The Environment and Ecosystems of Birds Ferry Lodge

Eco-friendly accommodation on the West Coast of New Zealand



A passion for the environment

Birds Ferry Lodge offers sustainable, eco-friendly Bed and Breakfast accommodation on the West Coast of New Zealand.

We purchased the land on Birds Ferry Road in 2003 with the dream to create a healthy, environmentally friendly luxury B&B business and to enhance the landscape for wildlife.

We harvest all of our own water for use in the lodge and gardens. An abundant supply which has not failed yet! The latest environmentally friendly septic chamber tank was installed with no residue being released in the soil.

Solar Hot Water was installed in 2009. We purchase our electricity form Meridien – New Zealand’s only carbon neutral electricity supplier.

Andre is a volunteer with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and works one full day every fortnight.

Wildlife, flora and fauna

Since 2003 many trees and native plants have been planted on the property. Plants were chosen for their food value, habitat for insects and birds, and their landscape value. Part of the property contains rainforest with mature native trees.

These trees are home to bellbirds, tuis, wood pigeon and many small birds. At various times of year, different native plants flower & the raucous calls of the Tuis and Bellbirds as they battle over the nectar and fruit is a joy. We actively undertake pest control of possums, stoats, rats, mice and wild cats to protect birdlife from predation.

Silvereye birds gather in feeding flocks and fossick about in the gardens noisily – excellent insect pest controllers! The rare Kiwi can be heard here at night.

There are seven large ponds on the property, planted with native grasses and flaxes, which is a habitat to numerous birds and insects. The ponds are alive with insects, frogs and are a welcome resting place to Swallows, Herons, Ducks, Plovers and numerous small birds. We are rearing native Parakeets (endangered native NZ parrot). The young birds can then be released by DOC into the wild in safe parts of New Zealand.


Many “treasures” collected on farms, on beaches and in second hand stores were integrated into our property design. A cast iron bath, being discarded in Westport, was refurbished and installed in the garden at Ferry Mans Cottage with hot piped water! A number of very old disused copper hot water cylinders have been utilised as planter pots for ornamental plants around the building.

Andre is a keen fossicer of driftwood from the West Coast Beaches and is known for the quirky garden art he creates with it! The telephone and power poles that support the verandahs were sourced locally.

Produce and Food Miles. Or meters.

The hens supply eggs year round. Our new orchard of pip and stone fruits is intersown with carefully selected flowers like borage, clover and phacellia to attract beneficial insects and fix nitrogen in the soil. Trees are fed liquid worm manure made on the property.

The huge vegetable garden is set out in 4 large tunnel houses 400square meters, plus an extensive out door area. No sprays are used, companion planting is undertaken. In the tunnel houses we enjoy a 12 month growing season for many things – We have not bought a lettuce in 7 years!!

Milk comes from our neighbours, and locally sourced whitebait, turbot, crayfish, goats cheese, salmon fill our table. Taste cheese and passionfruit from Karamea, lemons from Carters Beach, Rununga Bacon and our own honey from hives located on the property. Think food meters in minutes not miles!

Dealing with waste

All household organic waste goes to the large compost bins, wormery or to our livestock – Ducks, guineafowl, NZ Parakeet, pheasants and hens.

Recycled inorganic waste is taken to the local transfer station – plastic, metal, glass, newspaper,batteries etc.

Animal manure, our own compost, green crops and pea straw are used for a healthy soil. We collect about 80Kg of used coffee grounds from Westport weekly which we use as a soil conditioner. The alternative would be for this to go to landfill in Nelson three hours away! We grow almost all of the vegetables required in the kitchen.

Come and see for yourself

We love living in here, listening to the constant bird song, watching the numerous insect life flourish and living with the land with as little detrimental effect as possible. We hope you will choose to visit our luxury eco lodge to appreciate our vision.

Explore our cuisine, the Lodge and Cottage; or just go ahead and book now.