Observation Rock Lodge
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.

Observation Rock Lodge

7 Leonard Street Oban, Stewart Island 9846 New Zealand
Traveller (104)
Relax in the lounge
Dining (16)
Sunset view from Observation Rock Lodge
Room & Suite (11)

View prices for your travel dates

Contact accommodation for availability.
There are similar hotels available.
View all

About

4.5
#2 of 4 lodges in Stewart Island
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Value
Secluded island hideaway, fully catered, luxurious wellness retreat - newly opened! Soak up panoramic Paterson Inlet views, stunning sunsets and the bath tub under the stars. Relax while delighting in gourmet meals and service at your stylish, spacious lodge. Private park like gardens and luxuriant native bush setting with prolific birdlife visiting. Private decks, outdoor hot tub, sauna. Courtesy shuttle. Free wireless internet. Close to village but away from the busy bay, perfect access to walks and activities. Perfect for celebrating special events.
Read more
Suggest edits to improve what we show.Improve this listing
Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Free breakfast
Hiking
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Shuttle bus service
Room features
Hair dryer
Room types
Mountain view
Ocean view
Landmark view
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Hidden Gem
Luxury
Languages Spoken
English, German

Location

7 Leonard Street Oban, Stewart Island 9846 New Zealand
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 68 out of 100
68
Invercargill Airport
56.5 km
See all flights
Dunedin Airport
192.9 km
See all flights
153Reviews0Q+A46Room tips

Reviews
We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.

Traveller rating
  • 133
  • 8
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Time of year
Traveller type
Language
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
Sort by:
Detailed Reviews
Paul F wrote a review Feb 2020
Swansea, United Kingdom210 contributions140 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
And she made it come true for the rest of us to enjoy. We have just stayed at Observation Rock Lodge for four nights in the upstairs starlight room. It is a unique experience. After being met where the ferry lands and driven up to the lodge we entered a very special house up a small windy bush garden path. We were taken upstairs to our room and were immediately amazed by the view over Golden Bay into the inlet and mountains beyond. We spent many hours in the coming days laying on the bed looking at that view in all the four seasons of weather we regularly experienced on Stewart Island during our stay. The bathroom was excellent to and very spacious and clean. Downstairs we had tea and biscuits with Annett in her tastefully decorated sitting /dining room. She is very knowledgeable about the island and it’s activities and telephoned both the local hotel about dinner and Beaks and Feathers to book us on a kiwi watch. We had the deluxe package and so had four breakfasts there, two lovely dinners and crackers, hummus and soup one night, all well cooked and beautifully presented with many ingredients from her own garden which she will show you complete with its resident bird life. Her taste in music is very good too. Nothing is perfect but there’s nothing here to complain about, it is expensive yes, but unique and well worth splashing out for. Annett is unique too. When our taxi came to take us back to the ferry after four days we were sad to leave, even though we only saw stars one night, will we return, we don’t know but everybody should enjoy this experience once in a lifetime.
Read more
Date of stay: February 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Pick the first floor starlight room and go for the deluxe package
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
mkstewart wrote a review Oct 2020
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This place is amazing. Beautiful location where water is visible from both sides. We stayed in all 3 rooms within the lodge itself (because we ended up wanting to stay about twice as long as we had planned). The starlight loft has private bath and deck, you are all alone on the second floor. We watched the ocean from our bed and the Milky Way through the skylight. The other rooms were sweet as well, very comfortable with their own special features (outdoor tub, access directly from room to grounds). The kaka parrots visit the decks. We did lots of birdwatching while on Stewart Island, beginning with the moment we woke up in the morning and looked outside the lodge. The grounds are lush and beautiful, we truly felt away from everything.

Annett is delightful, a friendly, helpful hostess and wonderful chef. We had communal dinners every other night, very enjoyable to meet the other travelers and share meals of green-lipped mussels, salmon, lamb, and lots of fresh veggies, some from the garden on the property.

We went kayaking and kiwi spotting, hiking, swimming, visited Ulva island, watched the little local history movie at the theater in town, and just relaxed in a major way. It is possible to chart a boat ride to drop points for the Rakiura walk, such that you can do day hikes rather than being out for 3 days.

