Responsible travel: Abel Tasman luxury lodge in New Zealand
Our business sits in a beautiful 50 acre property which was once cleared for farming. We have a long-term plan to revert it to mature native bush with species appropriate to our valley. If we can attract native birds then over time they will do the rest by flying into the Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks to source seed and to drop it under the trees that we have planted. We are also, when the native bush is big enough, removing stands of gum and pine that were planted as firewood trees by previous owners. Through a trapping program around the circumference of the Lodge, we are protecting nests and increasing native bird numbers - just listen to the dawn chorus!
We run The Resurgence as a luxury eco-lodge and wanted to break the connection between luxury and waste. Indeed, quality products which are made to last and annually maintained will last longer than a cheap import that needs replacing every few years. By line-drying all our washing, guests get that luxurious fresh smell and we save power. By putting shampoos in hygienic pump bottles we can avoid the waste of all that product and those little bottles that get thrown away. We separate waste and use one 240l bin per 2 weeks in peak season and per month for the rest of the year - most of what ends up in the bin is packaging that cannot be recycled. We look at every aspect of our business on an annual basis to try to be a little bit more responsible.
Peter and Clare are active volunteers with community conservation group Friends of Flora. Peter is also Chairman of this group which has been trapping predators in a wilderness area of Kahurangi National Park for the past 10 years. The group's patron is Helen Clark, former NZ prime minister and now in a senior position in the UN. Preditor levels are amongst the lowest recorded in NZ outside the fenced reserves and two species, roroa (great spotted kiwi) and whio (blue duck) have already been successfully released. Friends of Flora has approx. 100 volunteers, servicing 590 trap stations along 177kms protecting approx. 5,500 hectares. Every 2 weeks, volunteers also take listening devices to hear the last 14 days' movements of the 12 kiwi they monitor.
Within our business, we believe in supporting the local community. This means sourcing produce and artwork locally, using local contractors with local supplies (such as locally milled timber for floors and cladding). It also means employing local staff who know the area and want to conserve it for the future and using family run activity companies who are passionate about protecting the wonderful area that we live in.
We are privileged to operate in a stunning natural environment and it is our responsibility to run our business in a way that will protect and enhance it for future generations of local residents and overseas visitors.