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. Aucklanders Bruce and Ann Clegg have a holiday home at a nearby beach, so when the 800 acres of native forest came up for sale they bought it, put a conservation
covenant on the forest, and built accommodations and a café/restaurant for guests and casual diners. 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 (opened 2013) 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 café, bar, and restaurant serve wholesome local food and are open daily in summer from 10 am. (Closed Monday in winter.) You can watch the birdlife from the spacious deck, or in winter keep cozy inside by the roaring fire. There's Wi-Fi throughout the property. Close by are great beaches and forest walks. House guests might be lucky enough to be invited to join a kiwi health check, undertaken in the reserve every six months by conservation staff.