ashore some 800 years ago. Two nature activities are included daily, each led by an ecologist guide. In addition to the guided walks, kayaks and star gazing there is an extensive network of walking trails that can be explored at your own pace. Private guiding and a broad menu of additional activities are also available.

This remote spot in the south west corner of New Zealand's South Island is home to one of the rarest penguin species on the planet, the fiordland crested penguin (second only after the Galapagos penguin) and while they spend much of their life navigating the treacherous oceans they come here, to the dense coastal rainforest, to breed between July and December each year. Seeing the penguins in their natural environment is a very special experience and you have the opportunity to walk to Monro Beach independently or join a guide - this is wildlife in the truest sense of the word. For keen photographers why not book a day of exclusive guiding which will be tailored around the weather, light and tides to give you the best possible exposure to these incredible birds. Very occasionally it is also possible to see the penguins between January and February when they return to moult.

Inspired? Request to stay here as part of your tailor made holiday

LocationLake Moeraki, West Coast, South Island

SeasonYear round (July to December for prime penguin viewing)

Rooms28 rooms

ActivitiesWalking, kayaking, bird watching, penguins, fur seals, dolphins, glow worms, star gazing, seashore ecology and fishing

Suitable forIndividuals, couples & active families

Prices may vary according to season, room type & special offers. Please contact us for details.

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