Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and fabulous 2022! Welcome to our new website and first blog. It’s now two years since we opened our doors on 6th January 2020 and began Awatuna Sunset Lodge. It may have been a tricky time to open a new business but we are still working towards our ultimate goal of making our Lodge the best and most sustainable experience we can.
We, Selwyn and I (Elizabeth) have a vision of providing exceptional personalised service that will make your stay here unforgettable and one of a kind. We thought we would share some of our sustainability principles to start. Our property is set on a hectare of land that backs onto DOC (Department of Conservation) land, Waimea Creek, and then onto Awatuna Beach. We have amazing birdlife as well as penguins, sea birds, dolphins, and seals, all of which have breeding sites on and around us which we want to help protect.
I’m a member of the West Coast penguin trust and help watch the penguin breeding ground on the beach behind us. https://www.westcoastpenguintrust.org.nz/
Living on the West Coast, we understand the importance of access to emergency healthcare. As a result, we support The West Coast ROA Rescue Helicopter and donate $1.00 for every direct, online booking. https://www.airrescue.co.nz/roa-mining-rescue-helicopter/
After we moved in, we started to look at the gardens which were very overgrown after seven years of tenants residing here. What we found was a number of non-native, invasive pest plants that were smothering and killing many of our native plants and trees. We set about removing them all and giving light and space to the viable natives to be able to flourish. We started by removing wild ginger, banana passionfruit, Himalayan honeysuckle, Chilean rhubarb, and thousands, upon thousands of agapanthus that overtook the whole garden. We are now seeing new native tree seedlings starting to grow. We have an unused paddock by Waimea Bridge which we are now transplanting some of the native seedlings which will replace the gorse and provide a native forest.
Our other principles involve growing food to use in our cooking, preserving, and self-reliance. Cooking and baking everything from scratch means we have fresh food that is additive, herbicide, and plastic-free. Between our tunnel house, veggie beds, and three orchard areas we are able to grow most things to keep us well-stocked throughout the year. You can see our breakfast and dinner menus for how we put our gardens into practice. And let’s not forget our 29 chickens who provide us with over two dozen eggs per day. Poached eggs with freshly laid eggs make the best breakfast you’ll have, or so our reviews tell us! Another area of sustainability is our food composting system, Bokashi which enables all of our food to be put back into the gardens with no food waste going to landfill. This will be a topic on its own in the next Blog. https://www.zingbokashi.co.nz/