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Creative Cuisine at The Headwaters

The Headwaters Eco Lodge offers fresh, seasonal and destination dinners seven nights a week prepared by well-known executive chef Pete Gawron and his talented team.

The former owner and head chef at Arrowtown’s Saffron restaurant  Pete spearheaded the naming of Saffron as one of Condé Nast Traveller’s Top 100 Tables which highlights the world’s most exciting restaurants.

Inspired by culinary adventures on his annual trips around the world he loves creating masterpieces for lodge guests using produce from The Headwaters’ organic garden and sustainable glasshouse.

A growing list of Central Otago’s finest Pinot Noirs and other varietals are also an attraction for wine connoisseurs.

“There’s nothing better than creating freshly prepared garden-to-table meals featuring just-picked veggies, herbs, greens and fruit from our own gardens,” says Pete. “We encourage people to come to the lodge for dinner or for a beautiful weekend away. Reservations are essential.”

In the spirit of sustainability the onsite garden includes 100 fruit trees donated by a lodge guest selling his fruit tree business after 32 years. They were planted before winter last year and began producing fruit in their first summer – a testament to the unique microclimate in Glenorchy.

Promoting the Planet

Thanks to an extensive ‘garden’ of solar power panels The Headwaters is net zero and a pioneer in Queenstown’s journey to become the world’s first zero-carbon destination by 2030.

It has a sophisticated water recycling infrastructure which means it uses 50 per cent less water than similar hotels while wastewater is directed to surrounding wetlands.

The property was built by founders Paul and Debbi Brainerd from primarily recycled materials, such as native timbers from Christchurch earthquake demolition sites, corrugated iron from abandoned woolsheds. An eye-catching wall has been built entirely out of driftwood and old oil drums are repurposed as lightshades.

Paul is the brains behind eco-tech touches such as solar energy storage batteries, triple-glazing, smart wiring and underground heat exchange bores while Debbi’s creative flair is evident in an eclectic range of original New Zealand artworks, natural fabrics and furnishings throughout and an impressive floor sculpture depicting the Dart and Rees rivers fashioned from hundreds of local river stones.

The lodge’s 14 elegantly appointed chalets are the height of modern rustic luxe designed in a beautiful rural style and dotted throughout the lodge grounds. They feature wool throws, luxury linens and ensuite bathrooms with walk-in rain showers.