Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses
SH 1, Kaikoura 7371, New Zealand
| +64 3-319 6559
Photo by Bénédicte Lassalle, courtesy of Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses
Hapuku Lodge & Tree HousesThis architectural, horticultural, and culinary masterpiece in the eastern New Zealand town of Kaikoura consists of a main lodge as well as five modern wood cabins stilted above the treetops. It’s no surprise that Hapuku’s owners, the Wilson family, have five generations of architecture experience. Not only did they realize their goal of helping guests stay among the birds, they placed the tree houses, each one named after a different local bird species, just right so the folds of the Kaikoura Mountain Range look almost superimposed in the background. On the same property, they also run a deer farm, an olive-oil producing orchard, and an ever-expanding collection of gardens that burst with native plants and trees.
The attention to detail seen in the architecture and design extends to every aspect of the guest experience. Windows are double-glazed to block out the sound of deer in mating season; the scratch kitchen cooks everything, including ice cream and peanut butter; and all the shrubbery around the main lodge mimics the natural landscape. The lodge also sets strict environmental standards, including the commitment to plant one native plant or tree for every night a guest stays on the property. A certificate is mailed to guests so they’ll know the name of the species planted and be able to track its growth on Google Earth.