Husband and wife Phil and Lily Berge and their daughter Grace Berge have just bought the Waipoua Lodge. Phil and Lily have spent years dairy farming in the South Waikato, near Whakamaru and Grace has studied hospitality and tourism, with five years experience working in the industry already under her belt.
“We have been before to visit the kauri trees, but have not spent much time up here before now,” said Phil.
“We were ready to make a change and sell the dairy farm, and have always wanted to own a bed and breakfast or lodge of some description.
“When we saw Waipoua Lodge for sale, we came up to have a look and loved the place, so decided to take it on. We are loving it so far, especially the Waipoua Forest and Kai Iwi Lakes.
Dargaville is a great little town as well.
“It’s the kind of lifestyle we wanted after farming. We didn’t want to live in town but also wanted to keep busy and have freedom to spend time away.
We love speaking and interacting with people and we wanted to be able to give guests a relaxed experience.”
All three enjoying gardening, fishing, spending time with friends and family and watching rugby, and are keen to entice more visitors to make the trip over to experience the west coast, from the Bay of Islands.
“In the future, around 2019, we are looking at hosting weddings for a maximum of 60 people. We also welcome special lunches and dinners for different occasions.
“The west coast of Northland has many undiscovered gems and is a great place to visit. It’s rugged and beautiful all at the same time.”