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Twin Waters Lodge
Luxury Accommodation in Collingwood, Golden Bay, New Zealand
Nestled harmoniously beside a tidal estuary and just fifty metres from a fine sand beach, the building features curved timber ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and multilevel decks. The elegant and artistic interior has ample space for all guests to enjoy its charm and tranquility.
Waking to the sound of tuis, breakfasting in the sun, sipping wine on the decks overlooking the estuary, or savouring a delicious dinner, there’s sure to be a special moment to remember your stay.
Trish and Mike have been in the hospitality business for many years and take pride in creating a relaxing atmosphere for their guests. They have a passion for travelling and love meeting fellow travellers and sharing experiences.
At Twin Waters Lodge, we try to use only the freshest and best ingredients for our breakfasts. This means buying local, wherever possible, and especially growing our own vegetables during the summer. Here is a photo I took just last week of some of our “Sweet 100″ tomatoes ripening on the vine in our garden. At present we have salad greens, three kinds of beans, potatoes, radishes, courgettes, peppers, spring onions and carrots growing. In addition to this we grow a wide range of herbs, including rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, parsley and not forgetting the Bay Laurel tree by the back door for bay leaves!
This week we saw the return of our frog. Those of you who have stayed with us in summer may remember our frog. He (she?) hibernates each year and normally comes out of hibernation in November. This year’s emergence was late and we wondered if we had lost him. Our frog, who we named “Monsieur Croque” – a twist on “croque monsieur” – the French version of cheese on toast, has been with us for about five years now. I originally found him when I was mowing the lawn, down by the sign, where Totara Avenue joins the main road. I saw a small green frog in the grass making his way quite determinedly onto the main road. I estimated that his chances of getting across the road were minimal, […]
One of the highlights of our recent trip to Africa was a training course held in Nkombe Camp in the Sabi Sands Reserve. Sabi Sands is a private reserve that borders onto and is open to Kruger National Park. The camp is a “wilderness” camp, i.e. it is not fenced off from the park and animals are free to wander through – which they do from time to time. The camp was a practical course run as part of the Field Guides Association of South Africa level 1 certificate training, and we learnt about many aspects of sout African wildlife, which was one of our main purposes. Another benefit was a training in how to be a field guide and what things to show people and tell them about. As […]
This is just a brief post to advise all that we have returned from our global travels and the Lodge is now open for business. We look forward to an exciting summer, with some new innovations on the way. In particular, we expect to be announcing the commissioning of a new guest room, to accommodate guests during peak times over the summer; and we will be inaugurating guided walks on Totara Avenue to introduce guests to the area, its geography and its flora and fauna.
Twin Waters Lodge is closed for winter. Like many businesses in Golden Bay associated with tourism, we close during the winter months. Winter is not a good time for visiting Golden Bay – the days are cooler and shorter, and it is when we have more wet weather. During the next 2 months we will be doing our own tourism, on safari in Kenya and South Africa. For that reason, we may not be able to reply immediately to email enquiries or booking requests from this web site. We apologise for any delays and will be checking every time we have access to emails. Meantime, the Lodge will be in the hands of our house (and dog)-sitters, Peter and Janne. Although winter is our cold season, it is not excessively […]
Late last year we acquired a new family member. Flynn is a boxer puppy, now about 15 months old. Flynn is everyone’s best friend – or that’s what he thinks! For people who like dogs, he is a lot of fun and good entertainment. For people who don’t like dogs or may have allergies – he is not allowed in the guest areas of the Lodge and has no contact with the guest rooms or guest lounge. He generally inhabits the back yard (fenced) or our home, which is part of the Lodge. For the record, he is not allowed in the kitchen and is banished from shared areas during meals. Many of our guests during the summer have enjoyed interacting with Flynn and his antics have been entertaining […]
