Amazing Eco-friendly Retreats in Nelson, Abel Tasman, Golden Bay

These Amazing Eco-friendly Retreats in Nelson, Motueka, and Golden Bay 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. Oh…and gorgeous beaches, crystal clear sea, stunning bush walks in the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi Parks, arts and crafts, wineries… short, a wonderful place to visit!

So, please read on for holiday inspiration where you’ll find peaceful sanctuaries and tranquil escapes…

Destination: New Zealand | South Island | Kaiteriteri | Golden Bay | Motueka | Takaka
Accommodation Type: Eco-friendly and Organic | Strawbale
Accommodation Resources

1. Hairy Hobbit Cottage – near Motueka

Best for: Off-Grid Cottage, Peaceful, Views, Outdoor Bath, Near Abel Tasman National Park. Up to 4 Guests, Solo, Couples, Families

Book directly at the Hairy Hobbit Cottage Website

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

The cottage has 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.

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)
  • The flush toilet is near but separate from the cottage
  • Potbelly fire for snug days and nights

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.

Guest Review

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.

Good to Know

  • Games, TV, Books, no WIFI but mobile coverage
  • Deck, outdoor dining

2. Unique Adobe Home – Cable Bay near Nelson

Best for: Adobe Holiday Home, Birdlife, Spacious, Views, Peaceful, All-Season. Couples, Families, Friends

Book the Unique Adobe Home at VRBO/Bookabach

This serene adobe home is a bush and beach retreat hidden in a private wilderness in Cable Bay.

You’re surrounded by birds, native bush, and coastal estuary, with incredible sea views to Pepin Island.

But this eco accommodation is only a 30-minute scenic drive to Nelson, the amazing Saturday market, art galleries, artisan shops, cafes, and restaurants.

All Season Retreat

Adobe houses, made from earthen bricks, are well insulated and dry so you’ll find this home a wonderful stay in any season.

Adobe Holiday Home

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.

With a great indoor/outdoor flow to the deck, the home connects nicely with the natural setting. Ideal for outdoor dining, snoozing, and star gazing.

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

Guest Review

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.

Good to Know

  • Smart TV, books, stereo
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum two nights stay or more during school holidays

3. Kimi Ora Eco Resort – Kaiteriteri Beach

Best for: Eco Spa Resort, Pool, Spa and Sauna, Vegetarian Restaurant, Bush Chalets, Mountain Bikes. Couples, Friends, Families

See Agoda and unlock a deal at Kimi Ora Eco Resort

Kimi Ora’s stylish bush chalets offer tranquility 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.

The Chalets

Sleeps up to 8 guests. Spa suites, studios, 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom units.

Each room has a balcony with views, a kitchenette or kitchen, and with dining and a lounge.

  • Free continental breakfast
  • Serviced daily
  • Quality linen, towels, and bedding
  • TV and DVD

Great Facilities

  • Dive into the pool
  • Laze in the hot tub
  • Soothe your muscles in the steam room and sauna
  • Play table tennis or billiards
  • Borrow a free mountain bike and explore the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
  • Spa treatments – massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and body spa treatments

Guest Review

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.

Good to Know

  • Free WIFI
  • Chalet 10 has wheelchair access
  • Walking trails all around the resort
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4. Awaroa Lodge – Abel Tasman Park

eco friendly retreats in Nelson, Golden Bay and Abel Tasman Park
Best for: Luxury Bush Lodge, Pristine Beach and Bush Location, Spa Treatments, Organic Restaurant, Couple, Friends, Families

Book your stay at

The only way to arrive at this stunning 4-star lodge hidden in the Abel Tasman National Park is on foot, by boat, or by helicopter! This is a true escape from cars, cities, and all the hustle and bustle.

You’ll find peaceful native forest, wetlands, and pristine beaches. Watch out for the rare pāteke – brown teal ducks in the wetlands at the lodge.

Awaroa Lodge

Eco-Friendly and Organic

Awaroa Lodge is a champion of sustainability! They generate their own power. Plus, their restaurant serves delicious healthy food grown right on-site in their organic gardens. Talk about fresh from farm to table!

