Join a team of naturalist guides led by conservation ecologist and Wilderness Lodge founder Dr Gerry McSweeney. Explore a natural paradise, almost unchanged from the time of Polynesian arrival to New Zealand. Things to do include: wildlife adventures, West Coast wilderness beach hikes, rainforest discovery, trout fishing & easy kayaking.
Each day, two complimentary guided nature activities are offered to Wilderness Lodge guests. These are fun, educational and interactive. They are generally of around one hour duration and are not physically demanding.
Lake Moeraki is a paradise for active travellers, nature enthusiasts & wilderness seekers
Some of Our Complimentary Activities
The Interior of the Rainforest - A Step Back in Time
Discover 1000 year old trees, orchids, and a myriad of ferns. Search for birdlife & learn about the conservation campaigns that saw these World Heritage-listed rainforests protected in perpetuity.
Freshwater Ecology of the Moeraki River
Learn about the inhabitants of a waterway teaming with life. Discover tiny invertebrates that support a complex food web and handfeed giant freshwater eels
Learn Easy Kayaking
Join a trained guide to paddle our safe and stable kayaks. Explore the calm waters of Lake Moeraki and watch waterbirds, spot trout and experience absolute serenity.
Night Sky & Glow Worm Discovery
After dinner take a stroll to learn about the stars of the southern sky and see glow worms light up the rainforest
Explore further afield with a skilled guide and small group on our longer guided wilderness adventures. The programme will be explained on your arrival and activities don't need to be booked in advance. Duration is generally 3-5 hours and prices range from NZ$125 - NZ$240 per person.
The Wilderness Lodge's 'signature walk' traverses dramatic seacoast. Scramble over volcanic boulders, climb through rainforest and enjoy tea beside a tumbling waterfall. See fur seals year round and penguins from Aug- early Dec.
A gentle walk along a beautiful yet rarely visited piece of coast. Discover rockpools, islands and coastal caves and see the world's smallest marine dolphin. Fossick for wave-sculpted driftwood, jade, and other gemstones.
Moeraki Rainforest Walk, Kayak and Beach Discovery
Hike beneath the majestic floodplain forests and kayak calm lagoon waters to the coast. See the world's most epiphyte (perching plant) laden tree (101 species!) then enjoy refreshments & a stroll along a quartz sand West Coast beach
Moeraki Pack Track & Historic Hut "Tramping" Adventure
Until 1965 access to the Moeraki Valley was a pack track suitable only for foot traffic. This little-used trail now provides access to the upper valley. Cross a swing-bridge spanning thunderous rapids and enjoy lunch in a historic hut.
See tawaki penguins on West Coast wilderness beaches
You can hire a private guide for an exclusive day of wilderness discovery. The day can be fully customised to your particular interests and fitness level. This is perfect for photographers, botanists and other special interest travellers, or those wanting to pack the most into their stay. Exclusive guiding must be booked in advance.
Maximise your Wilderness Lodge experience with a fully customised day of discovery.
The charge for exclusive guiding is NZ$990 per day for 1 or 2 people. This charge covers your personal guide, refreshments, picnic lunches, transport, conservation licence, 15% tax and equipment (kayaks etc). Additional persons are charged at NZ$279. A 50% surcharge applies on public holidays.
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki offers plenty of options for exploring on your own. A network of walking trails extend through the forests, along the waterways and out to the coast. The lodge can provide maps and interpretive trail guides. A fleet of kayaks sit at the water's edge and you can paddle Lake Moeraki at your leisure.
Sometimes you just want to do your own thing, in your own time.
Fishing equipment may be hired from the lodge if you want to experience the renowned Moeraki brown trout fishery. We can provide spinning gear, organise a licence and give some pointers about where to try your luck. The chances of hooking a nice fish are good. There are no local fly fishing guides in this area.
search for shy and secretive threatened species
“An oasis on the West Coast”
My wife and I went with family and friends to celebrate our anniversary. We stayed two nights in Arthurs Pass and another two nights in the sister lodge at Lake Moreaki. We were very impressed with th...
“Just the very best!”
This is a wonderful place to stay on a visit to New Zealand's west coast. Husband and wife team, Gerry and Anne, are wonderful hosts - welcoming, informative and totally participative. The rooms are v...
Jasperco, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
“Stunning scenery, comfortable lodgings and welcoming hosts.”
A haven from which to bush walk or kayak before enjoying lovely food overlooking the river and forest. Hosts Anne and Gerry are passionate and knowledgeable about the area and guided walks or stargazi...
Melbournepk, Melbourne, Australia
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Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki is located on the South Island’s West Coast between the Glaciers and Wanaka/Queenstown. It is a comfortable 5.5 hours drive from Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass and 3.5 hours from Queenstown Airport. We have driving notes available for the journey north or south.
Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass is located on Highway 73 between Christchurch and the West Coast. It is less than 2 hours drive from Christchurch and the towns of Greymouth & Hokitika and a comfortable 5.5 hours to Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki. The TranzAlpine train stops in Arthur’s Pass and transfers to/from the lodge are available.