Pohutakawa are generally considered the New Zealand Xmas tree because they flower around Xmas time. Ours usually flower a little later and today they are in full bloom. Their brilliant red / crimson flowers are a blaze of colour and Totara Avenue is alive with red. They are also a favourite of the bees, and this tree, which is situated to the north of the Lodge lawn, was surrounded by a cloud of honey bees. The storm that caused so much damage down the west coast was a minor event here, blowing through in the night, and it has been followed by fine sunny days. We noted a temperature of 22 C on the front deck at 6 pm today. Our guests that are travelling down the west coast have […]
… to all from us at Twin Waters Lodge. As the end of year approaches, we move into summer holiday mode. The Pohutakawa is New Zealand’s native Christmas tree, traditionally coming into flower about now, and there are quite a few of them around, but I prefer the southern rata, which flowers a bit earlier. The photo above was taken early this morning from the kitchen window, and shows the early morning sun lighting up the hillside that we look out at from the kitchen and dining room of Twin Waters Lodge. The red trees are all southern ratas, in full bloom. This tree was driven nearly to extinction by the opossum, an introduced species, and it is only due to the efforts of “project crimson”, a sustained effort to […]
The banded rails are still around. The small population of banded rails in “our” inlet is the only occurrence of these birds known in the South Island of New Zealand. They are a fugitive species, living amongst the reeds and on the mudflats. They are rarely seen – we see them maybe once or twice a year. Last week as we were driving home from Collingwood, one ran across the road just in front of us. Fortunately we were not driving very fast, so we got a good look and the bird was safe. The photograph was taken this morning from our dining room deck, to show the area of the Waikato Inlet where these birds live. The weather at Twin Waters continues to be very pleasant – it is […]
Our new look web site has gone live this week. It has been rebuilt to add compatibility with mobile devices and to give an up to date look and feel. We hope you like it! On Wednesday we had a spectacular sunrise over Golden Bay, with unusual cloud formations. This continues a run of fine, warm and dry weather we have been having over the past few weeks. The summer is forecast to be warm and dry – bring it on!
Last week, when driving in to Collingwood , we saw an unusual bird on the road. It was walking across the road in a manner similar to a pukeko, but the bird was brown. From a distance, I thought it might be a weka, but weka have been absent from our area for many years from a viral epidemic. It was also in a wetland area – not a usual habitat for the weka. The wekas have come back to parts of Golden Bay but have not reached us yet. A mixed blessing, I think, because although these birds are quite friendly and interesting to watch, they are also very mischevous and destructive. Anyway, back to the bird in question: it had a longer body than a weka and a […]
Twin Waters Lodge is now open for guests. Today, it looks as if spring is really here and summer not far away – the sky is blue and it is warming up. With the help of two French Wwoofers, a major clean-up and preparation was done to get everything in shape for the new season. Wwoofers (no, it is not a spelling mistake) are international visitors who work voluntarily in exchange for bed and board. For more information about this scheme, see http://www.wwoof.co.nz/. Following a wet winter there was a lot of growth of our gardens and lawns, and there was a lot of excess vegetation to be dealt with. Yesterday I heard my first call of the shining cuckoo (pipiwharauroa). This bird has a two part call, the first […]
Today is the spring equinox. That means the days are drawing out and summer is coming. We are preparing Twin Waters Lodge for re-opening in late October. The kowhais are in flower and the Tuis and bellbirds are having a great time. A particularly brightly coloured bellbird was on one of the Kowhais in the courtyard yesterday. The male is more brightly coloured then the female, and it is possible the colours may be more intense during mating season. The past few days have been fine and clear, marking the end of a long, wet winter. Today we are thinking about gardens and beaches. Since I last wrote, we have acquired a boxer puppy we have named Flynn. He loves going for walks on the beach and provides us the […]
It is now mid winter. The days are short and cold but often beautifully fine and clear. Here is a story of a recent event at Twin Waters. The story of Kahu Land-based raptors are not widely represented in New Zealand, with the relatively common Australasian harrier hawk (Circus approximans; Kahu in Maori) being more prevalent and the smaller native New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) relatively uncommon. The much larger Haast eagle (Harpagornis moorei), the largest raptor ever known, has been extinct for several hundred years, owing to the extinction of its main prey, the flightless moa. In Golden Bay, we have larger numbers of raptors than elsewhere in New Zealand, largely because of the absence of the Australian magpie, a vicious bird that attacks hawks and other birds (and […]
