Home Directions Book Call Contact

The Treetops Philosophy - Living Sustainably without Compromising Luxury

Treetops Lodge & Estate has committed itself to being and living sustainably.

We are New Zealanders  and we fiercely respect our land and sea and the interaction of our people who live here and the values of our guests who stay. Informing our build, and how we  continue to run our lodge, is the desire to achieve the best results for ecological and social sustainability. As a New Zealand luxury  lodge, and as a globally multi-awarded 'best in the world eco lodge,' we are aware of the possible negative effects that we could have on our eco systems and are committed to minimize our environmental footprint by appropriate leadership and learning.

We support our local communities with employment and training and we are hospitality leaders in contributing to conservation efforts. For our guests we are proud to include in our Treetops philosophy an 'Estate to Plate' 100% pesticide free and where we can organic dining philosophy. Our cultural and wildlife experiences that our guests experience are authentic.

We are also committed to 'The Tiaki Promise'. This is a set of guiding principles for visitors to follow, and during all guests stay at Treetops we actively show guests how to contribute to preserving and protecting our land, and to have authentic connections to nature, people and our culture.

Our Treetops Tiaki Commitment:

  • We are the New Zealand leader in providing authentic cultural and wildlife experiences with sensitivity to sustainability, environmental responsibility, indigenous and cultural. We have given careful consideration to integrating the best of a superb wilderness environment and good business practices.
  • Our guests get off the beaten track and discover the real New Zealand - a secluded wilderness hideaway, encompassed by land, lakes and rivers, and embark on a journey of exploration and discovery with the uniqueness of the New Zealand flora, birds and. They leave Treetops having been taught appropriate behavior to safeguard our land and waters and to act as guardians of our country.
  • We employ the services of very experienced local guides, many from our local iwi (Māori tribe) who in turn train younger or new guides and, importantly, our guests. All trainers are highly experienced and have a sound understanding of the principles that Treetops and Tiaki fundamentally embrace. Through specialist indigenous and cultural activities such as the the Māori Food Trail, the Wild Food Cooking School, the Medicinal Māori Trail, and our Indigenous Spa experiences, plus Māori Cultural performances, local artesian craft and storytelling, our guests leave educated on our country and people.
  • We encourage our guests to visit and learn, and to harvest and taste with our expert chefs each morning experiencing the Treetops 'Estate to Plate' philosophy. Created in part with our Estate Manager and the dedicated team of chefs, we feature ingredients reared or grown on this vast estate and we are near 100% pesticide free. World-class game and trout are combined with estate-grown fruit and heritage vegetables, flavoured with unique native herbs from the forest. Our food is complemented by a superb wine cellar of New Zealand and world wines, with expert advice on making the best of our regional wine offerings as our guests pass through them touring New Zealand.

Architecture and Design

  • The lodge’s elegant, ecology-inspired architectural style derived from the country’s pioneering past, with graceful timber and stone finishes echoing the natural beauty and simplicity of the great outdoors. There was a careful selection of dead and down trees, milling on site, selecting rock to assist in the construction. The main lodge and villas reflect a highly integrated building concept to support important archaeological and geographical features. Particular attention has been given to the detailed design including high levels of insulation, heat recovery and recycling systems, double-glazing with low heat transmission glass, and orientating the building to maximize sun collection. To put a percentage on this is difficult as energy consumption varies with occupancy level, but it has been an initiative since lodge build.
  • At the time the lodge was designed, wetland habitats were established and designed. The lakes have the capacity for Micro Hydro generation. Historically electricity was supplied predominantly from the local Hydro Electric Power network, however we are now near self-sufficient and have the ability to pass back 50% to the national grid. The lodge now gains credits when exporting its surplus energy within the national grid power network.
  • All of our artwork, showcased in our lodge and villa interiors, at Treetops is produced by local New Zealand artists and sculpturers. We have an extensive portfolio of artwork throughout the lodge and villas, some available for purchase.

