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“Amazing”
Review of Te Nikau Retreat

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Te Nikau Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Loved this place, we stayed in a 'stargazer' right in the middle of the forest, and used the main house bit for the facilities which was really very lovely, so rustic. Fresh muffins everyday, they are delicious! It is very peaceful, wekas roam about the place! Short drive from the pancake rocks etc. Perfect.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JDM637
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 - 183 of 243 reviews

Reviewed May 18, 2011

Stayed in the te nikau retreat for only one night (unfortunately!) and didnt want to leave... amazing value for money, the area is beautiful! they bake fresh muffins every day so when we arrived, the smell was as beautiful as the scenery. Beds were comfortable and the place small, so the shared bathrooms felt private. Would definately love to stay again.

The only issue we had was lack of available parking

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank doviwaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2011

Excellent value, very nice if like hanging around with other tourists. Parking is a mess. Close to nice tracks

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank acoustesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2011

The accommodations were quite nice. Our main complaint with the place was the parking and hours. For us, Punakaiki was just a quick stop on our drive up the west coast so we got in right before dark. The parking lot was already full and there was no place to turn around so we had to backup up a very narrow, unlit, gravel road in order to get out. This happened a couple times since the houses each have their own parking areas, and all I an say is that that parking lot, when full, is an accident waiting to happen.

Also, reception is only open for a limited number of hours. By the time we got in reception was already closed so we weren't able to rent towels (they aren't included) or buy detergent to do laundry.

If you're staying a few days none of these things should be a big deal but if it's just a quick stopover on your way to other parts of New Zealand I'd recommend getting in early to avoid some of these issues.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank chins01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2011

Te Nikau is located a short drive away from the blowholes at the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, in the forest and close to the Truman Track.

We stayed in a double en-suite room in Ruru House which is in the centre of the complex. When we tried to book this hostel online we had a number of problems and eventually booked over the phone. Our room was basic and of a decent size, clean and tidy although there was not a lock on the bedroom door.

Downstairs was a shared kitchen which some of the other lodges shared with us. That said, we didn't have any problem finding time and space to prepare our food. The people running Te Nikau Retreat were friendly and helpful.

There was freshly baked bread and muffins available every day with a wee shop providing other basics. Punakaiki does not have a supermarket or petrol station so you need to bring food with you and ensure you have enough fuel to get to your next destination. There was also internet access and a pay phone available in Ruru Lodge and we had no problem parking.

In terms of atmosphere, the other people staying at Ruru lodge tended to keep to themselves but this may have been because English was not their first language. There were a range of nationalities staying here and Te Nikau provides a connection to the i-site in Punakaiki where you can join up with other main forms of transport. We were driving and there was plenty of parking available.

Punakaiki is famous for its coast line. From Te Nikau it is easy to join the Truman Track (you need to cross the creek) to the beach. You can't swim here because the rips are so strong and the waves are huge, but you might see a penguin or two at the right time of day. The beach at the end of the track was rugged and the sea comes in quickly at high tide so be careful not to be caught out. You must see the Pancake Rocks if you come here. Try to go at high tide to see the blowholes working.

Away from the coast there is a range of walking available for all abilities. You will need to check weather conditions though as tracks can become flooded and impassable. We walked along the Pororari River Track (again this starts close to Te Nikau) through the rainforest and were greated with a natural crescrendo of sound from the cicados and other insects living there. The views from parts of track made you feel like you are in a forgotten wilderness with the wide rushing river, bush as far as the eye can see and high cliffs. We also saw a number of Weka's living here.

While we only stayed for one night, if you wanted to get the most out of the walks available you would want to stay for longer and Te Nikau is a great place to make your base. It is also the perfect place to stay if you just want to get away from it all and close to nature.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wild_cascara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2011

This is very handy for the Punakaiki Blowholes (30 mins walk?) and a number of lovely walks if you have a car for accessing some of those further away. Situated in a nice location in a forested area, lovely beach for sunset and a relaxed atmosphere, we met some lovely people there. Ruru Lodge has a shared kitchen which was fine but perhaps would be a bit more difficult if people had not staggered their cooking times. We would always prefer to have a door that locks in our lodge room and although we were told that there had never been a problem with theft, that would be of little consolation if anything ever went missing should you be the unlucky one. Trusting or naive?
A lovely area of coastline, particularly further north. NB Some of the huts are located around the site, along paths and given the amount of rain at times, you may find it a bit of a pain to go to the toilets or kitchen if you have to access Ruru Lodge for these.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank limegreen07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2010

Cabin lodging with a difference. Nice attention to detail in furnishings and very good value overall. We had the self contained "Hideaway" cabin. We didn't get to use the facilities too much as we were only staying for one night. I would recommend staying here at Te Nikau in Punakaiki for more than one night to ensure you get to see all the that area has to offer - besides the famous pancake rocks. The retreat itself is away from the main village and pancake rocks, so if you don't have a vehicle you will have to organise transport.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank CL0SeY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Te Nikau Retreat

Address: 19 Hartmount Place, Punakaiki 7873, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Punakaiki
Amenities:
Beach Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Punakaiki
Price Range: $43 - $153 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Te Nikau Retreat 2*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique hostel with all home comforts, lodges and cottages nestled in the native rainforest. Excellent place to relax ~ restore ~ explore. Beautiful beaches, river walks, horse trekking, and kayaking close-by. Bread/muffins available for sale. FREE UNLIMITED WIFI is available in all rooms of the retreat. 3kms north of the Pancake Rocks, the sign on main road for Motel - Homestay - Backpackers indicates your turn off. Book your Intercity Bus to the Truman Track (TRT) and you'll be only meters away from Te Nikau. ... more   less 
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