Our Tiaki promise

Our Tiaki promise -To care for the People & The Place

KAUPAPA – A set of values, principles and a plan which people have agreed on as a foundation for their actions

KAITIAKITANGA – The relationship between everything and everybody in the natural world – there is no distinction between people & their environment

Aotearoa is a special place, the people who live and travel on her land have a duty of care to protect our environment, nurture & care for our people, respect our culture and our land.

We ask that you help us with our Tiaki Promise.



We believe in protecting the beautiful environment at Jackson’s and want to ensure that future generations can visit and enjoy an improved environment to what you are seeing and enjoying today.

We have developed our environmental plan to help protect a piece of New Zealand’s unique environment, and we welcome your support in this initiative during your visit.

Many of our efforts you will not see but we hope there are some you will notice.

How can YOU Help Us?

We invite our guests to help protect the New Zealand environment when you stay at Jackson’s Retreat Alpine Holiday Park

  • Please use rubbish bins & ashtrays provided
  • Please place your rubbish in the BIG bin in the main Parking Area, please refer to your camp map.  Using this bin rather than the ones in the Kitchen reduces use of extra plastic bags – small initative but very rewarding for the environment. Your waste is then sorted in Greymouth for Re-cycling.

Did you know that our biggest waste is single use plastic water bottles!

  • When walking the Ngarimu Track, please leave only your footprints and you’ll leave with many beautiful Rainforest memories
  • Please ask at the office for Native seeds to spread throughout the Ngarimu Rainforest Walking Track, this helps rejuvenate the lower forest floor which in turn feeds native birds, insects and wildlife, – striving for continued Native plantings is reducing our carbon emissions.
  • We are constantly seeking ways to improve our efforts, and welcome your feedback and/or suggestions. Suggestion box for this is on the bookshelf at the far end of the guest lounge.

Prior to 2005 this property was part of a large farming block used for fattening Cattle.

Currently over 8,500 native plants have been planted and we are continually adding to this initiative.

Jacksons Retreat has been created with integrity and respect for the land and Her natural resources. With the environmental initiatives and maintenance programmes we have in place this Park will always be improving for future generations, we hope to see you on your next NZ visit.

Our buildings are purpose-built using “for life” materials, recycled woods and sustainable materials, impacting less on the environment.

Our Park signage are re-cycled Railway Sleepers, Art & Garden Furniture are re-cycled farming equipment made locally and where possible we believe everything has a second life.

The Park has a unique fresh water supply system, hundred of metres up the mountain range, water is piped down, filtered and stored for distribution throughout the park.

Water from every tap in the park is potable and tastes great, this system has Health Department approval….ENJOY!!

  • Fresh drinking water, all tap water to the Park is the best Alpine drinking water you could get for free, please refill your bottles. Why buy more when you can get it for free and help to save the environment WIN WIN! Taps are on all powered sites, various camp sites and obviously in the kitchen and around the outside of the amenities building. Re-fill your small bottles, large bottles, bulk containers, motorhomes – it’s all free and the BEST!

We have built our own specially designed sewerage system using the latest technology, gravel, and planting native grasses on the site, ensuring that there  is  no  run-off from  our  property to  streams that feed the  Mighty Taramakau River running to the Tasman Sea.


We trap for both Possum, Stoats and Rats, reducing the number of predators in the area, helping to give our native flora and fauna a better chance of survival.

Our count in the last 24 months Dec 2019, we have trapped 22 Possum, 13 Stoats, 68 Rats, 6 ferral Cats and many field mice.

By loballing our Local Minister of Parliament,Tourism Industry Association and Holiday Parks Association, we were able to ensure that now and in the future there will be no 1080 poison drops in our direct area.


Jackson’s  Retreat  and   surrounding  native bush areas are now 1080 Poison Free.

