We’ve started listing some new lodges for the coming season. First up is the Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge, tucked under the Southern Alps in inland Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island.
The lodge is run by the McSweeney family, who have a strong history in the conservation movement in New Zealand. Their huge 2400 hectare property is part nature reserve and part working farm. During your stay you will get to experience both worlds with lots of hiking and exploring on offer, as well as farm tours and demonstrations of various rural tasks like sheep shearing and mustering. There are 3000 sheep on the property so there’s plenty to be done. In winter there are several ski areas nearby as well.
Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge is also close to the Arthur’s Pass National Park, with its unique alpine environment. Mountaineering and alpine walking, waterfall and wild flower tours, and kayaking and mountain biking are just some of the activities on offer in the area. There’s also some excellent fly fishing for trout. The daily rate includes up to 1 1/2 hours of guided activities including nature walks and farm tours. Longer guided activities have a charge.
Accommodation at the lodge is essentially 4 star, but very comfortable. There are also several 5 star suites with luxurious beds, full bathrooms with spa baths and a private deck. All the rooms have amazing mountain and valley views. The lodge overlooks Mt Rolleston, the Waimakariri River valley and surrounding native forest. The 4-course dinner has a set menu with two choices nightly, plus options for vegetarians.
Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge is a full immersion experience. If you want to experience New Zealand wilderness then this is a great place to start. Staff are knowledgeable and caring about the environment and impart a lot of information to guests during their day. We recommend a minimum 2 night stay, and more if possible.
Joint stays can be arranged with sister lodge, Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, down on the coast in South Westland.
(C) by Sue Farley 2013