NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group



Waking up to a mountains-to-sea view overlooking a kānuka canopy has a way of rekindling a sense of childish delight. Five contemporary tree houses, mounted on 10m stilts, have the charm of a backyard hideaway and the grandeur of an allinclusive getaway. The newly renovated tree houses were originally built on this deer farm in 2007, a diverse property that sits between the sea and the Seaward Kaikōura Ranges. For those who prefer lower elevation, there are spacious suites within a lodge house (with hot tubs) and the Olive House, a free-standing former olive press converted into a three-suite cottage for larger groups. “You can have all the wonderful fixtures, gorgeous beds and the loveliest sheets,” says general manager Chris Sturgeon. “But it's actually the experience that our guests enjoy. It's about coming in, being greeted and feeling like you're at a friend's home.” Manaakitanga (hospitality) can be found in every aspect of the lodge, from the warm interiors to the family-like gatherings around local food and wine. Couples and families are drawn to the cosy dining room as head chef Fiona Read prepares the three-course meals. The passionate chef chops and stirs in an adjoined kitchen — much like chatting with a friend cooking at home and guests are always welcome to pop by to learn about the locally sourced and inspired cuisine. With an onsite pool, sauna and gym, Hāpuku Lodge is the kind of place that one never wants to leave. SH1, 12km north of Kaikōura. (03) 319 6559, hapukulodge.com