This place is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—it's quite a drive to get there but, hey, there are not many places in New Zealand where you can stay in simple, understated luxury, hear kiwi call at night, have a massage from a professional therapist, and soak in a private hot tub in the native bush. The lodge units are beautifully designed with recycled and Australian woods and are insulated with recycled wool. All are fully self-contained, with dishwasher, large refrigerator and freezer, laundry, flat-screen TV, separate en suite bedroom, locally crafted macrocarpa furniture, wraparound veranda, and floor-to-ceiling windows for the forest views. There are nine one-bedroom lodges (one accessible), four two-bedroom lodges (with shared barbecue sites) and one showpiece two-bedroom lodge perfect for two couples and built high up in the bush with sweeping verandas and stunning views. Boardwalks lead to the massage therapist "hut" and hot tubs privately set in the bush, or
if you want a little adventure you can walk up the forest stream to a natural swimming hole. The restaurant serves wholesome local food and opens daily from 9 to 4, and for dinner from December to February. Just call ahead if you want dinner at other times of the year. You can watch the birdlife from the spacious deck, or in winter keep cozy inside by the roaring fire. House guests might be lucky enough to be invited to join a kiwi health check, undertaken every six months by conservation staff.