Manutuke Eco Retreat – Gisborne, New Zealand

Eco principles were paramount in the design of this new glamping site, which uses Abodo’s sustainably-sourced Vulcan Cladding and Sand Decking timbers.

Project details

Pollen Workshop
Bain Construction
Vulcan Cladding (WB10 Profile) in Protector - Pearl
Sand Decking in Protector - Pearl
Completion date
Gisborne, New Zealand

This beautiful wetland and lakeside eco retreat is located at Manutuke near Gisborne on New Zealand’s East Coast.

The twin-tent glamping site is built with locally sourced eco materials, and carefully designed with sustainability and eco principles in mind. It’s off-the-grid, powered only by the sun, and visually beautiful.

Interconnecting decks and boardwalks immerse guests in the wetland surrounds and connect the different elements of the site. A long jetty out to a viewing platform on the lake is the perfect place to launch the paddle boards or kayak for a relaxing paddle around the lake.

The jetty, with its circular platform extending into the lake, is a striking feature.

Both the jetty and decks use Sand eco-timber decking, a durable, straight grained timber sourced from rapidly renewable local pine forests.

When designing Manutuke Eco Retreat, owner Richie Clark and designers, Pollen Workshop, needed a sustainably sourced timber for the project.

“We used FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) sustainably-sourced timber for the project,” says Richie.

“The only wood that ticked all the boxes for us was thermally-modified pine from Abodo. Thermal modification is a new practice that dramatically increases the wood’s durability and stability and leaves it a beautiful rich brown colour which turned out to be a real design feature.

The process effectively creates a new sustainable environmentally-friendly timber which has comparable characteristics to tropical hardwoods. It’s achieved by using steam and high heat to cook the pine up to 230C for 32 hours.

This changes the chemical and physical properties of the wood. The extractives and the resins are driven out so you don’t have the bleeding associated with Kwila.

Abodo’s 30/30 principle appealed to us. It takes 30 years to grow a tree so they believe the timber should be designed to be in service for a minimum of 30 years.”

Vulcan Cladding in Protector - Pearl (WB10 profile) is used on the main tent, a first of its kind in New Zealand, the outdoor kitchen and the cylindrical building housing a sophisticated, state-of-the art eco toilet.

You can book the Manutuke Eco Retreat, and switch off from the world, here.


  • Finalist in 2020 Best Design Awards - Hospitality Category


See more about the products that have been used on this project.

Abodos Vulcan Timber Cladding thermally modified NZ pine
View product
Abodos Sand Decking timber hardwood alternative
View product
Protector Coating Abodo Wood
View product

Just checking you’re heading to the right place

Make sure you get the right information about our carefully crafted timber products by visiting your local Abodo website.