Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
The Lodge is a paradise for nature lovers and for a relaxing retreat away from the pressures of the modern world. On arrival you are given maps and information on the walk network, forest and seacoast trails and canoeing.
Walks Network & Lake Canoeing
The Lodge walk's network covers 10km (6 miles) and enables you to explore the Lower Moeraki Valley and seacoast. Canoe the gentle lake waters or walk the network of Lodge and World Heritage rainforest and coastal tracks.
- Lakeside Walk – an easy 20 minute return forest walk to the outlet of Lake Moeraki with great mountain views. Giant Rimu Walk winds down the Moeraki Valley above rapids to giant rimu trees and a lovely Lodge lookout and continues to the Moeraki lagoon.
- Monro Beach Walk – an 80 minute return walk through ancient rainforest to the wild and beautiful Tasman sea where large penguins can be seen August to December.
Canoes (and lifejackets) are provided for guests – for use on the lake but not the river. Canoe right around scenic Lake Moeraki or fish for brown trout.
Daily Complimentary Guided Nature Trips
Every day, a naturalist guides offer two guided activities each about an hour long, included in the Lodge tariff. Learn about the rainforests, discover ferns, orchids, giant native pigeon, bellbird and tui. Take a night walk to see glowworms, the Southern Cross and freshwater crayfish. Walks include historical talks and you can learn easy canoeing … and if you fall out you can feed local giant tame eels! This programme changes every day.
Short trips include:
- Ancient Rainforest Trees, Tree Ferns and Birds … a voyage of discovery.
- Freshwater Life in the Wilderness Lodge Rainforests … and feeding time for our giant tame eels and trout
- Easy Canoeing in the Sheltered Inlets of Lake Moeraki … in safe, stable minnow canoes
- Living in the Wilderness … in harmony with the environment
- Glowworms, Morepork Owls, Freshwater Crayfish and the Southern Cross … an after dinner night walk
Longer Optional Guided Adventure Trips
Guided wilderness adventure programmes are offered year-round. Join a small group and accompany skilled nature guides. On safe, well-planned adventures you will get close to wildlife, learn about the forest, experience amazing scenery and friendly company.
Wilderness Seacoast, Fiordland Crested Penguin and New Zealand Fur Seals Tramping Adventure – This is a dramatic and challenging wet footed walk. It involves wildlife viewing, scrambling over beach rocks and along beaches and, at the end, a 400 foot steep hill climb.
Wilderness Seacoast, Hector's Dolphin, Rainforest, Tree Fern and Goldminers Walk – There is a huge variety on this walk; a lovely seacoast rich in rock pools, greenstone, Hector's dolphins (the worlds smallest dolphin) and occasionally New Zealand Fur Seals. Magnificent rimu, beech and kahikatea rainforest and a historic goldminer's path that traverses fern filled river gorges.
Ancient Rainforest Guided Walk and Canoe Safari to the Lower Moeraki River and the Tasman Seacoast:
- Option A: Easy - Canoe the Moeraki Lagoon – Nature guides take you on a 30 minute walk down the valley through giant rainforest trees, past some historic cottages and across freshwater springs and wetland moss forest. Canoes and life jackets are waiting at the Moeraki lagoon our. We paddle down river beneath the forest and out into the Moeraki lagoon.
- Option B: Moderate - Hard - Canoe the Moeraki Rapids– This trip is only suitable for people who are fit/experienced canoeists/good swimmers. Although the rapids are easy, trees in the river create some hazards. Nature guides instruct you in down river canoeing in front of the wilderness Lodge. You practice navigation and procedures for descent. Reach the Tasman beaches and walk to the Tasman seacoast where you enjoy refreshments and fossick for gemstones, shells and driftwood and look for Hector's dolphin, the world's smallest.
The Moeraki Mountains, Historic South Westland Pack Track, Moeraki Rapids and Blue Hut
The Moeraki valley was the last valley in South Westland to be accessed by road in 1965. Prior to this the only way south to Haast by land followed a historic pack track at the foot of the mountains. Drive 8 km up the valley to the start of this walk. The track crosses a series of small steams as the noise of the Moeraki rapids grows louder. When you reach these spectacular rapids, you cross on a high swing bridge then walk for 15 minutes to Blue Hut. Enjoy lunch either at the hut with a roaring fire and billy tea or beside a huge pool in the Moeraki River.
The lake and rivers have good numbers of Brown Trout and in March & April Quinnat Salmon. The lodge has basic rods with lures but NO fly-fishing equipment. Local guides can be arranged with notice but please check with us if fishing is to be the focus of your stay at the lodge. You cannot fish in front of the Lodge where we have giant tame brown trout.