Our Current & Future Environmental Practices

Below is a summary of some of the environmental practices that we at Jacksons Retreat continue to implement:

  • Using recycled timber in our office and the bathroom amenity blocks
  • Kitchen benches made with untreated timber from sustainable resources
  • Day-night sensor lighting throughout the entire park
  • Energy-efficient lightbulbs throughout the entire park
  • Solar-powered lights around unpowered areas of the park
  • Heat transfer pump from lounge log fire into bathrooms
  • Low-flush toilet options
  • Shower systems that use less water & are energy efficent with LPG
  • Toilet paper and hand towels made from recycled materials
  • Growing organic vegetables and buying organic where possible
  • Buying environmentally friendly biodegradable cleaning products or creating our own
  • Re-cycling office paper waste
  • Composting food and bathroom handtowel paper waste
  • Recycling all waste where possible within the Park’s grounds
  • Donating unwanted or unclaimed items to local charities
  • We buy our products and employ tradespeople from local sources, which supports our area and reduces the distance our goods and services travel to reach us.
  • We support our local and the wider communities.

We also pledge to apply the following environmentally responsible principles across all aspects of our business where possible:

  • Avoid polluting land, air and water
  • Avoid depleting natural, non-renewable resources
  • Avoid destroying habitats and places of historical and cultural significance


To commit to our business legal requirements, we comply with all relevant environmental legislation and with all other local council requirements.

Thank you for taking the time to read our Environmental Commitment Policy and again we Thank You for choosing Jackson’s Retreat Alpine Holiday Park and we hope that you are enjoying your stay.

Ngarimu Walking Track

Walk through the bush Tent Sites to the Rain Forest bush line and you’ll find…..

Track : Quartz Mine Site – 3 hours return trip, Take a beautiful Rain Forest bush walk to the historic Quartz Mine where quartz was crushed for its gold content. Meander your way through pristine NZ Native bush to view the abandoned workings

Track : Glow Worm Waterfall – 40 mins return trip, again a spectacular NZ Native bush walk the most photogenic waterfall, check out our Facebook page.

All this is Free and included in your camping Tariff.
Ability: Medium fitness

Glow worms

Glow Worm Dells – your next night-time adventure! We have 4 sites to check out!

Did you know – the light from a glow worm comes from an organ which is the equivalent of a human kidney!

These little glowing wonders of nature can be seen along the creek banks where it is moist and protected.

You may have heard of the Waitomo Caves or Te Anau Caves, these are two well-known sites to see Glow Worms in abundance, but our adventure is FREE and exclusive to park guests.

Along your journey there are many small dells that you will be able to see but only if your using your red light – be warned, use a white light you’ll miss out! RED light is a must for protecting the Glow Worms and for your night vision. Get your free red cellophane from the kitchen/lounge area – please re-cycle after your use for other guests.

Remember to turn off your torch – wait for your eyes to adjust and many many more lights will appear – if you don’t, you’ll miss out!  Did you know that it can take up to 20 mins for your eyes to naturally adjust for night vision, don’t use a red light that’s a bit of a wait!

Site #1 For guest willing and able to walk the Ngariumu track in the dark, approx 10min from the Red gate, at the 2nd creek walk down to the creek bed – don’t cross it – turn around looking at the bank you just walked down you’ll be spellbound with the little lights. If you are more adventurous, walking up and down the creek bed you will be amazed with how many places are lit up and some nights you don’t even need a torch.

Site #2 Here we guide you on a small walk with reflectors on the forest trees, within about 5 mins you will find several dells along the creek bank but if you’re willing, walk up stream to a spot that is a magnificent wall.

Site #3 This site is a smaller site great for little ones that don’t want to be in the bush. The sign leads you across the grass to the bush and it’s literally 3 steps down to the creek edge, here you will need to crouch down and look up & down the steam.

Site #4 By day this site has a gorgeous little waterfall made by a fallen Rimu tree probably 100’s of year old………..but by night it is a mythical spot for seeing natures little forest lights and again great for the little ones.


