Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand (Middle Earth)

Found in the stunning emerald North Island of New Zealand, The Solitaire Lodge sits with panoramic views of the glassy lake and nearby Mount Tarawera and is one of the best places to stay in New Zealand.

You could come here and simply relax and gaze at all the natural splendour with a cold cocktail (very tempting) until you feel completely rejuvenated.

Or, you could get involved in a gaggle of outdoor experiences, including trout fishing, helicopter trips (there’s a heliport on the lawn), hiking, swimming, massages and a whole lot of other activities nearby, such as Waitomo glow worm caves, Wai-O-Tapo Thermal Wonderland and Hobbiton.

As we arrived, rather worn out after a days fun, we were welcomed warmly by the owners of the Solitaire Lodge and given a quick and cheerful tour.

Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
The entrance of Solitaire Lodge.
Solitaire Lodge, North Island, New Zealand
Reception.

There’s big squashy comfortable seating everywhere and giant windows enjoying the most exquisite views.

Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Main Lounge.

Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Views of the lake.
Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Outside dining.
Lake views Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Expan­sive views of Lake Tarawera and moun­tain back­drop.

Solitaire Lodge Views, New Zealand

The lodge sits on a finger of land that is surrounded on 3 sides by the lake. So all the lodges, the communal areas and the gardens have stunning views of sparkling waters.

Lakeside garden at the Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Lakeside garden.

Solitaire Lodge gardens, New Zealand

This is our Lodge view from the huge open plan living space and balcony.

Andy and Charlotte opted for a quick kayak, eager to see the lake close up.

James and I waved from the balcony, freshly showered after a jet lagged doze on the impossibly deep sofas.

View from the rooms at Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
View from the room.

Time flew by and soon we were dressed up for our evening meal.

It’s Autumn here, so it was lovely to enjoy the glow of the fireplace in the lounge.

The owner explained the painting above the mantlepiece, showing the famous Pink and White Terraces formed nearby, by thermal water in this highly thermal and volcanic area. They were considered the 8th wonder of the world. Sadly, in 1886 it was devastated by an enormous hydrothermal eruption. But then the lake was formed, so you know, swings and roundabouts.

Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

We were treated to some tasty amuse-bouch as we sipped our cocktails.

Amuse-bouche at the Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

They were super tasty. Very well done indeed and we were feeling very well looked after.

Evening meal at the Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

We were guided to our table in the dining room, chatting mainly about Hobbiton (we’d been there that morning and were still rather excited) and what our plan was tomorrow – sooo many options!!

Evening Menu at Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Evening menu.

So while munching flavoursome plant pot bread we bounced around all our favourite ideas.

Flower Pot Bread At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Our first course arrived Chickpea and Courgette Fritter, Labneh (strained Greek yogurt), Eggplant Pickle, Dates.

Starter at the Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

This was followed by a super refreshing Lime Sorbet that woke us all up out of jet lag with a sweet zingy hit.

Followed by the mains. Andy chose the New Zealand Blue Cod Fillet, Anna Potato, Cauliflower, Ratatouille, Beurre Noisette.

Mains at the Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

I enjoyed this fantastic Braised Pork Belly, Pork Fillet, Apple, Baby Carrots, Fennel, Pommes Dauphine, Calvados Jus.

Dinner At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Dessert was a gooey chocolate and raspberry affair and was greatly enjoyed by all. Belgium Chocolate Cake, Orange Mousse, Raspberry.

Dessert At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

We took a slow stroll back to our lodge for a night passed out, dreaming of Middle Earth, Kayaks and chocolate desserts.

Andy woke bright and breezy, grabbed a camera and caught the morning mist float above the dark lake water.

Morning Mist At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Early morning mist.

Morning views At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Now fully awake and ready for the day we made it to breakfast, greeted by warm smiles and smells of freshly baked bread.

Breakfast At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

We joyfully tucked into the colourful plates of fruit that sat so pretty on the table, whilst we placed our cooked breakfast order.

Fruit Platter At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Breakfast Menu Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Breakfast menu.

The bread, hot out of the oven was prepared for us and looked healthy with quinoa and seeds. Served with delicious jams and steaming coffee.