Honestly did not want to leave. Hope to make it back some day.
Read more
Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Amy C wrote a review Nov 2023
Kutchan-cho, Japan5 contributions
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Observation Rock Lodge is a modern European home with all the best New Zealand finishing touches. We stayed 3 nights in the Starlight Loft with the Deluxe package. Annett is an amazing host. We were greeted at the ferry station with a short ride to ORL, where Annett gave us a warm welcome tour. Perfectly situated on a hill facing Golden Bay, ORL offers fantastic views of the bay, the smaller islands, mountains, and forests surrounding the Lodge. The Starlight Loft offers privacy with fantastic large window views and a small private balcony. It had an incredibly comfortable bed that allowed us to enjoy the view of changing weather over the water from the warm comfort of our room. The bathroom was well appointed, with a hot shower, deep soaking bathtub, heater, toiletries, and a garden view.

Annett is a perfect host, who is a talented chef, outdoorsman, conservationist, and artistic soul. Her strong love for Stewart Island and conserving the birds and natural habitat led to interesting tips for our stay. Annett helped us book a kiwi spotting tour and water taxi to Ulva Island. She gave us great hiking route ideas when she learned we love trail running. With the Deluxe package, Annett cooked us amazing breakfasts and dinners, leveraging herbs and vegetables from her garden and local seafood caught daily. Our laundry was cleaned and folded for a small fee, which was convenient since we’ve been traveling for a week with a lot of hiking clothes. Annett gave us a garden tour, showcasing her gardening intertwined with the forest lush vegetation.

ORL was conveniently located between Oban’s town center in Thompson Bay and Golden Bay. We walked easily downtown in 10 min, enjoyed the ease to hiking trails, and convenience to Ulva Island. Observation Rock Lodge is a great getaway with the warm New Zealand charm.
Read more
Date of stay: November 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Be prepared for 4 seasons in a day, and enjoy the changing weather from ORL’s scenic views
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Annett Eiselt, Inhaber at Observation Rock Lodge
Responded 18 Nov 2023
Thank you very much. I am so glad I could contribute to your wonderful experiences on this New Zealand journey. It was a pleasure to have you staying and you are always welcome back. Hope you enjoy the Milford track now with good hiking weather too. All best to you both and kind regards from Stewart Island, Annett
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kimberley W wrote a review Apr 2023
Sydney7 contributions9 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Our trip to Stewart Island had been long planned, and as far as accomodation was concerned, was deeply disappointing. Observation Rock Lodge is a suburban house, not a lodge. The facilities were clean and adequate (but not to a standard that one would expect for the price).

Although promoted as relaxing, luxurious, ‘and very special’, it is anything but. The towels are thin and the towel rail on a timer so that it does not come on in the mornings (when a warm dry towel would be a luxury). The rooms are cold. Annette kept a close eye on the use of the bank heater in our room and on the second particularly cold morning went in and turned it off whilst we were eating breakfast, and opened all the windows. Indeed, she was obsessive about our use of electricity which, given the price she charges is absurd. We were in bed most evenings by 8.30 as it was the warmest place to be.

Breakfasts are fairly ordinary. I did have the feeling that if (at $120 a head plus wine, no BYO) we has taken up the dinner option, we would have been better treated, however breakfast with our host was quite enough.

Although ostensibly there is a lounge for guests, Annette’s playing of Abba at full volume once breakfast had been cleared, ensured we did not linger. Furthermore, it too was cold. A small wall mounted bank heater does little to warm an open plan kitchen, sitting room and dining room when the outside temperature is 7 degrees. There is a fire, which would have transformed the experience, but it was never lit when we were there.

Finally, I found Annette’s coming and going into our room at all times of the day unacceptable. I mislaid a number of items, including my reading glasses, and she was totally disinterested in helping me solve this problem. Likewise when we, and the couple in the room immediately above, were woken at 9.30 pm by a series of very loud bangs on the underside of the house, she expressed no concern as to what this might be let alone apologising that we had been woken up.

