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“Wonderful Waipoua”
Review of Waipoua Lodge

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Waipoua Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Waipoua Forest
Certificate of Excellence
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
39 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Wonderful Waipoua”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We stayed at the Waipoua Lodge in December 2012. I have been meaning to write this review for some time so apologies for its delay. We decided upon Waipoua based on the amazing reviews. It was a difficult decision whether to stay here due to the cost. However, we had a wonderful stay. We drove up from Auckland stopping at The Kauri Museum on the way. The lodge is a great location to stop before entering the Waipoua forest. The accommodation was very comfortable with large sumptuous sofas and large TV. The bathroom area was large with a great shower and free standing tub with lots of lovely products to try. The kitchen area was smaller than expected but if you’re staying here you really should sample Fran’s food rather than try to cook anyway. The grounds are charming and there’s a lovely short walk you can do and some pigs you can visit. Love the chickens just strolling about. We had a lovely meal and Ian provided us with excellent wine choices to go with our food. After our main meal Fran invited us into the kitchen and showed us how to make her amazing soufflés. Best I have ever had! After dinner we were treated to all manner of extra goodies and really made to feel part of a family. Ian and Fran really are fabulous hosts. I think the reason I haven’t written this review until now is I have been fighting with the cost of this place….what do I put for value for money? It was way more expensive than other equally delightful places we stayed at with similar great New Zealand hospitality. So I guess if you can afford it …..stay here…it’s lovely!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank joford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoodieF55, Owner at Waipoua Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review and for recommending guests stay with us.

It is an ongoing challenge to us to ensure that Waipoua Lodge provides excellent value for money. With only four suites, a remote ancient forest location and old historical buildings to maintain it is not easy, but at the same time our limited number of suites ensures that guests experience a very unique and personal service.

To add value, we do provide "extra goodies", complimentary experiences and a dedication to a level of hosting and hospitality which has earned us recognition with the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards.
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412 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

With a long history of sheltering travellers, this historic home, once a sheep farm, has made itself a place amongst the best of the New Zealand lodges.The accolades from other travellers say it all. We would simply add that the hosts, Ian and Fran, are genuinely interested in their guests, personalise their recommendations for your itinerary based on excellent local knowledge (Ian is a born travel guide!), provide gourmet dinners (Fran is a mainly self-taught very creative chef), have a great wine cellar at very good prices. The rooms are all private suites, beautifully renovated, a few steps from the rain forest. Guests can participate in Fran's cooking lessons, help feed the unique and fascinating family pets, or just absorb the beauty of the Northland and its history. (don't miss "Footprints" guided tours in the Waipoua Forest). For us, the special efforts of the hosts of Waipoua lodge to make us feel like (royal!) family, created three memorable days in this truly awesome region of New Zealand

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Patricia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoodieF55, Owner at Waipoua Lodge, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful review and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us at the historic Waipoua Lodge - we see ourselves as custodians of a very special place, steeped in history of the early pioneering days of not only Northland, but New Zealand. The ambience of the lodge and the ancient kauri forest is truly something very unique. Kind regards Ian & Fran
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

Fran's friendly greeting in the carpark was the start of a wonderful stay. We had visited all of their suggested places and walks in the Waipoua Forest on our way. This is a haven of beautiful surroundings, exceptional food ( cooked by Fran ) and wonderful matched wines (selected by Ian). Fran and Ian provided a comfortable balance between professional service and friendly interaction - a rare treasure. After our magnificent dinner and lemon souffle demonstration we shared a nightcap and were treated to sensitive and informative stories of the kauri forest and the associated Maori history and traditions.
Our accommodation was separate to the main lodge and couldn't have been more comfortable or luxurious.
Fran and Ian are generous,thoughtful hosts and wonderful caretakers of this special Waipoua Lodge and its surrounding forest. This was the highlight of a great North Island holiday.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Marea R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoodieF55, Owner at Waipoua Lodge, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are very grateful to our many guests who have posted positive reviews which have earned us our Travellers' Choice Award in three categories - Best Luxury Hotel, Best Small Hotel and Best Service.

Ian and I are committed to creating a memorable guest experience in every aspect of what we do because whilst experiences last but a brief time, special memories can last a lifetime.

Waipoua Lodge
Creating a memorable guest experience
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auckland
1 review
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We had been on the road all day and had heard about the lodge with the fabulous food we were heading to from my parents who had stayed there previously and were travelling with us for a second visit. There were four adults and four children under 10 in our party and the hosts Fran and Ian couldn't have done a better job of looking after us.

I just asked my son what his favourite part of the stay was and he said "the breakfast and the dinner". Fran and Ian go to alot of trouble to ensure personalised service from the named activity books to desserts with the childrens names in chocolate and every request was met with a can do attitude which might sound corny but these people are genuinely interested in the guests comfort.

The acccommodation worked perfectly with us utilising 3 of the lodges, and the grounds are lovely to wander through. We were away again the next day to visit the forrest after a hearty and healthy breakfast.

