Treetops Lodge Rotorua - Billowing clouds of dust, tyres losing traction on the single-lane gravel road. That is not the way you would expect to approach one of New Zealand's most luxurious accommodations.
Yet it's exactly what happened when I popped out to Treetops with my brother Wayne and his wife Jo. However, let me leave that there for a moment to fill you in a bit more about this property first.
Treetops Lodge & Estate is a hidden treasure located about 20mins south-west of the city. It has a wonderful story behind it.
Once upon a time, (you've got to start these stories right, right?) John Sax, a businessman who has interests in a number of companies both in New Zealand and overseas, had a dream.
As a passionate trout fisherman from a young age, his dream was to one day, just maybe, have his own stream or to build a pond on his own property.
"You're mad." They said, shaking their what-do-you-know heads in unison. He went ahead and did it anyway. John never gave up and now Treetops Lodge & Estate is a testament to his vision.
John has created a paradise that is uniquely New Zealand. Native birds and trees, bubbling streams, ponds, lakes, lush
bush walks and bike tracks (over 70km) abound in this spectacular 2500
I bet it far surpasses what he dreamed of as a youngster.
This luxury accommodation in Rotorua is comprised of:
Meals are mostly provided with the reservations.
Numerous packages can be included with your stay. Like Wild Food & Wine, Wild Food Cooking, Fly Fishing & Fun, 5-star Children's packages (these look so good) and Wedding & Honeymoon packages.
Hunters and fishermen are not forgotten either with packages catering to their specific needs. The lodge was initially set up for these avid sportsmen - is that what they're called?
And like you can't tell with the life-stuffed-out-of-them spooky dead animals and fish plastered everywhere. Makes me think of America for some reason. Maybe it's all those guns they tote around as a matter of course, much like women do with their handbags.
Times are a-changing though. It's 2015 and Treetops is closing July until September to undergo a complete refurbishment. This will bring it more into line with modern markets.
The life-stuffed-out-of-them spooky dead animals and fish? Somehow, I think they will be gone. Or at least not so obvious.
Now back to my family. I swear, I don't know about my brother at times. Here we are, rocking up to a high-end property and he's dressed in an old singlet, rugby shorts and jandals. "I didn't know it was this fancy." He protested. After we'd told him before leaving home. Men!
He did the same on my wedding day except it was a casual shirt and trousers when everyone else wore suits. Like I said, some mothers do 'ave 'em.
Anyway, he and Jo had won a day stay at Treetops and wanted to see what the prize consisted of before booking in. Luke, the manager, Australian by the way but we won't hold that against him, was very helpful. And wouldn't you know it, he and Wayne got on like a house on fire. Rugby!!!
To cut a long story short, Wayne and Jo went, ended up staying the night, and loved the whole experience.
They loved walking Treetops lush bush tracks, the fine dining (chatting with the chef in the kitchen while he cooked their fresh food), and the tasty breakfast (where he-who-will-not-be-named movie star rolled in looking like he'd been dragged through the scrub), as well as a host of other things.
For Wayne and Jo, it was an experience that bears repeating - sans jandals. Let's see if you agree.
351 Kearoa Rd, Horohoro
Price range $512 - 1,728
Spa & Hot Tub
Business centre & meeting rooms