About Us

In 2012, when the Timber Trail was still being planned, a group of King Country locals decided that a lodge at Piropiro, the halfway point on the Timber Trail, would be a good idea.

It’s taken five years of dreaming, researching, planning, negotiating, designing and organising a team, and funds, to make the project a reality.

The project team includes that core group of locals, and other New Zealanders from further afield. Between us there’s a wide range of experience and expertise in tourism, hospitality and business, and a common interest in doing fun, adventurous stuff.

We’re determined this is going to be a special place. One that takes the Timber Trail from good to great amongst New Zealand’s best cycleways. We want our guests to enjoy all the things that we love about this special part of New Zealand, to take pleasure in our hospitality, and to leave with great memories.

The Managers & Staff

The lodge is managed day-to-day by our resident managers who have extensive hospitality and management backgrounds. They understand what makes outdoor adventures special, and are committed to providing great experiences to lodge visitors.

Hadden and Kate are from Wellington, but most recently spent time in Kangaroo Valley, NSW, managing a large bush property and wedding venue. They love the outdoors, from fishing and diving to running and tramping. They both have extensive backgrounds in hospitality, tourism and events and relish the opportunity to get to know this special part of New Zealand.

Assisting the managers are a diverse bunch of staff who help make your time with us extra special. They are a mix of locals and outsiders who’ve been drawn to Pureora Forest for its beauty, the adventure and the pleasure of being involved in a top notch operation.

The Team Behind The Team

The team that set up and oversees the lodge operation includes four directors:


Guy Whittaker, a keen outdoorsman

Guy Whitaker
Guy is a well-known Te Kuiti businessman, and Deputy Mayor of the Waitomo District who is committed to developing the local economy and communities of the King Country. He’s also a keen outdoorsman.

Dave Bamford, an experienced tourism consultant

Dave Bamford
Dave is a respected nature and adventure tourism consultant, with a distinguished career advising and assisting New Zealand and overseas tourism businesses. He understands the significance of cycling tourism for New Zealand, and brings wide ranging experience and wisdom to the business.

Jeremy Ward

Jeremy Ward
Jeremy is a Wellington based businessman who amongst other accomplishments set up East by West Ferries on Wellington Harbour and is a member and past President of the New Zealand Maritime Transport Association. He is a member of the Government’s Small Business Development Group. Like all of us he’s also a keen mountain biker, and is regularly out on the trails around Wellington.

Bruce Maunsell

Bruce Maunsell
Bruce has a broad business background, chiefly in tourism and hospitality. He has set up and operated award winning restaurants and cafes, and an adventure tourism business; Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company which won a New Zealand Tourism Award.

Why Come To Us?

  • Add something special to your Timber Trail adventure
  • The only accommodation on the trail
  • Set up for cyclists and people who love the wilderness
  • Great service and real comfort
  • You can leave all your arrangements to us; we can save you the hassle of figuring out logistics, organising food and gear, and making transport and other bookings.