The season is over and Twin Waters Lodge is closed for winter. We expect to re-open in October 2012, but an exact date has not been decided, and it may depend on demand. We had a late “Indian” summer, that is still going on as I write. Last week I went down to the Anatori River for a couple of days. The scenery there is truly spectacular, and it is well worth guests taking an extra day, if they can, to explore the Whanganui Inlet and beyond – Maungarakau, Patarau and the Anatori. Those with a 4-wheel drive can ford the Anatori river and continue on the road, which goes to the Turimawiwi river, from which it is possible to walk to the lighthouse on Kahurangi Point. One of the […]
We are having a great summer and the Bay is pretty much back to normal, except that road access to Totaranui and Awaroa is not yet restored. The slips and washouts on that road are going to need major engineering works to rebuild, and we do not expect road access until next summer. Meantime, there is a regular water taxi service from Port Tarakohe.
Over the last week Golden Bay has been subjected to the worst floods in 150 years – this on top of the December 28 floods last year. This time the Western part of the Bay was not badly affected, with the Aorere River peaking at a level considerably lower, and the river not changing its course – the remediation work done during the year seems to have done its job. The road between Takaka and Collingwood was closed for several days, due to a washout at Birds Hill (just past the turnoff to Pupu Springs as you go towards Collingwood), but it was opened briefly yesterday and fully today. There is a short 1-way system for traffic, controlled by lights, so allow 10 minutes’ extra time for travel. At Twin […]
Today we open for the new season. We have recently returned from our own holiday – in the Cook Islands, where we experienced some great hospitality and got some new ideas to offer at Twin Waters Lodge. This season will be our first offering a self-catering option for guests. This is a budget alternative where guests can get their own breakfast, and use the small kitchen off the guest lounge to prepare meals – see my previous post for more details. Of course we still offer our full service package for those that want it. Our news has been dominated by two things – the Rugby World Cup and the ship that has run aground at Tauranga. The latter has caused significant ecological damage on the Bay of Plenty coasline, […]
Yesterday winter truly struck. We awoke to a dusting of snow on the hills just across the estuary. Puddles were frozen over and there was a layer of frost in most lower places. Today it is frosty, but with brilliant sunshine and bracing air. This has made us start thinking about summer – and the reopening of Twin Waters Lodge. This year we will open on October 21, the Friday of Labour weekend. We have just announced our new “self service” option. Guests have in the past requested a degree of self-catering, and we are pleased to offer this for the forthcoming season on a trial basis. Rooms will have basic cutlery and crockery, and limited kitchen facilities are available in the kitchenette off the guest lounge. We will be […]
Last weekend as I was cycling in to Collingwood, I startled a bird feeding in the drain near the Aorere bridge. I was unable to identify it, other than as a heron with a short neck – some kind of night-heron. I am now reasonably sure, after considerable research, that what I saw was the juvenile form of the Nankeen night-heron. This bird is self-introduced from Australia and the adult plumage is spectacular. The juvenile is a mottled brown, and it has large yellow eyes. For a photo of this bird see: http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Oceania/Australia/photo179462.htm I don’t know what happened to my blogs from January and February – it appears there has been a problem uploading tham and they have vanished into cyberspace. To recap: At the end of December we had […]
Stop Press! Trish has just seen 2 banded rails in the inlet beside Twin Waters Lodge. These birds are relatively rare in NZ, and our inlet is the only place in the South Island where they have been seen. We see them maybe once or twice a year, as they are a very fugitive species. Summer has come early to Twin Waters Lodge. Following a cold winter, we now have had warm dry weather for a couple of weeks. The season started early this year, with first guests on 1 October, and we have had a couple of larger groups (7-8 people) staying here bfore walking the Heaphy Track. Twin Waters Lodge is a great place as a base before tackling the Heaphy – or as a rest and reward […]
It is now the depths of winter at Twin Waters. To be fair, it has been a mild winter this time, but we are off to warmer climes for a few weeks. Please excuse any tardy responses to emails: we may not have access to email all the time we are away. We will return in just over a month and be ready to open up for October 1, and look forward to meeting new friends in the new season.