The only thing to recommend Observation Rock Lodge is the view, but there are plenty of accommodation options on Stewart Island, many with equally glorious outlooks, where you are far more likely to receive a warm welcome and good service.
Read more
Date of stay: March 2023
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Annett Eiselt, Inhaber at Observation Rock Lodge
Responded 8 Jul 2023
I am very sorry that your expectations have not met. I wish you would have said something – nobody must be cold. Your comfort is my highest priority and with any problems I am right in reach next door. Re reading glasses - didn´t I offer ones of mine? The big fireplace in the Lounge can be lit anytime, and was running with Dinner anyway. In the rooms are norwegian panel heaters which are very efficient and heat up the room quickly. No need to have devices running when not there – you mentioning me going in your room, this was when I heard at breakfast time that at your bathroom still both ventilation and heaters were going so instead of disturbing you by the table just turned it off. The electricity on our island is unfortunately still created by burning diesel (which comes in drums by freight ship from the mainland) in the little power station. We try to feed in by other sources but the general scheme is fossil fuels - we appreciate most of the visitors to Stewart Island being nature lovers and keen to contribute to sustainability. I just mention here too that the electricity comes five time the price as on the mainland – this is built in the prices, all good even if I wish for that we would have power from renewable energies … I hope, in the future we will. Remoteness comes at costs and many of the businesses on Stewart Island face a short feasible season – so the rates are different to the mainland. The luxury here is creating a comfortable and room by room individually designed home away from home, hosted and with services. Keeping the place small, private and exclusive. Having the best star gazing and Aurora Australis viewing position. The big garden area and native forest on the property is breading area and home to an amazing birdlife and so I want to keep it, rather than cutting it down and cramming more units in as it unfortunately happens in so many other places.
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Winnis wrote a review Nov 2020
Liverpool, United Kingdom68 contributions30 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What a fantastic stay, we would have loved to stay longer and wished we hadn’t booked our flights home.
Annett has created a special and unique lodging with fantastic views, at breakfast, sunset and enjoying the dark skies. The garden is an oasis of tranquility.
It was our first wedding anniversary and although there wasn’t the normal minimum number for evening dinner, Annett still agreed to prepare and serve a wonderful dinner. We had a memorable evening and as well as being a really interesting host she also was respectful and allowed us our own space and time to enjoy it.
She made recommendations about hikes we could do and arranged the boat taxi for us at no extra cost.
We can’t recommend Observaion Rock Lodge enough, you will not be disappointed.
Read more
Date of stay: November 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
okokabay wrote a review Apr 2021
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Cute house ten minutes walk from the shops. Friendly, helpful host. Top floor bedroom a little crowded but with a beautiful view to the south. Mediocre breakfast of porridge and a boiled egg rather than a full cooked breakfast. I would have given it a 5 star rating if it wasn't outrageously overpriced at $695 a night - it is absolutely not worth that.
Read more
Date of stay: March 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Annett Eiselt, Owner at Observation Rock Lodge
Responded 2 Aug 2021
Thank you for your review and mentioning you would have given it 5 out of 5 if it wasn´t the pricing. Sorry for not meeting your expectation on that. You guys live on an island yourselves but Stewart Island is not Waiheke! All of us setting up visitor businesses here, have to be aware our feasible season is about 4 months of the year only and the costs involved in creating, building and running it are substantial. Just an example: Electricity comes at 4-5 times the cost, as on the mainland. On another note, being in the room with 3 people as you were at times - if I remember right - might make it feel less spacious, it is set up for a couple. And, apart from the upstairs Starlight Loft which is the top room at highest rate, there are 2 more rooms at Observation Rock Lodge. And plenty of budget and non-hosted options on the island as well if you don’t leave it to last minute ;-) Thank you for staying at Observation Rock Lodge – it was lovely hosting you for your island visit.
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Pixie Y wrote a review Feb 2022
Auckland, New Zealand1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
One of the highlights of our first South Island trip was staying at the Observation Rock Lodge on Stewart Island. Annett took great care of us. She is a gracious and generous host, a gourmet chef, and an expert on all things about Stewart Island.
Our room (“inlet view”) has a huge deck overlooking the sea and an outdoor tub. We got to star gazed in our own private deck. The bed is super comfy with luxurious bedding.
She made us a delicious dinner with ingredients fresh out from her own garden and greenhouse. Annett also made us tasty breakfast every morning.
The lodge is only a easy 10 mins walk to the town center, 5 mins walk to the ferry to the Ulva Island, and 2 mins to the Observation Rock.
We would love to visit Stewart Island again and stay at Annett’s lovely lodge. It’s truly a little paradise within the paradise, the Stewart Island.

