Manutuke Eco Retreat – Gisborne, New Zealand
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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.

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 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.

Images courtesy of Dan Kerins Photography

Project Details
Completion date:
Pollen Workshop
Bain Construction
Vulcan Cladding (WB10 Profile) in Protector - Pearl
Sand Decking in Protector - Pearl
Gisborne, New Zealand
Finalist in 2020 Best Design Awards - Hospitality Category


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Timber: Vulcan Cladding

Type: Rusticated 90x20MM

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Oil - Litres (second coat to front face installed):


Oil - Litres (one coat all sides + two coats face):


Note: The figures given here include 10% wastage and are approximate only. Final order quantities are the buyer’s responsibility and should be checked and verified prior to order placement. Abodo will not accept liability for over or under-ordered items. Thank you!


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