The Green Project

The Cottages are set in one of New Zealand’s most iconic locations - on stunning Lake Hayes. When we originally bought the property, the foreshore was overgrown with invasive crack willow which was impacting the health of the lake. 

We have worked in close consultation and under agreement with The Department of Conservation over the last five years, and have fully funded the removal of vast areas of invasive crack willow along the edge of Lake Hayes.

The willow removal has recreated the original wetland and provided the raupo and other native plants the space to grow back along the water's edge.



In addition, we have also personally planted over 3,000 native plants to re-establish the native wetlands including carex, toi toi, flax, cabbage trees and tussocks.

It's such a pleasure to see the native birdlife return - Australasian crested grebes are nesting and successfully breeding; herons and kotare (kingfishers) are regularly spotted and even the extremely rare and shy marsh crake and royal spoonbill have been spotted for the first time in many years.

This area remains a work in progress and will continue to improve over time as we ensure that the crack willow does not return, and as we continue to plant more natives.

Our goal is to create a very special ecological wetland zone that all guests at The Cottages and users of the Lake Hayes trail can enjoy.