Natural Focus Safaris

Franz Josef Glacier – Te Waonui Forest Retreat


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Flat screen TV
  • Air-conditioning
  • Minibar
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour reception
  • Day spa
  • Concierge

Overview – Te Waonui Forest Retreat

A highly accredited luxury eco-lodge on the South Island’s remote and rugged west coast, Te Waonui Forest Retreat offers rest and relaxation a stone’s throw from the majestic Franz Josef Glacier. 

Awaken to birdsong and mist rising over the lush rainforest surrounding your room – this tranquil resort was designed to have minimal impact on its environment, built with sustainable materials and carefully designed to complement its beautiful natural setting. Generously sized guestrooms have double glazed windows, environmentally certified tapware and efficient air-conditioning systems. No compromises have been made on comfort however; bed linen is ultra-luxurious, there is a pillow menu, a comprehensive entertainment suite and a minibar. Most rooms have a large walk-in shower, and is many instances, also a bath.

The four accommodation wings – Kahikatea, Totara, Rimu and Matai – are all linked to each other and to the main lodge by covered walkways. Within the main building, you’ll find friendly 24-hour reception, a concierge desk, day spa, two guest laundries, a restaurant and bar. The Canopy Restaurant provides delectable morning and evening meals, with an international buffet and egg station in the morning, followed by five-course degustation dinners. Diners at this establishment can take their meals indoors or out on the covered balcony, which is surrounded by old-growth hardwoods. At midday, the restaurant’s bar and alfresco area are transformed into a casual eatery where lunch and daytime snacks are served.

With mountains, glaciers, rivers and lakes at its doorstep, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is an ideal base to explore this spectacular region. Some of the many activities that can be booked by hotel staff on your behalf include a thrilling hike over the ice of nearby Fox or Franz Josef glaciers, whitewater rafting on the Whataroa River and quad biking in the valleys of the Southern Alps. There are also various walks from the property including a fascinating glow worm track. Pursuits at a gentler pace include a thermal springs excursion and a visit to the WildLife Centre, home to the rare Rowi Kiwi.

Want to find out more about our New Zealand tours? Call one of our travel specialists on 1300 363 302.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Rooms – Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Spread across four wings, the superbly appointed guestrooms are configured to have one super king (to fit a maximum of 2 guests) or two queen beds (for a maximum of 3). Enjoy a private balcony or courtyard, complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD TV and movies. There is also a deluxe room designed for handicap access if required, with one super king and a single bed.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Facilities – Te Waonui Forest Retreat

  • 100 eco-friendly, luxury guestrooms
  • The Canopy Restaurant
  • Amaia Luxury Spa
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour reception
  • Concierge
  • Parking

Activities – Te Waonui Forest Retreat (extra cost)

  • Scenic helicopter rides
  • Heli-hiking
  • Fixed wing flights
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Horseback riding
  • Guided kiwi tour
  • Wildlife Centre visit
  • Thermal pool visit
  • Quad biking
  • Off-road buggy driving
  • Boat tour
  • Kayaking
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat

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New Zealand South Island

Getting There

The closest major city to Te Waonui Forest Retreat is Christchurch, which is serviced by flights from most Australian cities and many key Asian hubs. The property is a very scenic 5-hour drive west, taking Arthur’s Pass over the Southern Alps. It’s also possible to drive to Franz Josef Glacier from Queenstown, a stunning route that takes you past glistening Lake Wanaka and through both Mount Aspiring and Mount Cook national parks.

Combine With

If you’ve just started your self-drive holiday originating from Christchurch, why not head south to Queenstown from here? This stunning lakeside hamlet is renowned for outdoor activity and adrenalin sports. If returning to Christchurch, consider exploring the remote northern reaches of South Island. The Marlborough region is famous for its vineyards, the origin of many a globally acclaimed label. Also in the area is Nelson, one of New Zealand’s sunniest towns, famous for fresh seafood and its thriving arts scene.

  • A unique luxury eco-retreat set amid old-growth forests
  • Sustainably constructed, comfortable rooms
  • Delectable meals at the lovely Canopy Restaurant
  • Proximity to mountains, rivers, lakes and glaciers
  • Positioned amid thermal pools
  • Walk or bike along nature trails right outside your door
  • Opportunity to hike Fox and Franz Josef glaciers
  • Adrenalin options including heli-hiking and whitewater rafting
  • A chance to see the rare Rowi Kiwi at the nearby WildLife Centre

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