The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand

Mahitahi Lodge

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Please note that this guide was last updated a few years ago (2009), so there will no doubt be changes in rates and possibly ownership.

John Birchfield and Jacqui Low
State Highway 6, Bruce Bay, West Coast

Tel: + 64 (0)3-751-0095
Cell: + 64 (0)reephone in NZ 0800-751-009
Fax: + 64 (0)3-751-0195

Night was falling when I finally drove into Bruce Bay - and out the other side again. Quite a feat when you consider that there are only three permanent dwellings in this tiny West Coast settlement.....

.... Once the site of a thriving road-building town (in the thirties the village hall hosted black-tie balls complete with swing orchestra), Bruce Bay is now a close-knit rural community. Within five minutes of my locating Mahitahi, I was safely ensconced in front of the roaring fire, chatting away with a glass of pinot noir in hand. Jacqui is an accountant by trade, while John, a self-professed “hunter-gatherer” has a background in forestry and fishing. His fingers are the deepest shade of green, so naturally the jade-coloured broccoli and iron-rich new potatoes at supper were home-grown. Ask him to take you on a tour of the area and you'll find out about the growth cycle of the kahikatea tree, local Maori history and how to pan for gold - he has his very own concession. The couple built the house themselves from salvaged indigenous wood. Upstairs is a soaring loft space drenched in natural light, with wooden beams, rose-brown rimu furniture and walls painted the colour of bark. The forest theme continues into the bedrooms. I stayed in ‘Rimu’ a cosy affair with a russet-maroon bedspread and chocolates on the bed. The bathrooms have under-floor heating as well, perfect for drying off soggy boots after a long day’s tramping.

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Symbols: No Smoking    Special Wheelchair Access    Off-street Parking    Meals Can Be Provided    Good Hiking or Walking    Fishing    Wifi Available    Self-catering Option    Township Visits or Cultural Experiences    Gourmet Cuisine Available    Boats or Charters    Canoeing    History Tours    Bird-watching Enthusiasts    
Symbol Definitions
Rooms: 3: Rimu Room and Totara Room both super-king or twin rooms with en/s shower; Matai Family Room with queen bed, shower, adjoining kitchenette and lounge with sofa bed.
Prices: Please consult the owners for current prices.
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Meals: Cooked breakfast included: eggs, bacon, porridge, plus cereals, fresh yoghurt and jams. Evening meals, $70 inc. wine.
Directions: Thirty miles south of the Fox Glacier on State Highway 6. On your left-hand side as you drive through Bruce Bay.

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