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Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua – The Māori Indigenous Food Trail

“Haere mai taua te hikoi i te ngahere” – “come walk with me in the forest”. Treetops Lodge & Estate offers a new experience for guests – The Treetops Lodge & Wilderness Experience Māori Indigenous Food Trail.

Award-winning Treetops Lodge & Wilderness Experience, located in the heart of New Zealand’s world famous therapeutic thermal region and trout fishing capital, Rotorua, is an elite lodge offering a uniquely New Zealand experience. Surrounded by 2,500 acres of secluded native forestry, and nestled amidst magnificent, native, 800 year old forests and valleys, the lodge is a testament to the preservation of the indigenous flora and fauna.

In keeping with Treetop’s eco-friendly ethos, a key focus of the fine cuisine that is prepared for guests is on locally-grown produce including sourcing and utilising native herbs and ingredients found on the property that were traditionally used by Maori. John Sax, visionary and owner of Treetops Lodge, comments, “Native herbs are not commonly used on menus in New Zealand so utilising them in our cuisine provides a new culinary experience, in particular for guests from overseas. We use Karengo (sea vegetable) in a variety of seafood dishes as a seasoning or garnish, infused in broths or deep fried for salsas, and Kawakawa Rub, which is derived from the leaves of the indigenous Kawakawa tree, to season meat dishes such as venison”.

The forest food trail is aimed at educating guests on native Māori cuisine and the indigenous herbs and plants used, and is headed up by leading local expert, Riki Mitchell. Experience the Māori food trail including ingredients such as Horopito, Kawakawa and Piko Piko. Horopito has a chili pepper bite and is dried and used as a rub and seasoning, as is Kawakawa, which is used medicinally as a herbal tea and has traditional applications for stomach pains, blood cleansing, tooth ache and as a general tonic. Piko Piko, which is New Zealand’s native fern, is harvested and used for its edible shoots. The tour starts with the background to Māori cuisine and how this has translated through to the modern day. During the tour, guests sample a series of foods made with native herbs sourced on the property whilst learning about their medicinal and nutritional properties.

For more information contact Treetops Lodge & Estate on P: +64 7 333 2066. For media enquiries contact Karine Thomas at Navigate Oceania on karine@navigateoceania.com.

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More about Treetops Lodge & Estate:

This unique, personal encounter with Treetops wild food on this 2500-acre year-round lush wilderness estate, is one of a number of complimentary daily Signature Experiences for lodge guests. Experience our Estate to Plate philosophy of dining with 100% pesticide free and organic heritage varieties of indigenous and seasonal vegetables; native spinach (tetragonia), kumera, fresh turmeric, wasabi, native cress, and an abundance of fruit trees. Manuka honey aviaries produce wild native comb honey of exceptional flavor, to our wild deer; red, fallow, sika, wapiti (elk) and water buffalo, wild pig, sheep, rabbit, pheasant, partridge, geese, duck, rainbow and brown trout.

Every morning our chef sources from the estate garden and meets with our resident gamekeeper to select game and fish ingredients for the day. By late morning he is at his desk crafting dishes to the preferred tastes of that night’s guests. The menus are European contemporary, using simple techniques to bring out the clear, fresh flavors – but remember every season is different and so with the dishes. Nestled in 2,500acres of 800-year old native forest, Treetops Lodge & Estate is a uniquely New Zealand experience. This wildlife sanctuary and retreat is nestled within breath taking terrain, offering outdoor activities centred around seven streams, four lakes, and over 43 miles of adventure trails.

Located 20 minutes from the Maori heartland Rotorua, Treetops has been extensively refurbished in 2016.

Treetops provide adventure for the whole family: junior cooking classes, photography 4WD safaris, helicopter tours, Maori poi making and flax weaving, as well as mountain biking, hiking to spectacular waterfalls and active volcanoes and exclusive use at the nearby Kinloch Golf Course.

Treetops Lodge offers a range of Signature Experiences, found at no other New Zealand luxury lodges; The Estate to Plate Safari, The Maori Indigenous Food Trail and the Wild Food Cooking School, along with our Rituals Spa Treatments.

A member of Virtuoso, Signature, American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts and NAVIGATE+

Recent Awards:
2017: Nominee World Luxury Hotel Awards
2016 & 2017: Trip Advisor – Award of Excellence
2016: Elite Magazine USA – Top 10 World Family Resorts
2015: Conde Nast USA – Top 100 World Hotels Reader Reviews