48. Sleep in luxury at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses
Live up luxury in New Zealand with its architectural masterpieces in the wildest of locations and five-star retreats with serious eco credentials: here is No. 48 of our 101 Reasons To Stop Dreaming About New Zealand And Go.
Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses is a luxuriously different South Island offering. Where else in New Zealand can you find a contemporary country hotel set on a deer-breeding farm that offers the opportunity to sleep in the treetops? Here, between the mountains and the sea just north of eco-marine town Kaikōura, you’ll find five treehouses hoisted 10 metres above the ground among the canopy of a native kānuka grove (a relative of mānuka).
These sleek, timber-clad crashpads have cosy fireplaces, deep soaking tubs and big windows with views out to Kaikōura’s dramatic mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Three one-bedroom Tree Houses are ideal for couples, while two Family Tree Houses – with a master bedroom in the upper branches and a smaller bedroom in the lower – present a unique proposition for you and the brood. Don’t have a head for heights? There are also light-filled lodge rooms with balconies overlooking the farm’s deer grazing in paddocks, and the three-bedroom Olive House set in the building that once housed the farm’s olive press.
A sustainable operation through and through, Hapuku’s restaurant sources much of its ingredients either from the property’s organic garden and farm itself (including olive oil and venison) or locally (including creamy goat’s cheese and crayfish – Kaikōura’s speciality, which in fact lends the town its name: kai means ‘food’ and kōura means ‘crayfish’).
Fill your days here with picnics and country bike rides, picking olives between May and June and even watching the harvesting of antlers from the farm’s stags. Or you might choose to hit the local trails on mountain bikes, learn to surf at the famed Mangamaunu surf break and explore the bounty of land- and sea-based activities that the Kaikōura district is famous for, including whale-watching and dolphin and seal-spotting opportunities.