Husband and wife team Leonie Johnsen and Tony Ward are now on the third edition of their travel guide with a difference: The 2011Organic Explorer New Zealand - places to eat, shop and stay with the planet in mind.
1. Wharepuke Subtropical Accommodation
190 Kerikeri Rd, Kerikeri
A favourite of a US film crew tripping around New Zealand eco lodges, Wharepuke has a terrific restaurant, spectacular gardens and art gallery, as well as print-making courses for those interested. Award-winning Thai restaurant from organic produce grown on site. Lots to do here.
2. The TreeHouse
168 West Coast Rd, Motukaraka, Hokianga Harbour
On a 30-year-old permaculture farm that is very family- and bicycle-friendly, has a range of owner-built cabins, plus tent sites, so a good budget option for family groups.
Good reviews and only 2km from the charming Hokianga ferry.
3. Solscape Eco Retreat
611 Wainui Rd, Raglan
Another family-friendly eco lodge with a range of funky accommodations, including tipis, railway carriages and camping. Just a bush walk away from a great surf beach, with surfing lessons, yoga and massage. Very interesting place with workshops in sustainability and wellbeing.
4. Mount Tutu Eco-Sanctuary
1190 Ohautiti Rd, RD3, Tauranga
Family-friendly, Mount Tutu has farm animals and glowworm tours, and was nominated by Wilderness magazine in 2009 as one of the top five ecolodges in NZ. Has QE11 covenanted forest, provides a rainforest eco tour and is handily located only 20 minutes from Tauranga, and 40 minutes from Rotorua.