These Amazing Eco friendly Retreats in Nelson, Golden Bay and Abel Tasman Park embrace the ethos of healthy living, caring for their guests and nurturing the environment. With a blessed climate, Nelson and Golden Bay enjoy lots of sunny days (source). Oh…and gorgeous beaches, crystal clear sea, stunning bush walks in the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi Parks, arts and crafts, wineries…..in short a wonderful place to visit! So, please read on for holiday inspiration where you’ll find peaceful sanctuaries and tranquil escapes…
Note: If you’ve never heard of VRBO it’s a member of the Expedia and Bookabach family with holiday lets – homes and studios.
- Hairy Hobbit Cottage – Starry Nights near Motueka
- Unique Adobe Home set in stunning bush/coastal setting – in Cable Bay near Nelson
- The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge – near Motueka
- Kimi Ora Eco Resort – near Kaiteriteri Beach
- Split Apple Retreat – Luxury – Kaiteriteri
- Awaroa Lodge – hidden in the Abel Tasman Park
- Alpacas Off Grid – Eco Cabin Takaka
- Golden Bay Hideaway – Remote and Serene in Wainui Bay
- Bonus: Staytopia Top Activity Picks
More Cool Places:
Hairy Hobbit Cottage – Starry Nights near Motueka
Best for: Peaceful, Views, Outdoor Bath, Near Abel Tasman National Park. Solo, Couples, Families
High on a hill this fairy tale cottage has colossal views across native bush and countryside to the Tasman Sea and snow capped Richmond Ranges beyond. Hairy Hobbit Eco Cottage is a cute and fun stay inland from Riwaka and Motueka. You’re near the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi Parks, Kaiteriteri Beaches and the Tasman vineyards.
The cottage is one bedroom with a small kitchen, dining, lounge and a deck. Electricity is provided by micro-hydro and solar generation with gas cooking indoors and outdoors on the BBQ. Enjoy the views from the deck, in the outdoor bath or at night under a clear sparkling sky. Enjoy some me-time in the hammock under a beautiful fig tree.
Heaven on Earth! What a little slice of paradise! The most beautiful and peaceful spot I’ve ever stayed. Views for miles, woke up to the sound of birdsong and made friends with a family of Weka’s.Guest comment
Good to Know:
- Sleeps 4: One bedroom with queen-size bed and two loft beds (only suitable for children)
- Linen and towels provided
- Kitchen with dishes, utensils, gas hobs, toaster, small fridge (no oven or microwave as they’re too power intensive for off the grid power)
- Potbelly fire for snug days and nights
- Games, TV, Books, no WIFI but mobile coverage
- Deck, outdoor dining, flush toilet near but separate from the cottage
- Check availability and prices at Hairy Hobbit Cottage
Unique Adobe Home set in stunning bush/coastal setting – in Cable Bay near Nelson
Best for: Birdlife, Spacious, Views, Peaceful. Couples, Families, Friends
This serene adobe home is a bush and beach retreat hidden in a private wilderness in Cable Bay. You’re surrounded by birdsong, native bush, coastal estuary and incredible sea views to Pepin Island. But this eco accommodation is only a 29 minute scenic drive to Nelson, the amazing Saturday market, art galleries and artisan shops, cafes and restaurants.
Adobe houses, made from earthen bricks, are well insulated and dry so you’ll find this home a wonderful stay in any season. The house is open-plan with three bedrooms and room for five guests. The different textures and hues of the earthen walls combined with handcrafted doors, wooden beams, and comfy furniture create a lovely warm and unique interior.
We stayed in Rachel’s property for a week with our 2 kids aged 10 and 14 and had a fabulous time. The setting is lovely and peaceful and also close to Nelson for markets etc. The local Cable Bay cafe is fantastic. There are beautiful walks nearby and great beaches for exploring. Also less than an hour to Pelorus and the Marlborough Sounds.Guest comment
With great indoor/outdoor flow to the deck, the home connects nicely with the natural setting. Ideal for outdoor dining, snoozing and star gazing.
Good to Know:
- Sleeps 5: Three bedrooms: one with queen bed, one with double bed, one with twin beds
- One bathroom
- Linens and towels provided
- Kitchen with fridge, grill, stove, oven, pantry ovens, dishes and utensils, blender
- Smart TV, books, stereo
- Wheelchair accessible
- Minimum two nights stay or more during school holidays
- Check availability and prices at Unique Adobe Home
The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge – near Motueka
Best for: Boutique, Swimming Pool, Secluded, Gourmet Food, Peaceful, Romantic. Couples
Named one of the world’s best eco-lodges by National Geographic The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge offers immaculate boutique Bush Chalets, the Bush Lodge and Superior Rooms. Each room has lovely attention to detail and stylish features with incredible views. You won’t want to leave!
