27 Apr 18: Timber Trail Lodge Quality Recognised

Timber Trail Lodge, which opened just one year ago, has been awarded a Qualmark Silver Sustainable Tourism Business accreditation, with a 5 Star grading for its accommodation offering, in its initial assessment.

Qualmark Business Advisor Tori Anderson, who carried out the assessment commented “Thank you all SO much for the wonderful experience while at Timber Trail Lodge for the Qualmark evaluation – you have raised the bar for an “experience” offered by an accommodation provider. Your team is really deserving of the 5 Star grading and Silver Sustainable Tourism Business award. Sincere congratulations to all of you.”

Timber Trail Lodge, which is owned by a consortium of 27 King Country locals, and other kiwis, has a strong focus on sustainability. Board Chair Guy Whitaker says “The Qualmark assessment means a lot to our young business. We’ve put so much effort into planning and setting up our operation with the aim of being a special place, located in a special place, and a great example of sustainable tourism. This is an endorsement and a real boost for us.”

The lodge, which is located in the centre of Pureora Forest Park, in the central North Island, is completely off-grid, and aims to demonstrate environmental sustainability in practice. It caters for cyclists and hikers on the Timber Trail, and is also becoming a popular venue for business retreats and special events.

Qualmark is Tourism New Zealand’s quality assurance program. It assesses tourism businesses in terms of economic, environmental, people and health & safety performance.

The 84km long Timber Trail runs from Pureora village through Pureora Forest Park to Ongarue. It is part of Te Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycleway, and is firmly establishing itself as the premier wilderness bike ride in the North Island, and possibly in New Zealand. The lodge is ideally located, at the halfway point of the trail, within 3 hours drive for over half of New Zealand’s population. Reviews from both New Zealanders and international visitors are extremely positive. Trip Advisor reviews average 5/5.

The Trail is relatively easy to ride, at grade 2-3, meaning most reasonably fit, and well prepared, people who can ride a bike will enjoy it. Since opening in 2013 numbers have increased steadily, with over 8000 expected to have ridden it in the 12 months to June 2018.

Contacts: Guy Whitaker (Chairman) 021 151 5575 Bruce Maunsell (Director) 0274 887 663 Website: www.timbertraillodge.co.nz Photos attached