Treetops Lodge Team

John Sax, Founder and Environmentalist | Treetops Lodge & Estate and The Kinloch Club (sister lodge)   
As a boy one of John’s greatest passions in life was to fish. He dreamt that one day he might be lucky enough to have a stream or build a pond on a property that carried those ever-challenging trout. Just maybe, he could turn the clock back and restore some of those magnificent trees and habitat that was not only his playground, but the playground of native and game birds alike.

Some 30 years later Treetops was born; and just over 13 years ago Treetops opened. A virgin native forest with 800-year-old giants that would humble even the very greatest. Seven crystal clear spring-fed streams cascading and tinkling through the forest to the valley below and 70 km adventure trails.

By visiting Treetops, you have shared in a dream, John’s dream.

And avid environmentalist, John is a  businessman of over 30 years. He has always had an active community involvement whether it be assisting with the establishment of ‘halfway houses’ in New Zealand’s lower social economic communities, commencing youth programs and initiatives for those that have been left behind, initiating and piloting re-training of the long-term unemployed or taking mentoring into schools etc.

Alma, his wife of 27 years has been a strong supporter of the above. They have two children, James and Natasha, who in their own way are “making a difference”.

Paul Jordann, General Manager | Treetops Lodge & Estate and The Kinloch Club (sister lodge)  
Paul Jordaan is General Manager, Treetops Lodge & Estate and our sister Lodge The Kinloch Club in nearby Taupo. He partners with our Lodge and Estate Managers to provide our guests with the very best New Zealand luxury lodging experience possible.

After spending the last two decades in regional and senior management roles in iconic global luxury brands as Aman Resorts and Six Senses (Asia), Paul was most recently General Manager of multi award winner The Slate (Thailand), a member of Design Hotels. Prior he held  management positions at experiential luxury lodges such as Elewana, Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard and Grootbos Private Nature Reserve (Africa), and Point Grace Hotel (Turks and Caicos Is.).

Having twice collected the prestigious World Travel Award ‘Caribbean Leading Boutique Hotel’, as Hotel Manager for Point Grace, Paul appreciates the drive, team work, and attention to detail luxury lodgings must provide to attain the ultimate guest experience.

Paul attended Cape University, Granger Bay Swiss Hotel Management School.


Andrew and Sandra Cullen, Lodge Managers | Treetops Lodge & Estate  
Andrew and Sandra are the Lodge Managers at Treetops Lodge & Estate, consummate professionals and a true passion for people and providing exceptional experiences and levels of guest service.
Spending the last few years in Asia with senior management positions at Amanwana and managing their private boats Amanikan, and Amandira (Aman Resorts, Ultimate Indonesia Collection), they had honed their luxury lodge and resort management skills, as Kiwis, closer to home at The Beach House, Kawau Island, New Zealand. Prior, they successfully jointly established their own very successful restaurant for 20 years, ‘Cullens’, a Hamilton icon.

A City & Guilds qualified chef, Andrew leads general management of the lodge and estate including first liaison with all lodge guests, supported by Sandra who is oversees daily operations and guest relations alongside Andrew.


Dave Goodman, Estate Manager | Treetops Lodge & Estate  
Dave has grown up with a strong affiliation for the outdoors and a passion for hunting and fly fishing. A ‘Southern’ man, Dave was born in South Otago, New Zealand and lives now in Rotorua with his family. He is a professional Gamekeeper, and this is reflected in his current professional role of head Gamekeeper and Guide at Treetops Lodge & Estate.

Dave combines his focus on guest satisfaction and relationships, he oversees estate activities such as our clay target shoot range, archery, fly fishing tutorial and guiding plus our seasonal hunting program, all with a strong conviction to protect and enhance Treetops forest environment.

With extensive experience managing and working on privately owned estates in New Zealand, United Kingdom and the USA - all with an emphasis on the habitat, hunt and game management. Dave holds a Diploma in Game Wildlife and Habitat Management and a National Certificate in Game Keeping and Water Keeping. Most recently Dave held the position of Head Gamekeeper of the 654 acre Equine Estate, and undertaker roles in the United Kingdom on the Marrington Estate and Duke of Roxburgh, Floors Castle Estate. Dave has also recently completed a Head Gamekeeper consultancy role with Beckhurst Estate, Idaho USA – advising on development, planned shoots and husbandry of their eighteen thousand pheasants and partridges.

He lives on the estate with his family.


Phoebe Georg, Eco Guide | Treetops Lodge & Estate  
Don’t let Phoebe's Australian education and experience fool you, this girl is as Kiwi as they come with New Zealand parentage and  childhood holidays spent tramping the great forest walks. She has an absolute love and knowledge of New Zealand flora and fauna and passionate about our native bird protection.

A professional eco-guide for 7 years, prior to settling in New Zealand she worked as a Nature Guide at ‘Luxury Lodges of Australia’ member Spicers Peak and Longitude 131, with a stint in Canada as a Nature Guide. Phoebe has studied towards a  Bachelor of Science at Flinders University (South Australia), and more recently completed a Certificate in Guiding (Eco Tourism) from TAFE (South Australia).

Phoebe is very hands on with guests, her typical day consists of guiding our Treetops guests on hikes through the 70 km of pristine forest and adventure trails identifying native trees, flora, geology and local bird life. She has just launched a Treetops nocturnal hike which includes stargazing, a visit to our own glow worm caves and if you are very lucky,  the spotting of a Kiwi (bird variety). She also oversees areas of our kid’s activity program which include mountain bike riding, horse riding, scavenger hunts, geocaching, native tree planting and for the identifying our numerous animal tracks – from possums, deer, wild pig, buffalo and native birds.