Heather Hapeta lives in Aotearoa-New Zealand: real travel, real adventures, real stories, real photos. Recent destinations Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong – now NZ destinations due to COVID travel restrictions
Shearwater Lodge, Kaikoura, New Zealand, has been named in a UK magazine (Australia & New Zealand) as one of two New Zealand “top ten eco-lodges” in their Jan/Feb 2011 issue. (Stonefly Lodge, Nelson, also in NZ’s South Island is the other one but I havent been there so can’t comment on it.)
I went hiking to the classy lodge a while ago and can, like the Australia & and Zealand magazine, well recommend it.
This area is home to the endangered Hutton’s Shearwaters which burrow below the peak of Te Ao Wheke, (The World of the Gods) the second highest mountain peak in the area. The birds only fly home at night and leave first thing each morning, spending their days at sea feeding on small fish and krill. (see more about my hike here)
In this ‘blog4NZ’ let me remind you of a north Canterbury place that is well worth visiting while you’re in the Christchurch area: Kaikoura is top of most tourists bucket list for New Zealand, and these two places are well worth spending a night, or more, at.
Despite being called a marine Serengeti, as well as whales, dolphins and sea birds, there are many places to visit and things to do on land too. I can recommend the luxury hike up to the valley of the gods then stay at Shearwater Lodge
A boutique eco-hike, the guides tailor the day to the abilities of the walkers, stopping for photos, drinks and rests as needed. We watched and heard many birds, had superb views of the North Island and the Pacific Ocean, saw feral goats and deer, and, as well as stopping to admire and learn about various native trees. Our guide Lance said ‘this is the most picturesque place in Kaikoura’.
Another place to stay in Kaikoura is in a tree house: surrounded by deer, an olive grove, and nestled between the Kaikoura Seaward Mountains and the famed Mangamaunu Bay, Hapuku Lodge has it all.
Kaikoura, number one of New Zealand’s eco-marine activities has many attractions – best of all, it’s only two hours north of Christchurch, I’ve stayed here many times in tents, motels, hostels, hotels, and caravans, as well as these two wonderful places.