a time for renewal mt cook lakeside retreat

A Time for Renewal

Rejuvenation After a Fire

When we began our journey at Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat, we embraced a beautiful but rugged landscape. Our vision then and now: To shape that landscape into a peaceful retreat, dedicated to relaxation, wellness and rejuvenation.

On August 30, 2020, we faced our greatest and most terrifying test. The acres of wilding pines surrounding the property were engulfed in a forest fire. We feared the worst – that our years of effort and love poured into the Retreat would be gone in an instant.

However, thanks to the incredible efforts of firefighters and emergency services, as well as our own team, our property suffered minimal damage. Our luxury villas, Moraine Lodge event space and Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory were untouched.

The main impact of the fire was on our trees and landscaping. Within a week of the event, and with the support of our team and many friends and family, we’d begun the task of cutting burned timber, mulching and replanting. The scars of the fire will no doubt be visible on the land for some time, but we are looking ahead.

This kind of event inspires reflection, and we have chosen to accept the fire’s destruction as an opportunity. We are rededicating ourselves to our vision for Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat as a place of rest, wellness and renewal for all who set foot here. Now the regenerating land itself will be a living symbol of that vision.

As spring arrives in the High Country, each new green leaf and blade of grass at the Retreat shows the power of nature to heal and rejuvenate. And, across the stunning blue waters of Lake Pukaki, Aoraki/Mount Cook towers over all, a monument of resilience and endurance through millenia.

In the wake of COVID-19, which was devastating to so many businesses, we were overwhelmed by the wonderful support we received. Now we look to you, our treasured friends and guests, to continue your support as we move forward from another difficult challenge.

We hope you will join us on this journey of healing and renewal, and let the rejuvenation of Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat be an inspiration for your own life. We look forward to sharing this special piece of pure paradise with you.

Ngā manaakitanga (best wishes),

Kaye and Luke Paardekooper

From the moment I booked the villa to the time we departed, everything was perfect. Kaye made recommendations for tours and quickly accommodated us when our party grew from 2 to 4. The 2 bedrooms are both the same size, so there is no fighting over who gets the bigger room! Food was abundant and absolutely fresh and delicious throughout the entire stay. We picked out our wine from the wine cellar upon arrival and, the next night, Luke brought up a variety of bottles for us to choose from for dinner that night. We had an absolutely clear sky for stargazing in the observatory, and saw some brilliant stars, along with Saturn. Anna made sure that we had every supplement we needed, including picnic lunch and massages in the private spa. Also, the fireplace was set up to ensure that even fire dummies could get a flame going. We were in absolute heaven, and can honestly say this was the best part of our trip!

Katie S. 
Katie S.

Planning Your Stay

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Upcoming Events at the Retreat

Upcoming Events at the Retreat

We are continually innovating to bring you fresh, exciting experiences with our special events at Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat. Purchase your tickets or reserve your spot on our website, and feel free to contact us with any questions.