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Media Release: Maori Food Trail June 2021

Posted By: Karine Thomas - 01 Jun, 2021


Media Release (June 2021): Rotorua, New Zealand,
"Haere mai taua te hikoi i te ngahere" – “come walk with me in the forest”.

Award-winning Treetops Lodge & Estate, located in the heart of New Zealand’s world famous therapeutic thermal region and trout fishing capital, Rotorua, is an elite lodge offering a uniquely New Zealand experience. Surrounded by 2,500 acres of secluded native forestry, and nestled amidst magnificent, native, 800-year-old forests and valleys, the lodge is a testament to the preservation of the indigenous flora and fauna.

In keeping with Treetop’s eco-friendly ethos, a key focus of our ‘Estate to Plate’ philosophy near all food served at te lodge is either reared or grown on our estate or the use of  locally grown and sourced produce including sourcing and utilising native herbs and ingredients not used found on the estate but that were traditionally used by local Maori. John Sax, visionary and owner of Treetops Lodge, comments, “Native herbs are not commonly used on menus in New Zealand so utilising them in our cuisine provides a new culinary experience, in particular for guests from overseas. We use Karengo (sea vegetable) in a variety of seafood dishes as a seasoning or garnish, infused in broths or deep fried for salsas, and Kawakawa Rub, which is derived from the leaves of the indigenous Kawakawa tree, to season meat dishes such as venison”.

The forest food trail is aimed at educating guests on native Māori cuisine and the indigenous herbs and plants used, and is headed up by leading local expert, and resident guest liaison manager at Treetops Zeplyn Manny. Zeplyn has been taught from a young age from generations before her the benefits of native forest herbs for food preparation and medicinal purposes.

Guests can experience the Māori food trail including ingredients such as Horopito, Kawakawa and Piko Piko. Horopito has a chili pepper bite and is dried and used as a rub and seasoning, as is Kawakawa, which is used medicinally as an herbal tea and has traditional applications for stomach pains, blood cleansing, tooth ache and as a general tonic. Piko Piko, which is New Zealand’s native fern, is harvested and used for its edible shoots.  The tour starts with the background to Māori cuisine and how this has translated through to the modern day. During the tour, guests sample a series of foods made with native herbs sourced on the property whilst learning about their medicinal and nutritional properties.

For more information or for graphics, contact PR representative Karine Thomas on +64 9 307 3633, or email karine@navigateoceania.com. Visit Treetops website at www.treetops.co.nz 

More about Treetops Lodge & Estate:

Nestled in 2,500acres of 800-year-old native forest, Treetops Lodge & Estate is a uniquely New Zealand experience. This wildlife sanctuary and retreat is nestled within breath taking terrain, offering outdoor activities centred around seven streams, four lakes, and over 43 miles of adventure trails.

Located 20 minutes from the Maori heartland Rotorua, experience exclusively at Treetops the Maori Food Trail, Wild Food Cooking Class, and new Spa that combines traditional therapies with unique indigenous and therapeutic Maori treatments.

Treetops provide adventure for the whole family: junior cooking classes, photography 4WD safaris, helicopter tours, Maori poi making and flax weaving, as well as mountain biking, hiking to spectacular waterfalls and active volcanoes and exclusive use at the nearby Jack Nicklaus designed The Kinloch Club Golf course.

Treetops Lodge offers a range of Signature Experiences, found at no other New Zealand luxury lodges; The Estate to Plate Safari, The Maori Indigenous Food Trail and the Wild Food Cooking School, and on site Wilderness Spa

Recent Awards:

2020: Elite Magazine, USA – Finalist – Top Family Resorts in the World
2019: Winner World Travel Awards – Australasia Responsible Tourism Award (fourth time winner)
2018: Winner World Travel Awards – Australasia Responsible Tourism Award (third time winner)
2018: Luxury Travel Awards - Eco-Friendly Retreat of the Year, New Zealand
2017: Conde Nast BRIDES, USA - Top 10 in Asia Pacific
2017: Winner World Travel Hotel Awards - Australasia Best Luxury Wilderness Lodge  
2016: Elite Magazine, USA - Top 10 Family Resorts in the World
2016: TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Winner
2015: Conde Nast Traveler, USA BEST Top 100 Resorts – Reader’s Choice 

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