Breakfast, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

I chose the English Breakfast (with incredible local sausages). This was a great breakfast.

English Breakfast At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Full and satisfied, we were ready for an action packed morning and head for the Lodge jetty.

Andy grabs a couple of Kayaks for James and Charlotte while the motor boat is prepared for us.

Boats At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

A gentle guide on how to best board a kayak,

Kayaks At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Learning How To Kayak, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand
Learning how to get into the boat.

and off she goes with an extra hand from Dad.

Lake Activities, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Now James’s turn,

Solitaire Lodge Activities, New Zealand

he’s off in no time!

Kayaking, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

All aboard, we set off after the kids who have taken to it like a couple of ducks.

Boating, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Things To Do At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

The views on the lake are breathtaking especially when the sun peaks out to kiss the rolling hills.

Lake By Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Lake Tarawera, New Zealand

We keep near the edges as advised, and make for the pass through the thick carpet of reeds.

Solitaire Lodge Lake Activities, New Zealand

Things To Do, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Kayaking From Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

We can see the great spot the Solitaire Lodge enjoys from the water.

Solitaire Lodge From The Lake, New Zealand

Andy is having an absolute ball. He loves being on the water, ‘tho’ rarely gets the chance so is enjoying every minute of buzzing round the vastness of lake Tarawera.

Solitaire Lodge Boats, New Zealand

Letting Charlotte and James catch up for a moment,

Girl in Kayak staying at Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Man In Kayak Staying At Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Activities Available At Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

before blasting off again.

The Lake By Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

After a long while enjoying the experience we head back and tie the boat back onto the jetty.

James approaches but has another idea forming as he checks the depth of the lake. It’s so clear you can see the bottom.

The Solitaire Lodge Experience, New Zealand

Always a cool as a gin and tonic, he gets himself back on firm land.

Mooring At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Experiencing The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Then, while I’m photographing these poetic looking black swans…

Black Swans Near The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

James decides to join them!

Diving In The Lake By The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

It’s super cold so you can only stay in for a few minutes, but my James always enjoys a challenge and we all grin and clap.

Swimming In The Lake, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

A Lake Swim, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Dry, warm and with tummies rumbling, our wonderfully kind and accommodating hosts have laid our table outside for us to enjoy.

Al Fresco Lunch, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Another delicious and healthy sounding menu.

Lunch Menu, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

It’s a chance to send friends and family a few snaps,

Lunch At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

and to just feel blissfully happy to be there.

Young Lady Enjoying The View At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

We all started with a slice of this beautiful Lodge Made Bruschetta which was incredibly tasty.

Lunch, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Lodge Made Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli, Vine Ripened Baked Tomatoes, Hawkes Bay Olive Oil, Pine nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano, with perfectly thin pasta and (like every dish here) loaded with flavour.

Lunch At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Solitaire’s Caesar Salad, Crisp Cos Lettuce, Free Range Bacon and Poached Egg, Croutons, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Caesar Dressing. This was exactly what I needed, totally hitting the spot.

Healthy Lunch, Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Finishing off this fantastic lunch we enjoyed a yummy cup of coffee and some of the longest biscotti I’ve ever seen!

Coffee At The Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Sad to be leaving and thanking our hosts for all their kindness, we have to leave.

Put this place on your bucket list, add it to your ‘places to visit’ Pinterest board and somehow make it happen, you will love it. I promise!

Solitaire Lodge
Lake Tarawera
Rotorua 3076
New Zealand

As we head off for more adventures, you can not help but fall in love with this beautiful land, this Middle Earth.

Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand

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Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand. Found in the stunning emerald North Island of New Zealand, The Solitaire Lodge sits with panoramic views of the glassy lake and nearby Mount Tarawera and is one of the best places to stay in New Zealand.

Another exceptional place to stay is the Huka Lodge, New Zealand.

Things to do in New Zealand

Afternoon Tea And Volcanoes

Piha Beach

Private Tour Of Hobbiton

A Stop Of In Martinborough

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Trail

Huka Falls (video)

Wellington Waterfront

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9 Comments - Write a Comment

    1. It’s well worth saving up for because there is no where else quite like it! The Solitaire Lodge is a great place to stay, I thoroughly recommend it x

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