Cheers
Pixie&Milton
Read more
Date of stay: February 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MariaJimBanks wrote a review Feb 2023
London, United Kingdom11 contributions8 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
The accommodation is promoted as a lodge. In fact it is a B&B.. We paid $695 a night for the main suite. The room is tiny. You cannot use the two seater settee as it is under a restricted headroom ceiling and the tiny outside terrace is to the side. The bathroom is across the landing which has a curtain so the other guests won’t see you crossing.
The first morning we asked for breakfast at 9:30 but we were told it would have to be at 9 am. Why ?
The next morning we were told we couldn’t have it any later than 8 am as the hostess was going out for the day. Also she had run out of any hot food other than eggs. Disgraceful.
According to the website the lodge offers dinners.They were not available when we stayed.
The outside area suffers from a lack of maintenance and there is no doubt that the lodge is being run on a limited budget to max profit . It would be impossible ,for example,to get glasses for orange juice which were smaller
We rarely write reviews and it has to be bad for us to take our time but this was truly a rip-off.
I think we were supposed to feel honoured to be allowed to stay at the property.
We were not
We have seen other complaints with the owner trying to defend the indefensible.
No doubt she will this time but on any subjective view this is overrated and hugely overpriced.
Read more
Date of stay: February 2023Trip type: Travelled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Annett Eiselt, Inhaber at Observation Rock Lodge
Responded 12 Mar 2023
Hello Maria and Jim, it was nice to have you staying the 2 nights in February, Bed & Breakfast booking. Thank you for taking the time your comments – well received. I am sorry your expectations have not been met. All best and kind regards, Annett
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
tallsheep wrote a review Mar 2023
UK25 contributions19 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Observation Rock Lodge is situated up the hills above Oban on Stewart Island and the very comfortable rooms have superb views over the estuaries. The decks allow you to sunbathe whilst the kaka entertain you on the treetops surrounding the lodge. Annett is a superb host with excellent range at breakfast and the Blue Cod dinner she served one evening (extra charge) was delicious. A strong recommendation - just remember to take of your outdoor shoes when you go in!
Read more
Date of stay: February 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Remember you have to walk back up the hill after an evening out!
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Alessandro P wrote a review Aug 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What a luxury lodge!! This August I had a marvellous holiday in Stewart Island and chose Observation Rock Lodge for my stay: a perfect choice! I could nurture any of my passions, from birdwatching to walking, from looking for kiwis to talking with locals, exploring beaches and forests, and reading a book on the history of this island. Annette, the host, took extremely care of all my needs facilitating my ‘island experience’. Fantastic room, plenty of unique views on landscapes, relaxing living room, breakfast and dinner at the top, and a garden all around with a wide variety of nice and local plants. Rich of details which always make the difference, I decided to stay 2 more nights and to have a whole week here. It was the perfect time to enjoy this experience although it was winter time (fantastic weather too, always lucky…no wind, always sun and some clouds with just minimal rains). Strongly reccomended
Read more
Date of stay: August 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Difficul to choose the best room because all are really nice with amazing details and views
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
No results found.Try changing or clearing your search to read questions and answers.
Macwestie wrote a tip Mar 2024
Boise, Idaho13 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you go to Stewart Island bring layers and rain gear. The weather changes by the minute. "
Read full review
Carly C wrote a tip Mar 2024
3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you want dinner it must be requested ahead of time, worth it."
Read full review
Donna G wrote a tip Feb 2024
Stamford, Connecticut58 contributions10 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Restaurants close early and fill up fast. Make reservations before you arrive on the island! Steep hill to walk from town; optional taxi."
Read full review
Bazzamat wrote a tip Feb 2024
Glasgow, United Kingdom57 contributions29 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Annette has many ideas on options for day trips."
Read full review
Sarah A wrote a tip Nov 2023
36 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you have a clear night, make the most of it! We did Beak and Feather tour and were able to see and photograph the aurora during."
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Stewart Island area.
LOCATION
New ZealandSouth IslandSouthland RegionStewart Island
NUMBER OF ROOMS
3
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
Is This Your Tripadvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

OBSERVATION ROCK LODGE - Reviews (Stewart Island) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Observation Rock Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Observation Rock Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Ulva Island (2.8 km), Rakiura Museum (0.5 km), and Rakiura Track (4.3 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Observation Rock Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Observation Rock Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Observation Rock Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Observation Rock Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Church Hill Restaurant, KaiKart Takeaways, and South Sea Hotel dining room and pub.
Does Observation Rock Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Observation Rock Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Observation Rock Lodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and German.
Are there any historical sites close to Observation Rock Lodge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Bunkhouse Theatre (0.5 km).
Does Observation Rock Lodge have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.
All Stewart Island HotelsStewart Island Hotel DealsHotels near Observation Rock Lodge
Things to DoRestaurantsFlightsHoliday HomesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire