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“Penguin heaven & much, much more !” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

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Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   State Highway 6 | 30 km north of Haast, Lake Moeraki, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7842, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lake Moeraki
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Penguin heaven & much, much more !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

We spent a wonderful day with Gerry kayaking on Lake Moeraki in the morning & visiting giant Rimu trees up to 2000 years old. In the afternoon we did the Lake Moeraki signature walk & were privileged to see fjordland crested up close . Evenings were spent feeding giant eels, glow worm spotting & star gazing.
Gerry is a fabulous guide & story teller and his enthusiasm is contagious.
The rooms are very comfortable, food good & staff v friendly & genuinely interested.
Their website is outdated & the lodge offers so much more than is evident online . This is a New Zealand treasure not to be missed!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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142 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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English first
North Carolina
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

With Gerry McSweeney as a knowledgeable and caring host and guide, how can you go wrong. He is a NZ treasure and strong advocate of ecologically sound practices and conservation. We took the coast hike with him and though we saw no dolphins were enchanted with his perspectives and obvious love of this beautiful and isolated area of west NZ. The price of lodging is high, but the food is truly superb, the company was great - learned much from others, especially an Australian family - and the room was very comfortable and open to the beautiful river and surroundings. We kayaked into the lake and explored the trails by ourselves, learning about the plants/trees and the interesting history of this region. We highly recommend this place to everyone: educational, relaxing, soothing, challenging physically (if you are up for that), and a great place to return to. One couple from Canada had visited ten years before and were determined to have the experience again, as well as his Arthur Pass location.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo B.C.
Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 117 cities Reviews in 117 cities
198 helpful votes 198 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

Moeraki Wilderness Lodge is located near the rugged west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, a little more than half way down the island. As the name implies it is a wilderness lodge although you would never guess it is by the way it looks. It’s a thoroughly modern, comfortable and well appointed lodge right in the middle of nowhere. It is comprised of a main building, which houses a lounge, dinning area, kitchen and offices. Surrounding the main building are a number of guest cottages or rooms of varying sizes and price ranges. However there are no inferior rooms here. All are beautifully decorated, roomy, with lovely views of the surrounding forests, creeks and gardens. Moeraki Lake is a short distance away and easy to hike to. On the property itself are hiking trails and you can kayak on the river, which is just next to the main building. The Lodge offers a free, guided hike with one of their knowledgeable guides, and is very informative. Our hike was an evening hike and our guide took us to see some of the glowworm sites in the area as well as some of the nighttime birds and animals.
The owner operator (s) of the Lodge are first rate, very friendly and keen to ensure that you have a good experience by offering information and tips on travel and the best strategies for viewing the reclusive and rare Fiordland Penguins that inhabit the brush covered headwalls that rise up behind Monro Beach, which is a short 45 minute hike from the Lodge out to the ocean.
During our travels in Australia and New Zealand we tended to book lower budget type accommodation but thought that we would use a visit to Moeraki Wilderness Lodge as our one extravagance and we were not disappointed. It offered a luxurious stay in a pristine wilderness area. Top marks of 5+. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013 via mobile

Excellent accommodation. Superb food. Ideal hosts. Best of all was the guided tour to a secluded beach to see penguins heading to and from the ocean from their rain forest nesting spots. Gerry and Anne were hospitable, knowledgable and friendly without being intrusive. We stayed 3 nights which was an ideal amount of time.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights and there were only 2 or 3 other couples but I know it is early season and they were expecting a large group just as we left. Gerry is very enthusiastic and incredibly knowledgeable about everything to do with Wildlife. We did the 'Hard' Trek with him and had a great time climbing some huge boulders and then hanging onto a rope as we hauled ourselves up the cliff face. The whole time he was pointing out trees, shrubs and wildlife to us. The following day we went with him in search of Penguins- what a success- we sat in torrential rain, not daring to move as lots of penguins all played on the rocks, preened themselves and jumped in and out of the sea. The Lodge itself was comfortable with tea/coffee making, hairdryer, toiletries etc. The food was excellent.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

We were lucky enough to be the only guests when we stayed for two nights in September. We were met by Gerry and the Tui's at the door, a fantastic welcome. Both Anne and Gerry were perfect hosts, Gerry for his amazing energy and infectious enthusiasm and Anne for her delicious cooking and easy going personality. The lodge appealed to us so much that we decided to book, even though we prefer to travel to places where we can be low key and blend into the background, as a same sex couple it can be worrying waiting to see what reaction you get! Full marks to both Gerry and Anne, there was not a flicker of a reaction or judgement, we were treated with respect and kindness and felt totally comfortable. Particularly comfortable after dinner, Anne's food was amazing, amongst the best meals we had in NZ, sprouts in parmesan were a revelation (am still hoping for the recipe)
What Gerry describes as the 'hard' walk is absolutely that. It is challenging, but so well worth the effort to be able to see penguins, fur seals and, of course, Humphrey. Hats off to Gerry for being able to carry both of us across some deep streams, and then have to carry our heavy coats in his rucksack because it got so warm with the effort of climing 600 feet up a cliff!!! The amount of knowledge Gerry has at his fingertips about the flora and fauna around him is amazing, and his ability to share it. We loved the glow worms, the peace on the lake when kayaking and the extraordinary birdlife.
The room was beautiful, with a river view, and one of the most comfortable beds ever. If you are thinking of going and you love wildlife, good food, scenery and a little adventure, just go!

Room Tip: Choose a river view room if you can.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

My wife, daughter and I spent a night at the Wilderness Lodge, and wished we had been able to stay longer. We were made very welcome by Gerry and enjoyed a number of activities, including walking through the temperate rain forest to Munro Beach, kayaking on the lake (wonderfully peaceful), feeding the eels and seeking out the glowworms in the evening. This was all interspersed with great food and relaxing in the lounge overlooking the river. We would highly recommend a stay here.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Address: State Highway 6 | 30 km north of Haast, Lake Moeraki, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7842, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) > Lake Moeraki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lake Moeraki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki 4.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore ancient protected rainforest and wild Tasman seacoast from the comfort of the Wilderness Lodge. A paradise for nature lovers in the heart of the 2.7 million hectare South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki Hotel Lake Moeraki

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