Woodpecker Hut
Seven sustainable West Coast stays and sleeps

Natural choice West Coast stays

Woodpecker Hut, Punakaiki

Stay light at an eco-friendly West Coast accommodation

Camp, glamp, snuggle into an alpine cabin or your personal tree hut. Check yourself into one of these hospitable sustainable stays on the West Coast.

When nature is all around, you’ll sleep soundly tucked into your smart eco-friendly accommodation where thoughtful hosts have put their hearts into creating a stay that’s easy on the environment and your footprint.

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Artisan Chalet: Kahere Retreat, Franz Josef

Relax and reconnect with nature at Kahere Retreat near Franz Josef.

Artisan chalet: Kahere Retreat, Franz Josef

Relax and reconnect with nature at Kahere Retreat, a tranquil mini eco-resort of five wooden chalets in a garden setting. Constructed on-site by owner/hosts Danny and Judith, each chalet features handcrafted native timber details and mountain views.

The two-level two-bedroom chalets accommodate up to four adults. A handmade wooden staircase leads to upstairs bedrooms, while downstairs there’s a full kitchen, cosy living area and bathroom. Each chalet has a private enclosed outdoor terrace, and guests have use of the garden, barbecue and outdoor furniture, and access to the bush and creek.

Travel Tips: Kahere Retreat is 13 km from Franz Josef town, 3 minutes’ drive from lovely Lake Mapourika where there are guided boat and kayak eco tours and fishing.

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Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

Absolute beachfront Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park.

Cleverly contained: Ross Beach Holiday Park

Settle in for dress-circle ocean views and epic sunsets from the deck of your funky upcycled container pod at Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park. Alongside tent sites and RV parks, the beachfront camping ground has 11 old shipping containers transformed into slick upmarket campsite accommodation.

While the pods accommodate up to five guests, the Maxi pod — the largest and most luxuriously appointed — is reserved as a couple’s retreat. It has three glass sides and comes with a private deck for fabulous views, a bbq and an outdoor double bath for romantic star-studded soaks. Indoors has the works — lounge, full kitchen, ensuite shower, comfy queen bed with fine linen and fluffy robes.

At your doorstep — a long sandy beach, West Coast Wilderness cycle trail, old gold mining trails, superb coastal walks.

Travel Tips: Ross is a small town 20 minutes south of Hokitika or 1.5 hours north of Franz Josef. The campground is on Ross Beach Road.

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Breakers Boutique Accomodation

Chill out above the beach at Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road.

Beached: Breakers Boutique Accommodation, Greymouth

Chill out between mountains and sea at Breakers beachfront retreat, enjoy sea views from the garden, or follow the private track down to the beach. Go to sleep at night to the sound of the rolling Tasman Sea, and wake up in the morning to birdsong and a scrumptious breakfast.

Owners Jan and Stephen are passionate about protecting their environment and sharing their special places with guests. A bushy area on their land has been set aside to respect its sacred significance to local Māori, and they are involved in protecting little blue penguins and other wildlife through local volunteer groups.

Travel Tips: Breakers is on the Great Coast Road — 14 km north of Greymouth and 30 km south of Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks.

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Rainforest Retreat

Snuggle down in your own tree house apartment at Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef.

Tree tops: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef

Up with the birds and nestled in lush native bush, Rainforest Retreat’s smart treehouse apartments are close to Franz Josef’s popular cafes and bars but a world away from everyday stresses. Think luxe — comfy king beds, spacious ensuite, generous breakfast provisions, and a private deck plus hot tub to make the most of the views and the clear dark skies.

New Zealand-owned and operated, Rainforest prioritises sustainability: from using recycled building materials to eco-friendly amenities, and supporting the Tiaki Promise to care for people and place for now and the future.

Travel Tips: On-site bar and restaurant Monsoon serves gourmet pizzas and other tasty mains, and the roaring fire is a cosy place to enjoy a drink after a day’s adventuring. Budget-conscious travellers can also choose from powered campervan sites, motel and dorm rooms, and cosy cottages.

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Woodpecker hut

Romantic, secluded, off-grid stay at Woodpecker Hut, at Fox River near Punakaiki.

Off-grid: Woodpecker Hut, Punakaiki

Woodpecker Hut, perched on a rugged West Coast cliff, is glamping at its best — back to nature, off-grid, hidden away. Petite, a perfect couple’s escape, the ‘hut’ is two rustic timber huts hand-crafted together to accommodate a bedroom, ensuite bathroom, cosy living-dining space and a covered outdoor kitchen.

Stretch out on comfy seating around the wood-burning stove, dine inside or out, and sink into the luxurious king-size bed when night falls. A steaming cedar hot tub dominates the front deck, a superb vantage point for spectacular ocean views by day and the stars by night. Host and Fox River local Jed Smith is on hand to provide information and insider tips for guests.

Travel Tips: Woodpecker Hut is near Fox River, just off the Great Coast Road, halfway between Greymouth and Westport, 9 km south of Punakaiki.

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Ribbonwood Retreat

Cosy up in a Scandinavian style timber cottage at Ribbonwood Retreat, Franz Josef.

Scandi cottage: Ribbonwood Retreat, Franz Josef

Cosy up in a Scandinavian-style solid timber eco cottage at Ribbonwood Retreat Franz Josef and enjoy unimpeded views of glaciers, mountain peaks and forests. Nestled in a pretty productive garden and orchard, the roomy wheelchair-accessible cottage is self-contained and sleeps three.

Hosts Jo and Julie are passionate conservationists and long-time residents in this UNESCO World Heritage Area. They’ve planted a forest of native trees, including the namesake ribbonwood, to attract and feed native birds, and offset carbon from their business and travel. Their home and cottage are built to operate with a light footprint, and they love sharing their garden and its produce with their guests.

Travel Trips: Ribbonwood Retreat is 5 km from Franz Josef village. Accommodation also includes two suites (king, queen beds) in the main house.

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki sits on the shores of the Moeraki River in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki sits on the shores of the Moeraki River in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Eco luxury experience at Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki between Fox Glacier and Haast.

World Heritage: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Nature reigns supreme at Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, a luxury eco-destination tucked inside Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Wilderness Lodge is a family operation established by prominent conservationists Anne Saunders and Dr. Gerry McSweeney, who was instrumental in the 1980s rainforest campaign that influenced the creation of the UNESCO park.

The region is a sanctuary for rare wildlife such as tawaki / Fiordland crested penguins, tiny Hector’s dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, forest and marine birdlife. Among these, tawaki — recognisable by their quizzical facial plumage — are only found here, mostly on the beaches around Lake Moeraki and a unique attraction for lodge guests. From the comfortable lodge, expert nature guides lead tours along an unmarked trail to spectacular Monro Beach to witness the penguins making their way between the ocean and their nests in the coastal rainforest.

Travel Tips: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki is on SH6, 90 km south of Fox Glacier township.