Mid winter has passed and we head into a new summer. We have had a week of cold clear days. Large number of pied shags have taken up residence in Golden Bay and there is concern whether the local fish population is enough to feed them. A small group is resident on our beach. As winter passes we start gearing up for the new season. This year we will be opening from October 1 due to demand.
The days are shorter and the weather cooler: winter is upon us. Twin Waters Lodge is now closed for winter (although we will take special bookings if we are here – phone us to ask). We open again at Labour weekend, on Friday October 22. We took some time off last week to go fishing, based at nearby Totaranui, and hour’s drive away in the middle of Abel Tasman National Park. Fishing off Separation Point was good, with some large blue cod being caught (limit 3 per person), as well as some small sharks and a couple of kahawai. A highlight of the fishing was a visit from an albatross, tentatively identified as a Salvin’s albatross from its grey head and neck and yellow bill with a narrow black stripe. […]
Last night we had some very welcome rain – after quite a dry spell. Fine and sunny by morning. Life at the Lodge is slowing down a bit as the summer rush subsides. Concerns over the effect of the Chile earthquake in Golden Bay turned out to be groundless. Despite it being a spring tide, and the tidal wave being due at about high tide, no discernible effects were seen. This is largely because Golden Bay is sheltered by land mass on all sides. The Bay itself is 3/4 of a circle, and the opening faces the West coast of the lower North Island. We now look forward to Easter.
Yesterday we went to Wharariki Beach again with friends from Canada. I am always impressed with this beach – the relaxing walk across the farmland to reach the beach and the dramatic scenery when we get there… and of course the seals. We counted no fewer than 12 seal pups and several adults. The seals seem quite unafraid of humans and as long as people continue to respect them, there is no reason why this should not continue. I attach a photo Trish took of a couple of seal pups while we are visiting.
Great news! Twin Waters Lodge had been awarded Qualmark Enviro Silver status in recognition of our attempts to run a sustainable business with a light footprint on the land. These awards are hard-won – you have to be recommended by an assessor to even apply for an enviro rating. Today it is raining – quite heavily. Not good for tourists but very necessary as the ground had got very dried out, and stress on our plants has been compounded by high seas at the beginning of the month that dumped salt in the soil. The rain is washing away the salt, washing the dust off the plants and generally freshening ands greening everything. This will make for beautiful scenery when the rain goes away. The scalloping season finishes tomorrow, so […]
I had expected to get an update much sooner, but was confronted with a computer meltdown over the New Year period. It has been a very busy season so far, with a relatively low number of advance bookings, but many late bookings and arrivals. We would advise prospective guests to book early, as we have had to turn quite a few away and decline late booking requests. After a rather windy and damp Xmas period, the weather has mostly been settled, with some glorious hot days. Scalloping has been good, with limit catches the norm and large shellfish. The snapper are also biting! Our local resident white heron has been very much in evidence, having returned from the mating grounds earlier than most. Seal pups have been regularly seen at […]
Twin Waters Lodge is now open for the 2009-2010 season. Spring is well advanced, and we have had some lovely sunny days. The scallop season is open and we have been out a couple of times and returned with limit catches of nice big juicy scallops. The local birdlife is abundant, with lots of tuis and bellbirds to be seen and heard, native pigeons to be seen, and the grey warbler during the day and the morepork at night to be heard but not seen. The shorebirds are here in abundance, too, although the kotuku (white herons) have recently departed for their breeding grounds at Okarito. The cabbage trees (Cordyline australis) are flowering abundantly. This is traditionally taken as the harbinger of a long hot summer. Below is a photo […]
Twin Waters Lodge is now closed for winter – re-opening in October. It has been really cold the last two weeks, with ice on the bird-bath one day last week. Cold nights are often followed by beautiful clear days. Today was such a day, and a chance to do some grounds maintenance at the Lodge. The views of the Arthur Range with snow on the tops is spectacular – they can be seen from the deck by the guest lounge, but a more spectacular view can be had by walking 2 minutes to the beach.