My father who has travelled extensively commented that he thought the account "for that many people" was very good value and we all agree that Fran and Ian are running a sophisticated lodge that is a little haven in a unique part of the country.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Lijujo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We only stayed one night at Waipoua lodge in December 2012 and that was defenitely to short! When we arrived we were welcomed by Ian & Fran and were given a menu we could select our choice for tonight's dinner. Mmmm, difficult to choose from, it all sounded very nice. We were given some background on the house by Fran and the house came to live after that. Our room was very spacious, with a seperate living room, kitchenette, bedroom and a large bathroom.
We had an early dinner as we booked a night tour at the Waipoua forest. Ian & Fran are totally equipped for this tour. You have your starter & main course first, then you have the tour and when you came back to the lodge you enjoy your dessert. How clever. The food is really to dye for, it is sooooo good. The attention to detail and the stories Ian & Fran exchange with you are great. They have a good knowledge of the area and give you any information you want and they are full of stories. We even got Christmas Crackers with our dessert. as we stayed there short before Christmas. The next morning we had our gourmet breakfast and said hello to the two piglets before we went further on our journey. This is really a lovely place to stay and we would recommend to stay here for 2 or 3 nights. There is plenty to see in the area and every time when you come 'home' you can enjoy the lovely food Fran has prepared!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Liz T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoodieF55, Owner at Waipoua Lodge, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Thank you for such a comprehensive review and we are thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us. Two to three nights is definitely a great length of stay to enjoy everything this wonderful area has to offer and especially the Footprints Waipoua night tour which is ranked by Lonely Planet as in the top 80 eco things to do in the world!

Cooking is my passion and as there are no other restaurants or cafes within 30-40 minutes drive from the lodge, we believe offering a comprehensive a la carte menu is a must. From this we have now developed the Waipoua Lodge Cooking School which is open to all guests who would like to spend some time in the kitchen learning some culinary tips and tricks from a 'self-taught chef' who has discovered how to develop her own natural cooking style!
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Auckland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

We have just returned from a night at Waipoua Lodge. Fran and Ian are very welcoming and warm hosts and the lodge and location are just stunning.

Our evening meal which we enjoyed with friends was really impressive and breakfast was lovely too.

The lodge is a great base to enjoy the nearby Waipoua forest and local attractions. Great walks,
scenery and a swimming hole!

Thanks guys we hope to be back in the near future.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Matapouri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed at Waipoua Lodge for two nights in January 2013, before returning to Auckland. Fran and Ian were most attentitive and entertaining hosts. The food was superb and spectacularly presented, with every attention to detail. The various elements of a dish always complemented each other. The suite was both spacious and very well appointed, with equisite toileteries. If we are able to return to NZ it would be our first point of call.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoodieF55, Owner at Waipoua Lodge, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Thank you John & Ann for your lovely review.

The location of the lodge is an easy three hour drive north of Auckland and on the magnificent and undiscovered Kauri Coast which tourists can travel as their Pathway to Northland - a region of two very diverse coastlines and three important Maori cultural and spiritual locations.

The Waipoua Forest is the focus of the Kauri Coast and like many of the natural wonders of New Zealand is a little remote, but perhaps that is why our ancient kauri trees are up to 3,000 years old ... luckily untouched and saved from the pioneer loggers they are here for us to stand in awe and feel truly humble.

Kind regards
Ian & Fran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waipoua Lodge

Property: Waipoua Lodge
Address: 4748 State Highway 12, Waipoua Forest 0376, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Waipoua Forest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Waipoua Forest
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Waipoua Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience true New Zealand hospitality. Waipoua Lodge - creating a memorable guest experience. Waipoua Lodge is a little piece of luxury etched in history where you can experience true New Zealand hospitality whilst travelling Northland’s Twin Coast Discovery Highway. This circular route provides two diverse coastlines which offer in just one region, so much of the natural environment which is our beautiful Aotea-roa (land of the long white cloud). Nestled on a ridge overlooking the vast Waipoua Forest – home of the ancient and iconic kauri trees, Waipoua Lodge offers relaxing, warm and authentic New Zealand hospitality and the perfect location from which to explore the beautiful and often undiscovered Kauri Coast - Pathway to Northland and Naturally New Zealand’s Ancient, Eco & Cultural Destination. With the mixture of yesteryear in the old Kauri lodge, home to artefacts from the Kauri logging era, to the four acres of garden and tranquil bush walk surrounded by pasture and forest … you will be inspired and all within an easy 3 hour drive from Auckland. Host Ian offers personalised guided tours of the local area and hands on talks and demonstrations of the history of the ancient kauri and the early pioneers and gumdiggers. If you have a love of food, cooking and entertaining, then dining at Waipoua Lodge will be an experience to remember. Spending some time with host and chef Fran at the lodge's cooking school could simply be the ‘cream on your dessert!’ ... more   less 
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