River Birches Lodge

Location: Coromandel & Waikato | New Zealand

Price guide: £££££ £100-£200 per person per night

River Birches Lodge is the closest luxury lodge to Tongariro National Park. A cedar-clad retreat right beside the famous and trout-thick Tongariro River, this architecturally-acclaimed lodge is all about understated luxury, from its stylish, east-meet-west décor to its peaceful garden setting. As well as being on the doorstep of one of New Zealand's most spectacular hiking spots, this is also a renowned fly-fishing region, making it the ultimate location for anglers and hikers looking to cast their rods or lace up their boots in central North Island.
Perfect forKeen hikers and fishermen. 
In the knowAs well as hiking and fishing, you can also go whitewater rafting and kayaking down the Tongariro River.

Recommended for...

  • Walking & Trekking
  • Lodge
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Water activities

Hotel Overview

Sense of place

River Birches Lodge is just minutes from Lake Taupo, one of New Zealand’s largest lakes, and in the heart of Zane Grey country. It's a ten-minute walk from Turangi town centre.

Rooms at River Birches Lodge

Named after iconic pools on the river, there are just three rooms here, guaranteeing privacy and seclusion. Each room has a super king-size bed with a down quilt and sink-into pillows and a bathroom with a generously-sized bath. With Thai silk curtains, Maori weavings, Burmese furniture and doors carved from native rimu wood, the interiors are a beautiful blend of Asian and Kiwi design.

If you’d prefer a private garden setting, pick the Major’s Room, which stands apart from the main house, or the Duchess’s Room, for its cosy and welcoming atmosphere. Alternatively, go for the Admiral’s Room to use the soothing cedar hot tub after a long day’s sightseeing or there's also the Cottage, a three-bedroom self-contained cottage which is ideal for families and smaller groups.

Food & drink

In the mornings you can feast on a cooked breakfast or keep it light with a continental breakfast of homemade cereals and preserves, fresh seasonal fruits and yoghurts. Lunch and dinner (available on request) are made from the best locally-grown produce whenever possible, but if you’d like to dine out, Turangi and Taupo offer a variety of excellent restaurants.


There’s a fully-equipped fitness room in the main lodge, as well as large living areas with open fires and satellite TVs. The lodge also has a fully stocked tackle room with a range of high-quality fishing rods, breathable waders and fishing vests - so there's no need to bring your fishing equipment with you.

Activities at River Birches Lodge

Hiking in Tongariro is simply unmissable. Considered one of the finest walks in the world, the Tongariro Crossing begins in the native forests on the western slopes of the national park and tracks along the mountainous scenery and turquoise lakes, offering panoramic views from the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu. At the River Birches, you can experience a private hike with an experienced mountain guide, where after taking in the popular vistas, you’ll explore the rarely seen yet superb views from special mountain viewpoints, escaping the usual summer crowds, and learn all about the significance of the area to local Maori people.

When it comes to fishing, once you are suited up with all the right equipment, head either by yourself or with a guide to the nearby pools to practice your 10 to 2 o’clock cast. On the Tongariro River, you’ll be fishing for either brown or rainbow trout, which can be done at the pools, such as Major Jones or Cattle Rustlers, or in a kayak or raft. If you find the water a bit cold, wallow in the hot mineral pools, which are just ten minutes away. 

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

River Birches Lodge is a 35-minute drive from Taupo Airport. 

More places to stay in Coromandel & Waikato


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