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CeyGo
Toronto
A great stay and viewing of Fiord Crested Penguins
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 24 Dec 2023via mobile
I went to Lake Moeraki Wildnerss lodge to view the fiord crested penguins . Although it was the end of the season for viewing , i still had a great experience on the penguin viewing tour .
There are many walking / hiking tours you can also do on your own while there

I stayed 3 days / 4 nights - it probably could have been a day shorter ( I’m really not much of a hiker unless there are penguins involved ) but I had booked around the availability of busses from Queenstown

The owners and staff were all very friendly and knowledgeable

The food was quite good with variety of options depending on dietary restrictions.
Date of stay: December 2023
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    Reviews (351)
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    All reviews wilderness lodge new zealand glow worms sand flies south island two nights drying room arthur's pass eel feeding other guests flora and fauna breakfast and dinner comfortable rooms excellent food night walk highlight of our trip wonderful place
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    9 - 14 of 351 reviews
    Reviewed 5 December 2023

    Perfect! Lovely. Wonderful! Excellent! Would return. Nice beds, lovely river view, good breakfast, cooked to order, fruit of choice available, nice wine. I went for the penguin-viewing and they delivered. There is a fee because a guide is required, but you see penguins at a private and remote location. I love this place. Kudos to the owners, Gerry and Anne. What a superb facility they have developed. Victoria

    Room tip: Go on every nature walk offered. Guides, Claire and James are friendly, smart, kind and helpful. This place is beyond beautiful. Room 5!
    Date of stay: October 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled solo
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank Spottypottamous
    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 9 December 2023

    Kia ora Victoria,

    Thanks so much for sharing a review here. We appreciate hearing how much you enjoyed your time with us, the hospitality and the guided nature activities.

    Kind wishes,

    Anned 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 3 December 2023

    My favorite stay while in NZ (South Island).

    You will arrive @ lands end when you get here yet the accommodations are first class.

    Here are some words that describe what this place is about: ecotourism lodging in comfort, guided nature walks & excursions, birding, native NZ plant and animal species, owner operated with a passion for conservation (Jerry & Anne), remote, relaxing, hiking trails, kayaking, top notch food, drink & service, knowledgeable staff, geology, peaceful ...

    I would return in a heartbeat if I could but it's on the other side of the world from me

    Date of stay: November 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    1  Thank DanC296
    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 DanC296,

    Thanks for sharing a review here on TripAdvisor, we really appreciate it and would love to see you again one day if you do return.

    Kind 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 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

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

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