I wish I was a Glow-Worm, a glow worm is never glum, ’cause how could you be so glum when a light shines out ya bum!

Local flora and fauna

Birdwatching – some of NZ’s rear breeds have $ rewards – but you must have photographic evidence!

Jackson’s Retreat is lucky to share the home of an extensive range of native birds. Many of our native birds are critical for dispersing seeds and pollination of native trees.

Kereru, which was protected from hunting in 1922, also known as Wood Pigeon spread the seeds of trees with large fruit such as Miro, Puriri, Tawa and Tairare, funny to watch when they eat the fermented berries and literally fall out of the trees DRUNK!

Tui being one of our earliest protected birds in 1873 & Bellbirds both are known for not only their stunning musical calls early in the morning and at dusk, they also pollinate several native species that you will find around our Park like Flax (Harakeke), Kowhai and Fuchsia (Totukutuk) trees

Other species you will see around our Park or in the Rainforest:

  • Daily – Kereu, Weka, Falcon, Tui, Bellbird, TomTit, Silver Eye, Fantail, Song Thrush
  • Often – Shag, Paradise Duck, Kingfisher, Grey Warbler, Chaffinch
  • Occasional – Shining Cuckoo, Rock Wren, Rifleman, NZ Robin, Kaka
  • Rear – Yellow Crowned Parakeet, Kea
  • Night time Only – Morepork, Great Spotted Kiwi – listen for their shrill call

Don’t forget our well-loved chickens – Sylvester – he’s the boss of the girls (sorry if his morning call is a bit early!), Queenie, Twinkle Toes, Serena, Morticia, Princess, Eenie, Meanie, Minie & Mo, & lastly Sweet Pea…….we have their fresh free range eggs available @ The Camp Pantry.

Kiwi Spotting – why are New Zealanders called Kiwi’s? Well, here’s one story…..

New Zealand’s servicemen were by and large country & farm boys. They would have been very familiar with the kiwi bird as they were still very numerous in rural areas around the turn of the 20th century. Perhaps it appealed to their sense of humour to take on the identity of a bird where the male had a glorious far reaching call and the female just growled, where the female laid a huge egg which the male incubated. It sounded all too much like married life to the New Zealand male. Being such aggressive scrappy birds with their strong legs and sharp claws they would take on anything and anyone. The soldiers made the bird their own.

Sporting women & men today have the silver fern on their uniforms, but they all represent their country as proud Kiwi’s

NZ’s national icon is here in the bush and have been seen wandering into the Park grounds or been spotted on the way to the Glow Worm dells.

Male great spotted kiwi has a high trilling whistle call repeated between 6 and 20 times and the females call is lower and harsher. Google their call so you know what to listen for.

Remember they are nocturnal and very very shy. Waiting for complete darkness and when most campers are tucked up in bed, now is the time to see if any Kiwi have ventured out – remember your RED light and you must be very quiet, use a white light and you will miss out!

A fabulous site to check out all about The Kiwi https://www.kiwisforkiwi.org

Flora & Fauna – our Rainforest has many majestic Rimu 500+ years old

You will find many native trees on and around our Park, Rimu – Kamahi – Rata and Fuchia to name but a few.

Many of our native trees are protected like Rimu which has a truly beautiful grain for furniture making, these can grow up to 50 metres high and the majestic ones you see around and behind our park can have a life span of 800-900 years.

Kamahi “The Honey Tree” is produced on the West Coast. Kamahi is in fact a honey with very complex flavours and after tones that send honey gourmets into paroxysms of delight.

Southern Rata is also another major honey tree for the West Coast but more importantly it is also known as NZ’s own Christmas Tree as the beautiful flowers are abundant during December & February turning the Alpine forests crimson.

NZ native Fuchia is a fast growing soft wooded tree that you will see abundantly around our park, Bellbirds, & Tui love the nectar and when the flowers are spent the Kereru gobble up the berries – watch out walking around or under the trees Kereu will fly in at low altitude.  The berries also can be eaten and used for cooking of chutneys & sauces.


