Westhaven Retreat is an enticing luxury lodge perched out on the north-west corner of Golden Bay in the South Island, in a wild, remote spot just waiting to be explored.
The area is of great ecological significance, with the largely unspoilt Whanganui Inlet laid out far below the lodge. This spacious waterway is a valuable nursery ground for local fish species and the southern arm of the inlet is managed as a marine reserve to protect the best of the best. Farewell Spit, also of great ecological significance, is a short drive away, and the vastness of the Kahurangi National Park is a quick helicopter ride away.
High on a ridge overlooking all this beauty Westhaven Retreat sits snugly, protected from the worst of the wild west coast weather. The building is designed around three large octagonal spaces joined by double-storey structures. Accommodation is in luxury rooms and suites, all with beautiful views across the landscape.
Local fishing is in a mix of sheltered estuarine waterways and coastal and open sea. And you’ll need all those options as the coast is a wild ocean shore where the weather can often make it a bit wild for fishing. But there are plenty of options so if the sea is up on one coast Mark, the charter skipper, can take you across to the other side of the peninsula where the weather will often be quite different.
Fishing includes trolling, saltwater fly-fishing, bottom fishing and deep-sea options. Available species include snapper, hapuka (grouper), cod, trumpeter, kahawai, crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone) and terakihi. In season there are also albacore and giant Northern Pacific bluefin tuna. It’s an exciting collection.
If you have the time there are a number of places to launch from including Westhaven Inlet, which leads to the open Tasman Sea, Golden Bay and greater Tasman Bay, and the western reaches of Cook Strait. All are well known fishing areas. And in the process you’ll get to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery that makes this area so attractive.
The lodge has a large indoor heated pool, hydro-therapy spa pool and infra-red sauna for days when the weather is not cooperating, and there are multiple dining options to suit – indoors, outdoors, shared or private. The menu changes daily to match available local foods and the cuisine has a definite European influence.
Westhaven Retreat is a destination in itself, taking you to a small corner of the world that is not easily reached. It’s a delicious escape from the rush of the city and you’ll get some great fishing at the same time.
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(C) by Sue Farley