The Resurgence

Eco luxury in New Zealand

The driveway up to one of New Zealand’s leading eco-lodges is delightfully apt: picturesque, surrounded by regenerated native bushland so thick you can’t see much more than a few metres in front of the windshield, and full of promise. After driving for 15 minutes from Motueka through lush farming land in the Riwaka Valley, we follow this new, winding road up, up and up, looping and swirling, until all of a sudden the gateway to luxury appears.

The Resurgence is a five-star eco-lodge set amid 50 acres of wilderness at the top of the NZ’s South Island, just a stone’s throw from the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi national parks. Named after the source of the Riwaka River, this indulgent hideaway is run by British husband and wife team Peter and Clare, who arrived in NZ via an expat stint in Hong Kong in search of a better way of life. From the contented glow that surrounds this entrepreneurial duo, it appears they’ve found that elusive good life — and are happy to share it with their guests.

From the contented glow that surrounds this entrepreneurial duo, it appears they’ve found that elusive good life — and are happy to share it with their guests.

Right now, that warmth is most welcome. My friends and I have just completed a two-day walking and kayaking adventure in the Abel Tasman, so we alight from our vehicle with weary legs. As the sound of birdsong rings out all around and Peter greets us with a broad smile, I hear an audible exhalation on either side and feel a sense of calm embrace us all.

Tonight, we’re staying in two of the four splendidly appointed ensuite rooms in the main lodge and will dine with fellow guests at dinner and breakfast. As well as these rooms — which are spacious and airy with balconies looking out over the treetops — there are bush chalets and lodges dotted around the grounds. The three chalets have studio suites just like those in the main building but with added privacy; the three lodges feature luxe honeymoon suites with polished wooden floors and loads of space. Both options have internal kitchens so you can self-cater if you wish and seclude yourself away, preferably with a loved one for company.

After a brief unpack and stickybeak at the natural Beauty products in the bathroom, the outdoor pool and hot-tub beckon. The warmer months in New Zealand aren’t really that warm, so after a bracing dip in the pool we take our time in the heated spa. It always seems so tough to sit still when you’re used to rushing, but an offering of natural ice-blocks from Clare, who’s taking a break from the kitchen where she’s preparing that night’s feast, keeps us poor things going (OK, it isn’t really all that taxing).

Before long, though, it’s time to shower and move to the expansive deck beyond the dining and lounging rooms, where we share snacks, have a glass of local Nelson rosé and a natter with other guests. Later, we linger over a four-course meal paired with another wine that expresses the nature of the land on which its grapes are grown. The meal is light and luscious — pasta with porcini cream, followed by the traditional French appetiser of crudités, a good-oil fest of hapuka in a light fennel and tomato broth with tapenade toast, and a lime cream tart. All the veg come from the organic Garden out the back and Clare, our resident chef, later shares that she studied French cuisine while working in France when she was younger.

All the veg come from the organic garden out the back and Clare, our resident chef, later shares that she studied French cuisine while working in France when she was younger.

The fierce pride in regionality for which the French are known certainly seems to have taken root in Clare and Peter’s hearts and, like the wines and food they offer, this eco-lodge exudes a sense of place. The couple’s mission is to partner with quality local suppliers to deliver luxury accommodation in a way that’s enjoyable to them and conserves the natural environment. A worthy goal. The eco aspect of the retreat is something they don’t take lightly. They have an annual action plan in place to reduce waste and the usage of water, power and chemicals, and are both active in local conservation efforts. Peter also plants a tree for every couple who stays to help offset carbon emissions.

Yet, as we talk with other guests that night and again in the morning over a wholesome, fresh breakfast spread, it seems the sustainable nature of The Resurgence is just the icing on the cake for most visitors. They have come to indulge, to recharge their relationships, to revel in some peace and quiet. And that’s all fair enough; today’s modern wheel of a world spins so fast it’s vital to rest and reflect. And yet I can’t help but hope, as do our hosts, I’m sure, that the beauty of this spot combined with the sustainable luxury they’ve managed to create will linger for a very long time in the hearts and minds of those who experience it.

  • The writer was a guest of The Resurgence.

Danielle Kirk

Danielle Kirk

Danielle Kirk loves yoga and cooking and occasionally climbs trees. She's also the editor of WellBeing.

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2022 08 01t142110.758

Leave your holiday feeling refreshed!

Hunter Valley Retreat

Discover the new wellness packages from Elysia Wellness Retreat

Lady in hot spring

Hepburn Bathhouse And Spa

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 (68)

How Gwinganna’s Detox Retreat can transform your wellbeing