NZ Ponga – Silver Fern and Wheki are our main tree ferns on and around our park. Koru is a spiral shape based on the appearance of a new unfurling silver fern frond. It is an integral symbol in Māori art, Pounamu carving and tattooing, where it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. We have a beautiful range of locally crafted Pounamu available for sale @ The Camp Pantry.

During your travels on our tracks you will also have the opportunity to see various species of Fungi, these could be bright colours or weird shapes like Stink Horns, Puffballs & Earthstars, Wood-ear and the Tooth fungi. Let the children’s imagination go wild with Forest Fairies and their fanciful fungi playground.

Not only will you be serenaded by bellbirds and Tui but you will be followed by TomTits and chatty Fantails which will be flitting around snapping up the little insects that you disturb on the way.

NGARIMU WALKING TRACK – ngarimu means “The Rimu” Strong & Proud

For your safety while walking the tracks or trails on and around Jackson’s Retreat please always be aware of your surroundings, the terrain suites most abilities with a moderate fitness level, ensure you understand your own walking abilities and do not take any risks.

Parts of our tracks and trails will require you to have “route-finding skills”, we have various markers on our tracks, but they may not always be visible or continuous. We advise you not to tramp alone but if that is your plan please let someone know your intentions before you start.

Remember to prepare for your trip so that it is safe and enjoyable. Your safety is your responsibility, make well informed decisions to suit not only yourself but your whole group especially small children, ensure they are always supervised especially when around the various creeks that boarder our property and in the Rainforest.

Our forest has no snakes, spiders, leeches or nasty animals, you are completely safe to roam and enjoy. Our tracks are not suitable for cycle or pushchairs.

Waterfall 40min return trip The start of the Ngariumu walking track is the RED gate, follow the spectacular true Kiwi Bush Track to our stunning Ngariumu waterfall. Summer months wonderfully refreshing coming straight from the snow! We would love to see your photos and add them to our guest collection on Facebook, TripAdvisor or our office TV movie.

1860’s Quartz mine relics 2.5-3 hrs return trip  Carrying on the main Ngariumu track you are walking through untouched historic native rainforest.  The trail ends at the old 1860’s quartz mine abandoned working area with a few relics scattered, you can see the platform areas where their huts would have been and if you forage in the nearby stream you may uncover some more relics.

**It’s not always about the destination but the journey through the forest**

Land is considered a resource to be respected according to the principle of KAITIAKITANGA

Aquatic Life – pristine & crystal clear

Humphries creek has our friendly eels which you can feed and spot the local adult Inanga.

The annual whitebait migration was an important mahinga kai resource for Māori all around Aotearoa. Certain districts were famed for their special products, for example, in the Waikato inanga (whitebait) were especially valued. Inanga were also taken during their downstream migration to the ocean when they were rich and full of eggs. Captured fish were either dried in the sun or on rocks. Preservation in this manner meant that the fish could be kept in an edible state for months.

During fishing season you can buy White Bait from our Camp Pantry and try your hand at making your own fritters – we’ll supply you with the ingredients & recipes.

River Fishing – on the Mighty Taramakau River @ Rocky Point for Rainbow & Brown Trout, Crooked Creek on the way to Moana.

Lake Fishing – Lake Brunner is the locals best kept secret for Brown Trout or catch the Lake Brunner Safari for guaranteed fishing fun.

Remember you will need a fishing licence which is available on line https://fishandgame.org.nz/licences/

Hiking, Cycling & Trails for feet and wheels

The Bald Range – our southern range Rangi Taipo has an altitude of 1400m, widely tramped to the Kelly Range and up to Arthurs Pass.

There is a beautiful river & bush trail for both feet & wheels along the Taipo River approx 5min drive West of our Park.
Mt Alexander and The Kaimata Range – our Northern & Nor Western range, Mt Alexander has an altitude of 1958m, this is a two day hike staying over night in a DOC hut, the track starts on Lake Brunner road literally 5 mins from our Park and is a two-day hike. Ask if you would like to be dropped off & picked up.

