A Kiwi Green Trio of Eco-Styles for New Zealand’s Nature Lover

Dancing On Moonlight Campfire Shelter, New Zealand, sustainable

By Ilona Kauremszky

You can feel good about catching some zzzs in the Land of Kiwi-Green.

For those long hauler types who know what a good night’s sleep means when flying Air New Zealand’s Business Premier, well it’s a match made in heaven.

But what happens if you can’t get the nest in the sky on your way to Kiwi Land?

Simple – Go for the biggest trend: sustainable stays crafted the Kiwi-way.

With striking landscapes and expansive untouched wilderness regions, New Zealand has become a preferred destination for many eco-minded and sustainable-savvy tourists.

Like the ancient values in Māori culture, New Zealanders believe they are land custodians and it is their duty to protect the environment for future generations. From luxury accommodation to camping and everything in between, New Zealand makes sustainable overnight stays easy.

Here are 3 overnight styles worth the long haul flight.


Te Waonui, New ZealandTe Waonui Forest Retreat
Take a deep breath and simply unwind. On the South Island deep in the heart of glacier country in the thick of New Zealand rainforest lies this five-star gold rated eco-jewel in a pristine wilderness. Every design detail has been considered with a nod to conserving the environment.

Feel like a Super King or a double Queen with the room configurations. Spacious rooms with rainforest views. The entire design of the 100-room hotel incorporates sustainability. There are New Zealand made products from the overhanging roofs to the slatted screens for sun shade as well as fresh forest-smelling CO2 where automatically controlled windows and fans help provide a natural air flow.

Forget about using fossil fuel for commutes to town as the Franz Joseph Village is within walking distance.

A Qualmark Enviro-Gold operator (New Zealand’s official quality assurance organisation), five dollars from every guest room is donated to Kiwis toward the Kiwis for Kiwi program, a national charity that supports community-led and Māori-led Kiwi conservation projects.

Eco highlight: Go for the forest in the making experience. Every year the retreat organizes a Punga Tree Planting Day. Over the past two seasons around 40 trees have been planted around the property.
Room rates: Nightly rates for a deluxe king room are from $584. Night Sky Cottage, New Zealand, eco-retreat, green

Night Sky Cottage
Private paradise found! In the Ruapehu region on New Zealand’s North Island famous for its volcanoes and ski fields lies this unique cottage.

Hidden inside a native and protected area on the edge of the Tongariro National Park, sustainability has been the key focus behind the development of this luxury eco-retreat. The owners have set out to build a guest cottage to the highest level of sustainability.

A strict zero-waste policy bans all single use plastic (SUPs) items, homemade candles, fire starters and soaps. Amenities and cleaning materials are 100 percent naturally sourced. You’ll find nothing goes to waste as food scraps are composted, and the cottage collects its own water and processes waste water.

Operated by Tongariro Suites, a thumb-size boutique hotel boasting 4 rooms, this cottage is the property’s unique accommodation ideal for folks who truly want a complete solo-solitary experience staying in nature.

Eco highlight: Dark Sky country see the constellations twinkle away
Room rates: Nightly rates are from $341


Hapuku Lodge Treehouses in Kaikoura, New Zealand, eco-retreat, sustainableHapuku Lodge + Treehouses
Okay it’s arboreal architecture fit for the tree huggers. Just 12 kms north of the renowned eco-marine town of Kaikoura on South Island, over nighters here will feel like they are bedding in the sky. Nestled 30 feet above the ground these natural canopy rooms loom high above a native manuka grove. It’s purely one-of-a-kind-accommodation.

The love project was designed and built by the Wilson family, among them three architects on a deer breeding farm. The four-bedroom lodge and five tree houses offer natural interiors of locally made furniture that has been handcrafted to mirror the goodness of the outdoors. It’s an experiment that has captured the essence in making you feel as if you have leaped into a nature book.

At any given moment you might be surprised by wild deer wandering on the resident farm. Produce is sourced from the lodge’s herb and gardens. See happy free-range chickens too.

This contemporary country inn focuses on nurturing the environment by planting native trees (roughly 1400 new native trees have been planted to date), re-introducing native birds, and being sustainable in all operations.

Eco-highlight: The five treehouses have small private fireplaces that are purported to be some of the most efficient fireplaces in the world.
Room rates: Nightly tree house rates are $3646 and lodge room rates are from $1291

Dancing on Moonlight, Christchurch, New Zealand, American Airlines, sustainableDancing on Moonlight
Insiders are calling this Kiwi sleepover as a Hampton inspired haven.

A 3-bedroom villa gets a thumbs’ up on luxury and environmentally conscious initiatives. Dancing on Moonlight counts a private 9-hole golf course, large gardens, a spa plus uber spacious living areas in its wheelhouse.

Now that American Airlines has launched a new direct LA to Christchurch route – those long hauler visitors will get a fast intro to eco-luxury once they book an overnight stay there. The luxe property is only a 15-minute drive from the airport.

Powered by over 1000 solar panels Dancing on Moonlight is New Zealand’s first energy positive exclusive use luxury accommodation. The three-bedroom villa features a working horse-stud farm, orchard, a 9-hole gold golf course and a helipad.

Eco-highlight: Have the private chef prepare a locally-sourced menu as you snuggle in front of the fire or while you stroll through the orchard.
Room Rates: $2650 per night, double occupancy


Camp Glenorchy cabin interior, New Zealand, sustainable Camp Glenorchy
When this sustainable gem first opened in March 2018, the eco camp quickly ranked as one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places. New Zealand’s first net zero energy property is located outside Queenstown. After a 40-minute nature-rich drive along the scenic shores of Lake Wakatipu lies Camp Glenorchy nestled at the head of the lake in the heart of mountain country.

Enjoy some of the most innovative and energy-efficient products in the world today. Think large solar garden, smart lighting, energy-efficient building designs and high-efficient heat systems that reduce energy demand all rolled into one fabulous eco-conscious experience.

Eco-Highlight:Spend your days exploring Lord of the Rings film sites nearby or go for the heli-biking into a conservation area. Breathe in the natural beauty.
Room Rates: $288 nightly room rates based on a premium double bedroom

Overall, room rates quoted above relate to New Zealand’s peak season (December 15-February 15). Accommodation reservations are available at each property’s website.

Photography supplied.

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