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Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses is a contemporary country hotel located on a deer breeding farm in the South Island of New Zealand. It sits snugly at the base of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range, with the Kaikoura coast and famed Mangamaunu Bay only a kilometre to the east.
The Lodge’s five Tree Houses are unique, nested 10 meters or more above the ground in the canopy of a native Kanuka grove. The Tree Houses are designed to complement the natural environment, as your bedroom in the sky. Their large windows bring the tree canopies into the bedroom and provide impressive views of Kaikoura’s dramatic mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
The Lodges & Olive House
All of the Lodge rooms are suites which offer large soaking tubs, king beds and balconies that look over the farm’s deer grazing in paddocks adjacent to the Kaikoura mountains. The lightfilled Hapuku Room is beautifully furnished with fireplace, writing desk and private entrance.
The Olive House is a free standing building that used to house the farm’s olive press. They relocated the press and have turned the building into a beautifully presented three-bedroom suite of rooms.
Kaikoura is renowned for whale watching and is one of the few places in the world that these magnificent creatures can be seen year round.
Other wildlife experiences include swimming with dusky dolphins, one of the most acrobatic dolphins, and can form spectacular groups of several hundred animals.
There are over 79 species of whale and dolphin in the world today and 34 of these species have been sighted in New Zealand waters with over half of these in the waters off Kaikoura. The most common whales on the coast are the sperm whales, but in addition there are frequent sightings of other types of whales including humpback, minke and orca, which pass through the area at regular intervals.
For something different you could try walking into the sea off the rocks near Kaikoura and having a roll in the kelp with New Zealand fur seals – this is arguably even more fun than swimming with dolphins!
Though best known for whales and dolphins, another wildlife experience in Kaikoura is a pelagic birds tour. Kaikoura is home to up to 12 species of albatross, as well as numerous other pelagic birds such as penguins, gannets and petrels, which can all be seen in close proximity.