A Brief History of our Lodge

In 1990 a group of locals living close to the Abel Tasman National Park decided to build a simple Lodge & Cafe. All were committed to creating a low impact vantage point from which visitors could enjoy the incredible living park. It was decided that the environment should tell the story, therefore the construction of the original Lodge used natural materials that would blend in with the environment and would allow for seclusion, simplicity, space, a relaxed ambiance, indoor-outdoor living and low visibility from the waterfront - all elements combining to ‘touch the earth lightly’. In 1991 trading began with a temporary outdoor cafe and four chalets sleeping 28 guests.

Set in 47 acres of private land, the Lodge went through a major expansion and refurbishment in 2003 with the addition of the architecturally designed Superior Suites built in harmony with the regenerating wetlands along with a large dining room and courtyard. Today the Lodge has 26 guest rooms and a busy restaurant, cafe and outdoor pizzeria catering for in house guests along with trampers and day visitors.

With the environment in mind; we continue to endeavour to have as low an impact as possible on our surroundings to ensure that it stays beautiful for the visitors of the future. 

Images from Awaroa Lodge’s construction and early days (early 1990’s):

our past, present & future

The smallest and one of the most visited of New Zealand's National Parks, the Abel Tasman was named after the great Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman who anchored his ships in  Wainui, Golden Bay in 1642. Populated by Maori for over 500 years and first settled by Europeans in 1855, the golden sandy beaches and granite outcrops are now enhanced by regenerating native forest. Eradicating pests and invasive plant species as well as attracting native birdlife back into this environment is a key focus of many of the tourism operators and environmental groups that work in the Park. 

You will not find some of the usual things that you might expect in a 4 star hotel such as televisions, spa pools and cellphone reception! We generate our own power and use a satellite for our WiFi connection - we do however have great food, welcoming staff, comfortable beds, an abundance of birdlife and sensational night skies!

You can see Awaroa Bay live on Project Janszoon's webcam


Project Janszoon

Project Janszoon is a privately funded trust working with the Department of Conservation, the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust, the community and local iwi to restore the ecology of the Abel Tasman National Park over a 30-year time frame.

The trust aims to reverse the trend of ecological decline in the park by reducing predator numbers and weeds, restoring ecosystems, and re-introducing native birds, animals and plants into a thriving park environment.

Project Janszoon was launched in 2012 and will complete its work on the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the park and 400-year anniversary of Abel Tasman’s “discovery” of New Zealand in 2042.

If you are planning on visiting us we highly recommend downloading the Abel Tasman App. This free smartphone app is packed full of up-to-date information on weather, tides, points of interest, history, plants, wildlife and walking times in the Abel Tasman National Park.  

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Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust

Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust is a partnership between:

  • Commercial operators

  • The community

  • Department of Conservation

To protect and enhance biodiversity and improve the visitor experience in Abel Tasman National Park. It is a Charitable Trust, formed in 2007 and registered with the NZ Charities Commission, and the Inland Revenue Department as a charity. It is separate from the Department of Conservation and commercial tourism operators in the Park, but will work closely with them and the local community, on local projects for local benefits.


The Department of Conservation

DoC runs programmes to protect and restore our species, places and heritage, and provide opportunities for people to engage with these treasures. Their work in the Abel Tasman includes managing the Coastal Track and Huts, protecting our wildlife and forest, eradicating pests and protecting this special place for future generations to enjoy.