Posted By: Lodge Manager - 29 Jul, 2019
Media Release (July 2019): Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand: Treetops Lodge & Estate, located in the heart of New Zealand’s wild food capital Rotorua, offers an activity for gourmands – and an experience unique only to this New Zealand luxury lodge - The ‘Estate to Plate’ 4WD Safari.
This is a unique, personal encounter with Treetops gamekeepers and specialist wild food chefs on this 2500 - acre year-round lush wilderness estate and 2018 winner of the World Travel Awards - Responsible Tourism Award (3rd time winner). A multi awarded lodge it maintains sustainable and responsible lodging and estate practices, with the third time win of this award proving that eco-friendly definitely does not mean compromisingluxury. This is a must do experience for lodge guests.
The Estate to Plate Safari is fully guided by gamekeepers and starts with a visit to our Manuka Honey aviaries producing wild native comb honey of exceptional quality and flavour, then it is into the heart of the estate to view wild deer; red, fallow, sika, wapiti (elk) and water buffalo, wild pig, sheep, rabbit, pheasant, partridge, seasonal geese and duck which are organically reared and 100% pesticide free. Then it is back to the lodge and the safari concludes with an optional tour of our kitchen gardens. View seasonal, heritage varieties of indigenous vegetables; native spinach (tetragonia), kumara, fresh turmeric, wasabi, native cress, and an abundance of fruit trees. Guests are encouraged to try garden produce, respectfully picking what they wish to taste.
Complementing the Estate to Plate safari is another Treetops Signature experience, the Wild Food Cooking School. Accompanied by a chef or knowledable local guide, the Wild Food Cooking School members first forage in the 800-year-old forest such indigenous herbs and tastes as the tangy kawakawa and pepperyhoropito. Then it’s back to the Lodge’s open-plan kitchen to watch as these are transformed into signature Treetops dishes from an estate that is a literal gourmet food store - showcasing the preparation of organically reared estate reared game meats of venison, buffalo, wild pork and wild poultry plus lessons in the preparation of Brown and Rainbow trout if a guest has been lucky enough to catch themselves from the seven lakes and streams, or a guest is sharing their catch that night with other guests. A swath of unique flavours will incorporate the likes of species of venison and game that you have never tasted before– all cleverly blended with fresh herbs, vegetables and flavours unique to New Zealand.
It is not just the participants of the Estate to Plate Safari that experience the wild food of Treetops.
The philosophy of Estate to Plate is showcased at every meal and snack at the lodge. Our commitment to serving where at all possible estate reared and produced, evolves from the traditional regional tables of the world’s great, self- reliant country estates before refrigeration, freezers and pre-packs – but with 21st century twists.
Our chef sources from the estate garden daily and our gamekeepers manage our estate reared produce, process and deliver to the lodge. By late morning our chef is at his desk crafting dishes to the preferred tastes of that night’s guests. The menus are European contemporary, using simple techniques to bring out the clear, fresh flavours – but remember every season is different and so with the dishes.
The Estate to Plate safari is based on a minimum of two guests and you need to allow a minimum one hour and allow additional time for the Wild Food Cooking School. Both experiences are subject to availability and exclusively for in-house guests. Timings depend on season, and we suggest at time of booking they are requested so as to not disappoint.