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The Headwaters Eco Lodge, New Zealand
South Island

The Headwaters Eco Lodge

New Zealand’s only nett positive energy accommodation, The Headwaters Eco Lodge is an environmental and ecological marvel. Built from the ground up following the principles of the Living Building Challenge, located 40-minutes from Queenstown, this eco-retreat welcomes couples, families and groups of all sizes. The lodge is entirely off-grid, powered by its solar garden, which produces enough energy to sustain the property and give back to the surrounding community, too. Glenorchy is famed for its proximity to the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, but has very much become a destination in its own right over recent years. Sandwiched between the Humboldt and Richardson Mountain Ranges, with glacier capped peaks stretching as far as the eye can see, for lovers of the great outdoors and environmental enthusiasts, there is no better place to rest your head. 


The Headwaters Eco Lodge


From camping and glamping to luxury eco-cabins, The Headwaters Eco Lodge has an accommodation option to suit every style and budget. If you are on a self-drive campervan journey around New Zealand, the are also a small number of full hook-up sites available. We love the Premium Eco-Cabins, which have either one, two or three bedrooms. Every single element of the lodge has been crafted (mostly by hand!) and designed with the environment and community in mind, from the fixtures and furnishings to the toiletries and artwork.

When it comes to efficiency, the infrastructure and architecture is astoundingly impressive. Each chalet comes with its own in-room tablet, from which you can manage temperature and water use. You will have full visibility of the energy you are using as well as control over the length of your shower, with endless information and interactive tools from which you can learn how to be most efficient during your stay. The composting toilets are state-of-the-art masterpieces and all the water you use is collected, filtered and cleaned on-site. The Premium Cabins all offer en-suite bathrooms to the master bedroom, rain showers, a separate lounge area and verandas with panoramic mountain views.


The communal Homestead building offers a huge shared kitchen space, fully equipped with everything you could and would need.  Breakfast and BBQ hampers can be pre-ordered from Mrs Woolly’s, a gorgeous and brilliantly stocked general store located just across the street. Owned and run by the same team, you’ll notice the same attention to detail in the store as you’ll experience in your cabin and throughout the camp, from home-baked treats and artisan eats to locally made crafts and organic foodstuffs for you to buy.

The lodge buildings are centred around a large outdoor kitchen and dining area, complete with electric BBQ’s, picnic benches and a huge fireplace. Toast marshmallows and enjoy a local pinot noir with fellow travellers under a starlit sky, surrounded by the silhouettes of mountain peaks. Glenorchy is a sleepy township so if you choose to eat out one evening, make sure you call ahead to check opening times. Our favourite local spots for pub grub are the Glenorchy Hotel Pub or the Sugar Loaf Café, adjacent to Bold Peak Lodge.


At the river-fed head of Lake Wakatipu and in the foothills of Mount Alfred and Earnslaw, adventure is on your doorstep at The Headwaters Eco Lodge. Tramping (hiking) and mountain biking trails disappear in every direction, or ditch your boots and take to the saddle with one of the local horse-riding companies.

Adrenaline junkies will love jet boating on the lake or for a more relaxing lake experience, join a guided kayak or fun-yak tour. The Glenorchy airport, just south of town, is a busy launchpad for helicopter and light aircraft experiences. Closer to home, join the by-donation morning yoga class in the Homestead, which takes place three times a week. With so much to do it can be hard to know where to start planning your outdoor pursuits, so make sure you talk to the lodge concierge for maps, routes and recommendations. The team are so passionate about the local area and the story of The Headwaters Eco Lodge itself, we highly recommend paying them a visit even if just to hear more about this truly spectacular part of the world. If you’re interested in taking on the Routeburn Track, The Headwaters Eco Lodge is the perfect pre or post stopover. Chat to our specialists about the logistics, booking huts and organising transfers.    


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Every Turquoise holiday to New Zealand is tailor-made and expertly crafted. Please contact our team of travel specialists on 01494 678 400 or via our online enquiry form for a bespoke quotation and we’ll happily source the best available offers for your travel dates.

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