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Reviewed 3 December 2023

Come to the Wilderness Lodge for almost all of the activities that New Zealand could offer. The hosts, Gerry and Ann, will give you some many options on things to do each and every day you stay there. The main building of the Lodge is right next to Moeraki River with lovely views out the living room and dining room windows. The Lodge rooms are not particularly special but don't plan on spending a lot of time indoors when there is so much to do outside. Everything is great here but you are doing yourself a great disservice if you don't sign up for Gerry's trip to see the penguins. Truly memorable.

Room tip: Bring bug spray for all of your adventures.
Date of stay: November 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank jamesl680
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.
Wilderness Lodge, Owner at Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2023

Kia ora Jamesl680,

Thanks for sharing your experience at both Wilderness Lodges. We love to share our special part of New Zealand with our guests and it's great to hear feedback like yours.

King wishes,

Anne Saunders and Gerry McSweeney
Owner-Managers

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2023

We were really excited to stay at this lodge after reading all the positive reviews, however overall we were disappointed. The main issue, in my opinion, is that it's overpriced for the quality of the lodging and food that is available. We stayed in a rainforest room. The room itself was clean and the bed comfortable, however the furnishings are very dated and certainly not luxury as advertised. The bathroom in particular left a lot to be desired. It was an open bathroom with a shower that was completely open (no walls, no glass, no bathtub), just a flimsy curtain that you pulled around you, with the water draining into the floor that communicated with the rest of the bathroom. The shower water temperature would fluctuate from warm to very hot. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind this if I knew this was what I was paying for. But at $500+ per person, per night, the furnishings don’t fit the cost. I would expect more luxury to be frank. Breakfast and dinner are included, but lunch is not (and costs $35 per person for a takeaway picnic), and alcohol and other beverages are also not included. The quality of the food was just ok. Portions were on the small side, and the flavour was minimal. The clientele is an older crowd, so if you are younger, bear this in mind. The activities that were included were fun, but again, not worth the high price tag. The other activities that cost extra also appeared extraordinarily overpriced! $180 per person to walk down to a beach to view penguins seemed excessive. We took the free walk down to nearby Monroe beach and saw a few penguins on our own, for free. The hosts were very nice and clearly care about their property and put a lot into making it eco friendly, which is fantastic, however the host also tended to make jibs against us (we are Canadian). Making a joke once at someone’s expense I can understand, but he did this several times which we found odd. Had the price been $500 per night, rather than per person, and actually “all inclusive”, it would be more reasonable and in line with what you are actually getting.

Date of stay: October 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank sarahkilbertus2018
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.
Management response:Responded 2 December 2023

Kia ora Sarahkilbertus2018,

Thanks for sharing a review with the TripAdvisor community. We pleased you enjoyed the setting and the nature- friendly elements of your stay.

We are sorry that overall your experience didn't match expectations. We pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive experience involving great accommodation, food and nature discovery so it's disappointing to have fallen short on this occasion.Apologies if our humour missed the mark - we love hosting Canadians (and all nationalities)!

We would point out that our guided penguin discovery trips are a highlight for many guests. The experience includes expert guides, comprehensive interpretation and the chance to visit unadvertised locations with up close viewing. Our pricing also incorporates access fees and a contribution to penguin conservation work. Those who choose to participate really value them.

Kind wishes,

Anne Saunders & Gerry McSweeney
Owner-Managers

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Reviewed 29 October 2023

I have been to the Wilderness Lodge before and it always exceeds my expectations. This time I was part of a small group doing a photography workshop with New Zealand Photography Workshops. The hosts, Anne and Gerry, go out of their way to ensure that your stay is both memorable, in terms of location, comfort and delicious food, and also, educative about the location and its flora and fauna. The highlight for me is the guided Tawaki penguin tour. Watching these beautiful animals in their natural habitat is fantastic.

Date of stay: September 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Rosanne B
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.
Management response:Responded 2 December 2023

Kia ora RosanneB844,

Thanks for sharing your experience. We love welcoming returning guests and it is a pleasure to share our special corner of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

We hope to see you again,

Anne Saunders and Gerry McSweeney
Owner-Managers

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2023 via mobile

Returning after 40 years when I came here as a young child from the moment we stepped into the
Lodge we were surrounded by forests and birdsong - beautiful place and beautiful hosts who are so welcoming and passionate about their piece of paradise and conservation.
Staying for 4 days/three nights you could not ask for more - cosy warm rooms with wonderful views , delish meals, so many sights to take in ,. We took every opportunity to go on the daily tours with Gerry and learn so much gaining a much wider appreciation of nature in an untouched part of New Zealand . Sitting on the beach watching endangered clumsy and delightful Fiordland crested penguins was simply a once in a lifetime experience - - a labour of love for Gerry and Anne .
Beautiful walks around the lodge and kayaking on the lake . waking up to birdsong and Moorpark at night .loved meeting the other guest and the conversations over dinner

Room tip: Spray bug spray each day - Bigs won’t be an issue if you are consistent with the spray!
Date of stay: October 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Jacinta W
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.
Management response:Responded 2 December 2023

Kia ora Jacinta W,

Thanks for your review. Returning after 40 years must be a record we think! We are really please you enjoyed your Wilderness Lodge experience.

Hope to see you again some time!

Kind wishes,

Anne Saunders & Gerry McSweeney
Owner-Managers

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2023

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge during the first week of the 2023-2024 season and enjoyed learning so much about this part of the West Coast from Gerry and Anne. The accommodations were especially relaxing, it was our favorite accommodation on our three-week trip. We took took advantage of all of the opportunities to get outdoors - we kayaked Lake Moeraki and hiked the trails on the property as well as others nearby. The meals were particularly delicious after a week of pub food along the West Coast.

A highlight was seeing twelve Fiordland Crested Penguins with Gerry! This is a truly special place in New Zealand and we were so glad to have learned about it.

Date of stay: September 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Will S
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.
Management response:Responded 2 December 2023

Kia ora 518wills,

Thanks for sharing your review, we really appreciate it. We feel honoured to be the highlight of your three weeks in NZ!

Kind wishes,

Anne Saunders & Gerry McSweeney
Owner-Managers

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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