This chic luxury lodge is 52 minutes to Nelson and only 18 minutes north and inland from Motueka but you’re hidden in a remote valley. You’ll find everything you need for a dream escape in the bush with pool, jacuzzi, sauna and dreamy massage therapy. For adventurous types the Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks are close by for bush walking, swimming, and kayaking.
Private chalets, great food, great vibe, the hosts were awesome. This place is awesome!! Way out in the boonies, but worth every mile driving. These people have thought of everything! The chalets are beautiful and comfortable. We loved it.Guest comment
Good to Know:
- Outdoor Swimming Pool with loungers, Hot Tub, Fitness Centre, Massage, Table Tennis, Sauna
- Restaurants and Bar
- Free WIFI
- Free Breakfast
- Free use of bicycles
- Wheelchair accessible
- Check prices and availability at The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge
Kimi Ora Eco Resort – near Kaiteriteri Beach
Best for: Pool, Spa and Sauna, Vegetarian Restaurant, Bush Chalets, Mountain Bikes. Couples, Friends, Families
Kimi Ora’s stylish bush chalets offer seclusion and peace on the hill above Kaiteriteri’s golden sand beach. This popular 4-star eco resort is only a 10-minute walk to the beach, cafes and activities of Kaiteriteri.
Each room has a balcony with views, kitchenette or kitchen, with dining and lounge. The resort offers a great range of facilities: dive into the pool, laze in the hot tub, soothe your muscles in the steam room and sauna, play table tennis or billiards, and borrow a free mountain bike and explore the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. The spa treatments (for men and women) are offered every day of the year except Xmas day: massage, facials, manicures and pedicures, waxing and body spa treatments.
I liked the location, enjoyed the sea view from my room, I liked the fitness track, glow worm walk, there were bikes available and nearby track, the pools and spa were so relaxing and loved the facial I had.Guest comment
Good to Know:
- Sleeps up to 8 guests. Spa suites, studios, 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom units.
- Free continental breakfast
- Serviced daily
- Quality linen, towels and bedding
- TV and DVD
- Phone and wireless access
- Chalet 10 has wheelchair access
- Walking trails all around the resort
Check Availability and Prices at Kimi Ora Eco Resort:
Split Apple Retreat – Luxury – Kaiteriteri
Best for: Luxe Design, Cliff-Top Views, Organic Gourmet Food
Split Apple Retreat is a stunning 5-star eco lodge perched on an emerald green hill where you’re rewarded with sublime views across the forest and ocean. You’ll discover a graceful retreat that delights with beautiful art, elegant rooms, healthy gourmet food, restful spa treatments all guided by sustainable principals. Read more here…
Awaroa Lodge – hidden in the Abel Tasman Park
Best for: Pristine Beach and Bush Location, Spa Treatments, Organic Restaurant
The only way to arrive at this stunning 4-star lodge hidden in the Abel Tasman National Park is on foot, by boat or helicopter! This is a true escape from cars, cities and hustle bustle. You’ll find peaceful native forest, wetlands, and pristine beach. FYI: In 2019 three rare pāteke – brown teal ducks were released in the wetlands at the lodge.
On the eco front Awaroa generates it’s own power and serves healthy food grown in their own organic gardens. Dine indoors or outside in the courtyard at Harakeke Restaurant which also has comfy lounge seating, a fireplace for cool evenings and a library. For casual meals the Al Fresco Pizzeria is popular with guests and walkers on the track.
The location is amazing – minutes’ walk from a long stretch of beach and walking trails. One of the most special locales on the planet.Guest comment
Good to Know:
- Sleeps up to 6 guests. Choose from Standard Rooms nestled in the bush for two guests configured with king-size bed or twin beds. Rustic Family Rooms with spacious open-plan living for up to six guests. Architecturally designed Superior Suites with king-size bed or twin beds and overlook the bush or wetlands.
- The Lodge is open from October to March.
- Heater, en-suite, tea/coffee-making facilities, fridge, iron, hairdryer, balcony
- Daily Housekeeping
- Spa Treatments available: massage, facials, body scrubs and wraps, eyes, brows and waxing.
Check Prices and Availability at Awaroa Lodge:
More Eco friendly retreats in Nelson, Golden Bay and Abel Tasman Park – in remote locations…
Alpacas Off Grid – Eco Cabin Takaka
Best for: Farm animals, Peaceful, Native Bush and Trails, Creeks for Swimming. Couple
Welcome to Alpaca Heaven! A cute quirky cabin surrounded by farm, native bush and gorgeous alpacas in Golden Bay. You’ll feel remote but you’re actually only a 20 minute drive to Takaka with delis, cafes, restaurants and the beach.