Energy, Water and Waste

  • 100% of refuse from the property is recycled. 100% of all waste is either processed on site or recycled. Plastics, glass, paper are collected and supplied to recovery/recycling plants.
  • Treetops runs comprehensive bio cycle aeration plants, with trickle irrigation for all grey water after treatment.
  • Energy consumption is minimized by computerized controllers in all areas switching on and off lighting and heating on a programmed basis. The lodge has designated an Energy Champion person to monitor power consumption on daily basis.
  • Our lodge faces north and warms naturally from the early hours of the day.
  • To put a percentage on the recycling systems, double glazing with low heat transmission glass, orientating the building to maximize sun collection, etc, is difficult as energy consumption varies with occupancy level, but it has been a committed initiative since the initial lodge build.
  • Water is supplied for guest consumption by deep springs which provides guests the opportunity to consume the highest quality mineral water we have seen on the planet.
  • We run comprehensive bio cycle aeration plants, with trickle irrigation for all grey water after treatment. Treetops Lodge owns its own well and we are dedicated to collect rainwater for irrigation. Water consumption is not a sustainability issue at Treetops as we supply our own from our natural catchment.


  • Over 100,000 trees have been planted within the estate in the past 10 years. In this regard all carbon emissions from every guest who has ever visited Treetops, from the farthest parts of the world, has already been paid back by carbon credits.
  • We purchase locally produced indigenous and organic food products and grow our own 100% organic and pesticide free fruit and vegetables on site. We encourage our guests to visit and learn, and to harvest and taste with our expert chefs each morning.
  • Electricity is supplied predominantly from the national Hydro Electric Power network. Due to our location in the middle of the native New Zealand bush and the ongoing replanting work, Treetops Lodge is firmly carbon positive.
  • The creation of four wetland habitat areas was a feature of our initial design for wading and dabbling species of bird life and trout. We are witnessing a rich and varied bird life. For example, our wetland habitat is periodically attracting blue ducks which are on the endangered species list.
  • Refuge from the lodge and estate is recycled and regular monitoring is conducted monthly. The waste is processed onsite or recycled. Plastic, glass and paper is collected and supplied to recovery/recycling plants. Organic waste is run through composting plants and then through trickle irrigation to enhance plant life.
  • The predator program has been successful by steadily reducing the numbers that prey on our indigenous species
  • Cuisine here at Treetops follows the Estate to Plate philosophy, it is organic 100% pesticide free, as it should be – this is a true wilderness estate. Water is supplied for guest consumption by a deep natural spring. This provides guests the opportunity to consume, bathe and shower in the highest quality mineral water seen on the planet. Full water filtration to all water outlets means NO plastic bottled water at all in resort.
  • Everything from the lodge’s 70 km of adventure trails, our own Manuka Honey hives, organic produce gardens, game and trout reserves, Māori medicinal and wild food foraging produce for the Wild Food Cooking School is tended, guided, harvested or hand-picked wherever possible by using organic and sustainable process.
  • An annual eco-audit. We review our performance to determine gaps in the ecosystem and develop an eco-management plan most likely to benefit indigenous wildlife. Recent initiatives include planting areas in exotic species for sustainability, and to complement and reinforce the ecosystem for wildlife e.g., enhanced nectar, berry, and seed production to ensure food is available 12 months of the year for native wildlife.

Our Treetops Family

  • Treetops focuses attention on employing local staff - our team members are key to the success of our lodge. An authentic, happy, and respectful relationship throughout our team membership shines through in our reviews constantly from guests, and those personal experiences are priceless.
  • We pay a liveable wage and we respect and train our workforce. Staff turnover in our key team members is amongst the lowest in our competitor set.

    ….And just to keep things in the family … our key team family members are long termers:
    • John, owner and visionary is the only New Zealand born and permanent resident of the premium luxury lodges in New Zealand. Treetops is his vision – he walked the first ground plans for Treetops 25 years ago, and he ensures that it is alive and well today.
    • Dave, our estate manager has been in the role 9 years
    • Felipe, our head chef has been in his role for 6 years
    • Lola, our guest relations lead has been in various roles with Treetops for 7 years
    • Some of our duty managers who have been with our team up to 12 years.
    • Many of our fishing, hunting, and experiences guides have been with the lodge for its entirety – 22 years
  • Tear fund – we support/sponsor micro-enterprise initiatives, by the provision of micro-enterprise or loans to the organization, e.g., local artisan Wayne Ross produces carvings from 5000-year-old swamp Kauri wood which in turn are sold through the lodge to guests.
  • Treetops teaches our guests through specialist cultural activities at the lodge e.g. The Māori Indigenous Food and Medicinal Trails, and the Wild Food Cooking School. This provides jobs for local iwi (Māori tribe) in hosting and guiding these activities using their historical and handed down from family knowledge.

What is the Tiaki Promise?

Stay With Us

Every journey starts with a single step