Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Discover the wonders of the South Island’s wild west coast at peaceful Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Nestled within pristine forest, near the town of Franz Josef/Waiau, the retreat is the ideal spot to discover some of New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring and beautiful scenery. Aside from exploring Franz Josef Glacier and nearby Fox Glacier, guests of the retreat can also discover countless walking trails, sensational gorges, lakes and the fascinating Tatare Tunnels – an old mining tunnel. Another must-do experience is a visit to the West Coast Wildlife Centre, located in the heart of the main town and where you can come face to face with the rarest of the country’s five kiwi species – the Rowi.

The retreat itself has been built and designed in the most sustainable way possible and uses locally sourced products and materials (such as environmentally certified and non-rainforest timber) to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible. The rooms have been designed around the forest and all look out onto the native rainforest courtyard. The rooms feature double-glazed windows whilst communal areas including the bar and restaurant are naturally ventilated using fans, eliminating the need for air-conditioners.

The warm and cosy ensuite guestrooms are located in four wings linked by covered walkways and can be configured with either Super King or twin Queen beds. The rooms boast natural wool fabrics and carpets while the beds are covered in plush down and wool duvets for extra warmth and comfort if needed. The rooms all feature a small work desk and comfortable sitting area as well as tea and coffee making facilities. There are also a few wheelchair-friendly rooms that feature a Super King and single bed.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat Canopy Restaurant

Canopy Restaurant

Open for breakfast daily between 7 and 10am, The Canopy restaurant is the ideal spot to start the day. Overlooking the forest guests can choose from a classic continental offering or several mouth-watering hot options. The Frond Lounge Bar offers guests a welcoming and relaxing spot to enjoy a delicious dinner or warming drink at the end of the day. Guests can expect an evolving menu offering delicious dishes that use only the most seasonal, local produce available. Other facilities at the retreat include a concierge service, Wi-Fi connection, 24-hour reception and room service as well as the Amaia Luxury Spa, where a dedicated team offer relaxing and rejuvenating treatments including massage therapy, facials, pedicures and extensive spa packages.

Rowi Kiwi Sanctuary

New Zealand’s rarest kiwi, there are only around 400 Rowi remaining in the wild in a single population on the South Island’s West Coast near Okarito (10 minutes from Franz Josef). The kiwis are carefully managed by the Department of Conservation and assisted by community conservation groups. Staying at Te Waonui Forest Retreat assists in supporting vital conservation projects through donations to Kiwis for Kiwi – a national charity that raises funds for kiwi projects throughout New Zealand. To learn more about the Rowi and other Kiwi related projects, visit

Endagered Kiwi in New Zealand

Accommodation Details

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