This cosy haven is comfy with cool design elements. Lounge in the hammock, swim in the creek, feed the alpacas, hike Kill Devil Track only 100 metres away, or simply kick back in this little slice of paradise.
Beautiful location, rural setting and up in the native bush. Hosts were super friendly, amazing communication and cooked us a delicious breakfast. The alpacas were super cool to hang out with and feed. Cabin is very cute, rustic, snugly with lots of romantic features.Guest comment
Good to Know:
- Sleeps 2: but a futon can be added for more guests
- Kitchen with toaster, stove, oven, crockery, utensils, fridge
- Linens and towels provided
- Delicious daily breakfast
- Free yoga class every morning
- Stock up with food before you arrive. The supermarket is a 20 minute drive away in Takaka
- Pets welcome
- At night discover the glow worms near the cabin
- Check availability and prices at Alpacas Off Grid Eco Cabin
Golden Bay Hideaway – Remote and Serene in Wainui Bay
Best for: Award-winning Eco Homes, Outdoor Baths, Beach, Remote. For couples, friends, families
Beautiful Golden Bay is known as a laid-back haven for people choosing eco-conscious lifestyles, a place to relax and escape mainstream pressures. At Golden Bay Hideaway you’ll also have plenty of opportunity to relax in one of their cool accommodation options and experience sustainable building principals in action. Your hosts are builders of ”future proofed eco homes that are the most insulated, low energy and low maintenance”.
Each eco home, and the house truck, is nestled in a private and remote bush setting near the beach for peace and quiet, except the occasional bird call. All include a plumbed outdoor bath for warm nights under the stars. Wainui Bay is also a wonderful place to swim and hike the trails in the area. Don’t miss the walk to Wainui Falls – the largest falls in Golden Bay.
- Little Greenie – low-energy passive solar design. Indoor shower, outdoor bath, kitchen, fridge, freezer, underfloor heating. King-size bed or 2 singles. For couples or 2 friends.
- Kiwi Greenie – second generation Greenie. Low-energy passive solar design. Kitchen, open-plan dining and lounge, underfloor heating, indoor shower and outdoor bath. Sleeps 4 guests.
- The House Truck – this beautifully handcrafted house truck is close to the beach, with a warm woodstove for cool nights, fridge, oven, linen, indoor shower, outdoor bath, 2 queen-size beds and tents for extra guests. Sleeps up to 4 guests (or more in tent).
- Tiny Greenie – European style solar passive house. 40 square metres (includes mezzanine) – this tiny house can be moved. 2 queen-size beds on separate mezzanines – privacy blind between. Includes linens, indoor shower and outdoor bath, fridge/freezer, oven, BBQ. Sleeps up to 4 guests.
- Hippie House – originally built by Golden Bay hippies 20 years ago this house is now restored into a wonderful holiday house with mountain and sea views. Includes linens, indoor/outdoor living, fridge, oven, woodstove, indoor shower and outdoor bath, toilet in covered building nearby, king-size bed, queen-size bed and single beds plus lawn to pitch your tent. Sleeps up to 6 guests (or more in tent).
- Check prices and availability at Golden Bay Hideaway.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this list of wonderful Eco Friendly Retreats in Nelson, Golden Bay and Abel Tasman Park. Check out more cool places to stay here:
Bonus: Staytopia Top Activity Picks
- Hike the awesome Abel Tasman National Park. New Zealand’s smallest national park but surely it’s mightiest! You’ll experience sublime beaches, native bush, birds, and awesome natural scenery on this easily accessible coastal track. You can walk the park independently, take a tent and stay in the designated camping spots, or sleep in a hut along the track. Both need to be booked through the Department of Conversation. Here’s the DOC information, booking, map, sights and walking times along the route.
- Kayak the Abel Tasman coast in a traditional Māori Waka and learn about Māori culture, language and the beauty of this coast. This trip takes you from Keiteriteri to Split Apple Rock. “It was the most amazing way to connect with each other, nature and tikanga Māori.” Suitable for all ages and abilities. Bookings can be made through Viator.
Fun to Do in Cable Bay near Nelson:
The 7.9km Cable Bay Coastal Walkway is a popular hike taking in forest, farm, hills and coast. You can also hire kayaks at Cable Bay Kayaks and enjoy a meal and coffee at the Cable Bay Beach Cafe. Don’t miss The Cable Bay Adventure Park with awesome activities like The Skywire – an exhilarating ride across the stunning landscape; also electric bikes, quad bikes, amphibious all terrain vehicles, archery, horse rides and paintball. You can book The Skywire with Viator and reserve and pay later here.