Starting with best intentions, I seem to have lagged in keeping this up-to-date. March has been a surprise, with a much greater number of guests than previous years. The weather has been generally good, and the extended daylight saving time (which has just ended) has made for long pleasant evenings. Trish has recently been walking up on the hills across the inlet, and has taken some nice photos looking down on the Lodge. The royal spoonbills have returned to the Collingwood estuary, with a flock of more than 20 there.
Over the last two weeks we have had about 200 mm of rain. It can stop now! Fortunately, much of the rain has been in short intensive bursts, with many fine days between. The countryside is now green and lush. Earlier this week, we drove down the Whanganui Inlet. The road begins at Pakawau, just a few km from Twin Waters, and winds down past the Inlet (New Zealand’s second largest inlet, and a marine reserve), and thence to the West Coast. On the way, we stopped at The Nugget, a delightful little cafe on a hill beside the road at Maungarakau. It is open only at weekends during the summer. It is so nice to come across such a facility and have a good cup of coffee, literally in […]
At last, some rain! We have had 16 mm of rain overnight, so now the browned off landscape can revert to its usual green, and the water tanks will be topped up. The white herons are back in numbers. I saw two in the Aorere estuary at Collingwood on the weekend, and another out at the West Coast yesterday. One of the ones in Collingwood was competing with two white-faced grey herons for a patch that obviously had good heron food. The godwits are still all here, many on the beach at Totara Ave, but expected to start their migration soon.
Yesterday I saw my first white heron (Kotuku) for 2009. There is a population of about 6 of these majestic birds in Western Golden Bay. Published esitmates of the numbers of this highly endangered species range from 72 to 200. Each December, these normally solitary birds fly to Okarito on the West Coast of the South Island, where they congregate for breeding. They return in January / February.
Another week of warm dry weather has passed. We could use some rain to freshen the vegetation. Our central courtyard is now complete, and the surrounding garden is being planted. We look forward to the Collingwood Summer Food Fair next Sunday, February 1. This is a local fair featuring “food caught, shot, harvested, cultivated, bred, hooked and cooked locally… and free”. Last year there was a wide range of local seafood as well as wild pork and venison coming from the local environment.
Welcome to the new Twin Waters Blog. I am starting this with good intentions and hope to update it on a regular basis. Our summer season is in full swing and we have been very busy, although we still have some vacancies. All the new rooms are fully operational, and guests are making good use of our new guest lounge and internet facilities and New Zealand books in the new library. The weather has been fine and warm, although some rain in the past 2 days has been a welcome relief for the gardens and topped up our water tanks.
Have a look at our rooms!
The Shanghai room offers a theme of the orient – mixed Chinese and Japanese decor. It has a queen bed. The private deck looks out over a lawn. This room faces North and gets full sun during the day.
Zanzibar displays the African-Arabian mix of this exotic island. It has twin beds. The private screened deck looks out to garden.
Safari is our African themed room. It has a queen bed. The private deck screened looks out to garden.
Naigani is our Pacific Island themed suite. It has a queen bed and a bathroom suitable for the disabled. This suite is wheelchair compliant. The private screened deck looks out to garden.
Click the play button and take a look around Twin Waters Lodge