Mt French – Hohonu Range – our Nor Eastern Range has an altitude of 1305m, the track starts from Mitchells Lake Brunner and is a 7-8-hour hike, views can be from Mt Cook to Able Tasman – stunning.

These tracks are known by the locals to be some of the best in the area as they are less frequented by the masses and are there more pristine – who wants to compete with selfie sticks!

Stargazing at the Jacksons Retreat

Star gazing – The South Island of New Zealand has the largest Dark Sky reserve 3400sq/kms than anywhere on planet Earth!

New Zealand, also known as Aotearoa and The Land of the Long White Cloud. But when the clouds clear our night sky offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in the world.

The southern night sky contains a greater range of interesting features than does the northern.
This is true for both naked eye and telescope observing. The southern sky claims the three brightest stars (Sirius, Canopus, and Alpha Centauri) and the best examples of almost every type of astronomical object. New Zealand also has a superb view of the Large & Small Magellanic Clouds – two extraordinary galaxies visible to the naked eye that are too far south for northern hemisphere viewers.

During our winter months, sheltered by our mountain ranges we are gifted with plenty of unpolluted skies.  Star Gazing South Island at Jackson’s Retreat you will be treated with extensive constellations, shooting stars and glittering dark skies, you can stare directly into the centre of the Milky Way directly overhead during winter.

To see the Southern Cross throughout the entire year one needs to be south of the Tropic of Capricorn and because of this the Southern Cross is still widely used as a navigation tool for Southern Hemisphere sailors.

Alpha Crucis or Acrux, at the foot of the cross, is the brightest star of the Southern Cross, it is the 14th brightest star in the night sky.

New Zealand’s flag also has the four main stars of the Southern Cross, this flag hasn’t always been our official flag. Although widely used since 1869, it was only formally adopted in 1902.

Māori interpretations There are different traditional interpretations of the Southern Cross in New Zealand, and it is known by at least eight different names in Māori.

Tainui Māori saw it as an anchor, named Te Punga, of a great sky canoe, while to Wairarapa Māori it was Māhutonga – an aperture in Te Ikaroa (the Milky Way) through which storm winds escaped.

Sunset at the park

Sunset @ The Park

We might not have a West Coast ocean sunset to boast of but when our surrounding mountains go through the change of light and Mt Alexandra with her snow-capped peak catching the sunset and turning pink, all are a truly magical sight for the eyes and the bird sound of night time settling is a symphony to your ears.

Now the sun is sinking
In the golden west;
Birds and bees and children
are going to rest;
And the merry streamlet,
As it runs along,
With a voice of sweetness
Sings its evening song


For your adrenaline rush Jet Boating on the Mighty Taramakau River or you can choose to play on Lake Poerua or Lake Brunner.

Contact us to find out more about outdoor adventure and activities available when you stay at Jackson’s Retreat Alpine Holiday Park.

Skiing on the Southern Alps

SKIING ON THE SOUTHERN ALPS – Jackson’s Retreat back yard!

Temple Basin Ski Field – 20 min drive East of Jackson’s Retreat https://www.templebasin.co.nz

Ungroomed ski and snowboarder’s paradise in Arthur’s Pass National Park, New Zealand.

Craigieburn Valley Ski Area – 1hr drive East of Jackson’s Retreat. Located in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, where the ups are good, and the downs are even better. Steep narrow chutes, wide open powder bowls, uncrowded runs or just a place to take it easy in the awesome vista of the Craigieburn Range. If you are an advanced or expert rider then skiing The Big One at Craigieburn is your holy grail!

Mount Cheeseman is a club snowfield in New Zealand’s South Island, near the town of Springfield, about an hour and a half from Christchurch. Situated in a south-east-facing basin, it features two T-bar lifts and one learner tow.