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Rainforest Retreat

Luxury Accommodation in Franz Josef, under the Southern Alps of New Zealand



Rainforest retreat, Franz Josef


Rainforest Retreat Website


Photos and words by Richard Moore


Rainforest retreat, Franz Josef

Word of mouth is a very powerful promotional tool and you can guarantee that just about every person who has stayed at the Rainforest Retreat in Franz Josef leaves that amazing place with glowing reports about its quality and levels of service.

I can state that as I recently joined that group after being wowed by Rainforest Retreat experience.

I arrived in Franz Josef late on a cold winter's afternoon having spent a long day on the road photographing the southern parts of the West Coast of New Zealand.

Tired and dreaming of a wind-down shower and drink, I pulled in the resort with very little idea of what to expect. All I knew was that I was in a Tree Hut for the night and my main concern was would I have to climb down a rope ladder to go to the loo in the middle of the night.

A clean bed was all I need, I told myself, before walking into the warm and welcoming office.

Rainforest retreat, Franz Josef

Soon afterwards I was being escorted by the Rainforest Retreat's manager, Oscar Morgan, to my Tree Hut in a secluded area known as The Retreat.

The funny thing was I couldn't see a rope ladder nor, in fact, did I so much as glimpse a tree hut. My accommodation for the next two nights was more like a tree castle - and a five star one at that.

The deluxe accommodation on offer at Rainforest Retreat are perfectly appointed and, in some cases, huge enough for families. My Deluxe Tree House had two double bedrooms (usually for four guests) with en suites, off a central lounge room. The huts are on one upper level with parking for cars underneath and sitting on the deck outside is a spa so large your could do laps in it.

However there is a range of luxury units on offer to suit your needs. They include Deluxe Tree Huts through to older cottages. The Gecko Cottages are 1940s forestry workers' huts that have been modernised and are within the Gecko Village, a secluded area of Rainforest Retreat that shares gardens and a hot tub between its 10 rooms.

Rainforest retreat, Franz Josef

The units are private - being screened by large trees - and offer the perfect place to chill out after a long day exploring the wonderful scenery around Franz Josef, or indulging in the myriad choices of adventure activities.

Rainforest Retreat clearly likes to wow its guests - no matter at which end of the room scale they are sleeping in - and this was reinforced to me after talking with folk staying in the Backpackers section (also known as The Flashpackers). They were very happy with the comfort levels offered to them.

The resort also has a Holiday Park with motel units and a campervan area.

It also has a lively and reasonably priced restaurant and bar called the Monsoon within its grounds. The food is plentiful and the service really friendly. The Monsoon is a really nice spot to relax and be with friends.

If you are travelling to the Franz Josef glacier region then I heartily recommend checking out the Rainforest Retreat - it ticks all the boxes and then some.


* Richard Moore is the owner of travel magazine TikiTouring (www.tikitouring.com) and stayed at the Rainforest Retreat in Franz Josef courtesy of the resort management.



Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef







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