Published on October 27th, 2011 | by Aeris0
Undiscovered New Zealand
What promotional offers are available to AERIS subscribers?
Stay three nights and pay for only two — an exclusive AERIS Magazine offer from River Birches, the boutique New Zealand lodge on the banks of the mighty Tongariro River. Subscribe at www.aerismagazine.com and the confirmation e-mail will provide you with instructions on booking to receive this exclusive offer.
(Terms & Conditions: Valid untill December 31st)
AERIS talks to Jason Bleibtreu, who developed the luxury River Birches lodge in Turangi, New Zealand — and shares an exclusive opportunity to experience heaven at the edge of the earth…
What can guests expect at River Birches?
A true New Zealand experience: seclusion, breathtaking natural beauty and understated luxury.
What makes your boutique lodge unique, in the Turangi region?
River Birches is the closest five-star lodge to the Tongariro crossing and surrounding ski slopes. We cater to those who want to be immersed in nature and complete privacy, while still having the comforts of gourmet food, wine and an indulgent retreat.
To fulfill this, we pay close attention to detail — from heated bathroom tiles in the colder months, to an in-house chef sourcing the freshest local ingredients.
In the heart of New Zealand’s famed Lord of the Rings setting, what are the top natural attractions?
The World Heritage Tongariro National Park, with its endless hiking and mountain biking trails, including the Tongariro Crossing. This has been described as the world’s best one-day walk. Mount Ruapehu, the snow-covered volcano where many go to snowboard and ski. It was showcased in Lord of the Rings as Mordoor, home to the Dark Lord Sauron. Mount Ngauruhoe (adjacent) served as Mount Doom…
The hot baths, heated naturally by the volcanic heat of Mount Ruapehu, are an equally rare experience, with minerals in the water to rejuvenate even the most tired traveller.
The powerful Tongariro river, which runs just beyond the lodge — perfect for rafting, fishing or walking along.
Does the River Birches partner with local activities vendors?
Yes — we have a variety of providers that we have a close relationship with for:
White water rafting, Kayaking, Mountain biking, Skiing, Fishing An exclusive, privately-guided Tongariro Crossing tour, beginning on the western slopes of the
National Park, leading up a rocky, volcanic track at the spectacular red crater of Mt Tongariro, the walk culminates in panoramic views of an incredible mountainous realm. This is especially memorable at sunrise, which we can arrange.
Besides stunning vistas, New Zealand is also famous for premium produce and wine- what are your specialties?
• Seared New Zealand wagyu steak
• Fresh South Island salmon cooked with native herbs
• Tender young New Zealand lamb crusted with Dukkah
• Hot manuka- smoked rainbow trout, if successfully caught! This is a rarity as trout is not commercially available in New Zealand.
What is the easiest route to River Birches?
The best route to River Birches is from Auckland. From there, one can get a connecting flight that takes less then 45 minutes to Taupo. We can meet our guests at the Taupo airport for a 30-minute drive to the lodge.
If you could encapsulate this region of New Zealand in no more than 3 words, which would you pick?
Awesome, Breathtaking, Inspiring