Stonefly Lodge, Nelson


This blog post is about a lodge in New Zealand. A shining example of Off the Grid Luxury, an award winning Environmental Project that has raised the bar for everyone else who aspires to be Off the Grid. A labour of love, and the culmination of the dream of the owners, and most wonderful hosts, John and Kate Kerr.

The owners & hosts, John and Kate Kerr.

The owners & hosts, John and Kate Kerr.

The specifically designed fireplace is double sided, and provides additional radiant heat from the glass. A heat transfer system distributes the warm air from the hottest part of the house, to each guest bedroom.

Solar panels on the roof are used to heat a 500 litre tank for domestic hot water. So no, this particular ecolodge does not mean you have to suffer with cold water or outdoor showers using a watering can and a piece of string!

The water itself is sourced from a spring and all grey water is treated and used in the permaculture garden.

John and Kate recycle or reuse everything. Kitchen waste is sorted into four bins, food for the chickens, plastic, tin and glass. Storm water from the gutters, parking and drive, feeds into the specially designed duck pond.

Environmentally suitable detergents are used in the kitchen and laundry, and as you would expect, a linen policy has been put in place to avoid the excessive washing of towels and sheets that occurs in some hotels and lodges.


The sunroom, seen here to the left, has been designed to allow the winter sun to heat the floor and stone pillars, thus adding to the central heating system. The heat is released during the cooler evenings and creates a constant and comfortable temperature.

The four bedrooms, two to each wing, look out across the river below and mountains beyond. The Motueka river will excite any fly fishing enthusiast with its abundance of trout, whilst hiking, biking and wine tasting are all on offer nearby for those that are a little less enthusiastic about fishing.

Long term plans include removing the noxious weeds from the river bank and planting native trees, and continuing to support the local community.

Whatever they do, you can be sure that John and Kate do it in a way that has no negative environmental impact, and it will be to their usual high standard.

Stonefly Lodge has set the bar for all other ecolodges, and set it high!

Janet Mactavish