Bordered by rolling green lawns along the banks of the Waikato River and just upstream from the dramatic Huka Falls, Huka Lodge is regarded as the founder of luxury lodges. Styled in the manner of a grand estate, Huka comprises a central lodge with restaurant and terraces surrounded by verdant established gardens studded with exclusive dining nooks. Fine dining champions premium local produce complemented by a formidable list of the world’s finest wines.
A stay with Baillie Lodges is to experience the luxury of travel. Each Baillie property is located in an extraordinary natural destination, with a personal experience of its culture and history, its art and natural heritage and local food and wine sourced from regional producers. Together, the luxury lodges are timeless in design, with myriad thoughtful details combining to create a genuinely warm welcome, a generosity of spirit. Guest itineraries are designed to offer the most from each stay, creating a personal, lasting connection with the destination.
The lodge restaurant is a hub for guests throughout each day. As day dawns with the mists drawing across the river, guests enjoy a country style breakfast before heading out for the day’s adventures. In the evening, candles are lit as the sky softens and drinks are served. Guests gather to share stories of the day and enjoy superb cuisine complemented by exceptional wines.
The wine cellar at Huka Lodge is a cool, cavernous underground labyrinth lined with some of the world’s most revered vintages as well as a curation of local New Zealand wines. The cellar is also an intimate venue for special occasions, where two and up to ten guests can enjoy private candlelit dining.
Hidden around the lodge and gardens at Huka are a collection of unique dining spaces. Ideal for a special occasion, or simply to share an unforgettable meal with a loved one, dinner can be served in the Library or the Trophy Room, on the Front Terrace or the Jetty Pavilion, in the Orchard or the Green Room.
The award-winning show gardens at Huka Lodge provide a serene backdrop for a gentle and refined retreat. The 17-acres of park-like grounds offer quiet, shaded paths for exploring, rolling lawns framed by ancient willows, towering Californian Redwoods and high hedges providing a natural border for pastimes like tennis, croquet and pétanque.
In 1924 Irishman Alan Pye founded Huka Lodge as a fishermen’s camp with a gathering of white canvas tents lining the banks of the trout-rich Waikato River. Nearly a century later, Huka Lodge is one of the world’s most celebrated luxury lodges, welcoming distinguished guests and a reputation for providing outstanding hospitality in an idyllic setting.
Huka Lodge celebrates its rich heritage and continues to uphold the values that have built its reputation. The Huka Lodge philosophy is as strong as the turquoise-green waters of the Waikato River, where guests are at the core of the vision, and the outstanding Huka team and itinerary of personally tailored stays combine to deliver an unforgettable experience.
In 1984, Alex van Heeren purchased Huka Lodge and engaged New Zealand-based designer Virginia Fisher to create the opulent interior style for the property’s main lodge and guest suites and to complement its extraordinary natural location. Outside, Suzanne Turley was engaged as the property’s landscape designer, creating gardens to complement both the lodge’s design and the natural environment.
The Huka Lodge guest list is a veritable who’s who of the past century’s best–known celebrities and world-recognised figures, while it‘s steadfastly on the must-do list for many future guests. Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II has famously visited Huka Lodge with its grounds and surrounds reminiscent of Scotland four times over the course of her reign – often in the company of her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh – where the pair had a preferred, special seat for dining.
Our commitment to the environment
Huka Lodge is committed to a dedicated path of initiatives and procedures to ensure the very best practice for the environment, the local community and the planet.
In 2019, Huka Lodge embarked on a project to secure fresh Waikato water for the future and ensure sustainability of its use. The lodge invested in a monitoring system and purification process combining UV, activated carbon and osmosis – which ensured the restaurant’s own water was the spring water quality – and installed a state-of-the-art, wastewater plant. Its high-quality output is used to irrigate the gardens.
Huka Lodge takes a wholistic approach to managing its impact on the natural environment. A campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastics complements the use of organic and free-range produce in the kitchen, while producers who embrace sustainable practices are actively sought as partners. Chemical-free pest control is used throughout the garden, which is also planned to provide food and shelter for bees, birds and animals.
Energy conservation, recycling and commitment to new technologies are all essential to the sustainability philosophy at Huka Lodge. Recyclable materials are sorted, while batteries, printer cartridges and coffee pods are all recycled. Solar power planning is underway and electric vehicle charging stations are in place. Expired light bulbs are replaced with LED bulbs and timers work to reduce energy use.
A commitment to engaging with and supporting the local community is essential to Huka Lodge. The lodge recruits its loyal team from within the local community and supports local businesses wherever possible for the provision of food, wine and services. Huka Lodge contributes to fundraising efforts for local schools and charities, and for more than thirty years has held a highly anticipated Christmas party for the community’s elderly residents.
Attracting hospitality professionals from New Zealand and around the globe, the Huka Lodge team is renowned for its reverential, world-class service. Ever respectful of the property’s ‘mana’ (meaning authority and prestige in Māori), the team strives to deliver an unforgettable experience that reflects a distinctly Kiwi sense of place.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Kerry Molloy has been at the helm of the prestigious property since 2014, after a career in high-end hospitality and as manager of some of the country’s most esteemed luxury lodges. Kerry’s first job as a porter paved the way for a stint in the hotel industry in London for 14 years. Stopping by in Sydney on the way through to work at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kerry then worked at New Zealand’s trio of Robertson Lodges before landing at home at Huka Lodge. Working here, he says is like being on a movie set: lots of action behind the scenes and blissful tranquillity out the front.
Tristan Abbott has an extensive career as a chef, spanning the globe and including training in some of Auckland’s top restaurants, Australia’s luxury lodges Spicers Peak and Southern Ocean Lodge and restaurants in regional France and Paris. Tristan joined the Huka Lodge team as Executive Chef in 2022 and is inspired by the bounty of regional produce and the chance to forage for the daily degustation menus.
At Huka Lodge they are used to hosting people who are used to the best, and so the best is just what they deliver, in the most friendly and luxurious manner.Edwina McCann Vogue Australia
Tucked among jurassic tree ferns on the banks of the Waikato River, Huka Lodge on New Zealand’s North Island is the ideal food-lover’s getaway, produce-driven entertaining menus are inspired by the natural bounty.Valli Little Delicious Magazine
Seamless, understated service and an absolute attention to detail. You immediately understand why Huka Lodge has garnered so many worldwide accolades and the love of so many high profile guests.Cathy Wagstaff Signature Luxury Travel
The ultimate New Zealand getaway. Somewhere that you might be willing to plan and plot for. Stashing away those undisclosed bits of your salary that the other half may not know about and working towards a break away from it all, at a venue that is consistently rated one of the world's best.Kelli Brett Cuisine
press & awards
Need more information?
For more information about the
other properties in the Baillie Lodges
portfolio please download our brochure.