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World Class Setting for The Headwaters Eco Lodge

The Headwaters Eco Lodge is the perfect escape encompassing a world-class environmentally sustainable dining, accommodation and adventure experience in Glenorchy at the head of Lake Whakatipu.

American philanthropists Debbi and Paul Brainerd created the lodge, previously known as Camp Glenorchy, on regenerative design principles and the award-winning tourist facility is globally recognised.

Recently appointed general manager John Dick, aka JD, is an international hotelier who has wide sustainability experience and a passion for food and wine.

“As a bit of a passionate environmentalist it was the sustainability ethos and the vision of Paul and Debbi to create something really ahead of its time that drew me in,” he says.

JD has been instrumental in establishing the new Headwaters Dining Room with renowned executive chef Pete Gawron leading an experienced team providing fresh, seasonal meals seven nights a week.

“The Chef’s Choice dishes are wholesome, local and inspired by fresh local produce daily. It’s very similar to French restaurant table d’hôte dining where the cuisine is different each day.”

Pete and his team have a paddock-to-plate philosophy and an abundant kitchen garden growing fresh ingredients matched with produce foraged from the surrounding hills or sourced from local suppliers.

JD says the genuinely sustainable dining experience is enhanced by an excellent selection of regional wines and craft beers.

Dish created by Pete Gawron at The Headwaters photo by Aaron McLean

Fourteen elegantly appointed eco chalets backdropped by spectacular alpine scenery are a feature of the Headwaters complex.

“What’s more adventurous and romantic than driving off into the sunset to a restaurant where you enjoy a superb meal followed by a restful night’s sleep in a stunning eco chalet?” says JD.

He says the individual chalets and state-of-the-art  eco lodge are designed in a contemporary rustic-luxe style and are an exemplary international showcase of regenerative design and comfort.

Four years after opening the lodge is upgrading all its chalets to a premium standard due to high demand.

“We’re putting in some exciting special touches to add to the enjoyment of our guests’ time with us,” says JD.

The lodge also specialises in small, intimate, food, accommodation and exploration packages which invite guests to experience the best of the Glenorchy area while weaving in time to relax, restore and reconnect with nature.

The Headwaters Dining Room experience starts at 6:30pm every night. Bookings are essential.


The Headwaters Eco Lodge has drawn praise from leading New Zealand food writers.

 “We were served dishes that made sense of the incredible smells that had been coming from the kitchen — a chicken-duck consomme, stuffed quail, rabbit roulade and individual cassoulets, then a wedge of Brie de Meaux with truffled honey and, finally, a homemade tarte au citron.”

Viva Dining Out Editor Jesse Mulligan

“The lodge is an exceptional eco-friendly destination that accommodation operators should all aspire to. It includes repurposed materials fashioned into artwork-like rooms and walls, solar powered buildings and simple gardens with indigenous plantings.”  Award-winning food writer Lauraine Jacobs