Dine indoors or outside in the courtyard at Awaroa Restaurant and Café. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days per week. They have comfy lounge seating, a fireplace for cool evenings and a library.

The Rooms

Sleeps up to 6 guests. Choose from Standard Rooms nestled in the bush for two guests configured with a 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
  • Linen is included

Guest Review

It was so lovely to find the lodge after 7 hours of walking. The location is amazing – minutes’ walk from a long stretch of beach and walking trails. One of the most special locales on the planet. Lunches available to takeaway. Warm room. Communal lounge area. Flax wall sculptures.

Good to Know

  • Room Service
  • WIFI
  • Daily Housekeeping
  • Spa Treatments are available
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More Eco-friendly retreats in Nelson, Golden Bay, and Motueka – in remote locations…

5. Alpacas Off Grid Eco Cabin – Takaka

Best for: Off-Grid Cottage, Pet-friendly, Farm animals, Glow-Worms, Native Bush and Trails, Creeks for Swimming. Couple

Book your off-grid stay with

Welcome to Alpaca Heaven! This eco-friendly retreat in Golden Bay is a quirky cabin surrounded by farms, native bush, and friendly alpacas.

You’ll feel remote but you’re only a 20-minute drive to Takaka with delis, cafes, restaurants, and the beach.

The Space

This cosy haven is comfy with cool design elements. Lounge in the hammock, swim in the creek, feed the alpacas, hike or bike Kill Devil Track only 100 metres away, or simply kick back in this little slice of paradise.

Sleeps 2: a futon can be added for more guests

  • Kitchen with toaster, stove, oven, crockery, utensils, fridge
  • Linens and towels are provided
  • Delicious daily breakfast

Guest Review

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.

Good to Know

  • Free yoga class every morning
  • Stock up with food before you arrive. The supermarket is a 20-minute drive away in Takaka
  • Pets welcome
  • 2-night minimum stay

6. Te Hapu Coastal Cottages – Collingwood

Te Hapu Coastal Cottages Collingwood
Best For: Remote Cottages, Beaches, Hiking, Countryside, Privacy, Couples, Families, Friends

Book securely with

For adventurers the ruggedly beautiful location of these rustic cottages and chalets is sublime!

Set on 1000 acres of coastal sheep and cattle farmland you have seven private beaches to choose from, plus hiking, contemplating, and absolute privacy. It’s you and nature.

The nearest town is Collingwood at 42kms away, so this is a remote holiday destination where you’re immersed in wild landscapes, pastureland, rock formations, blowholes, walking tracks, and sea.

The Chalets

Sleeps Up to 9: The chalets accommodate up to four guests (max 2 adults and 2 children), and the cottages accommodate up to nine guests (max 7 adults and 2 children).

Each is comfortable and warm with a fully equipped kitchen with a stove, oven, toaster, microwave, fridge, and dining settings.

Come prepared to cook because the restaurants and cafes are a long way away.

Bring a book, cards, games, and swimming gear and enjoy a WIFI-free existence!

Good to Know

  • Games and DVDs are available
  • Washing machine
  • Walking tours can be arranged
  • BBQ for use
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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

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.

The Skywire Nelson

Fun to Do in Cable Bay near Nelson

The 7.9km Cable Bay Coastal Walkway is a popular hike taking in forests, farms, hills, and coastline.

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. they also provide 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.

See More Quirky Places to Stay in New Zealand

4 thoughts on “Amazing Eco-friendly Retreats in Nelson, Abel Tasman, Golden Bay”

  1. Wooooow! I can not help but go through your collections with a smile of astonishment. We all know working is quite so hectic and amongst all, the thought of making good money is also very hectic when you do not make as much as you want. I am a lover of nature, it sees me through prevailing circumstances. I will try Nelson Golen Bay and Abel Tasman Park sometime. Who wouldn’t?! 

    • Hiya – thank you so much for your kind comments. You’re right these places to stay are peaceful and relaxing retreats from hectic modern life. I hope you enjoy your time there. Cheers, Alisa

  2. These eco-friendly retreats in Nelson, Golden Bay, and Abel are absolutely fantastic for nature lovers seeking a sustainable and rejuvenating getaway!


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