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Lofty luxury in Kaikoura treetops

Published: 7:45PM Monday April 09, 2007 Source: One News

With luxury accommodation on the rise in New Zealand, a boutique hotel north of Kaikoura has branched out to reach new heights in luxury.

Hapuku Lodge has added five new rooms, each perched high in a canopy of manuka trees.

Lodge spokesperson Tony Wilson says the idea came from his childhood.

"We had a property with a lot of trees and we each had our own tree house that we would defend desperately against our siblings," he says.

Realising the only way of seeing both coast and mountains was from the treetops - and with five generations of architecture and design in the family - the Wilsons built the tree houses at their lodge.

But it was not an easy task.

"The way to do it was build them on the ground and get a very expensive crane to pick them up one by one. So we put the legs in the ground, and then we built the box on the ground, and then we picked the box up and put it on top of the legs," says Wilson.

The tree houses are all part of providing the ultimate regional experience for customers, but Wilson says despite all their overseas guests, it is their Kiwi visitors that have taken to the tree houses the most.

Asked if it is because tree houses play a bigger part in Kiwi childhoods than other countries, he jokingly suggests that New Zealand may be one of the few countries with any trees left to have this luxury.

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