Cross Hill high-country lodge and domes open in Southern Alps

It’s glamping but not as you know it.

Cross Hill Domes & Lodge. Image: b.remarkable media
Cross Hill Lodge and Domes is a new, year-round, high country destination in the Southern Alps, and an accommodation and hospitality first for New Zealand.

Close to nature, off-the-beaten track, and designed for luxury level camping, Cross Hill is an exclusive collection of cosy high tech geo domes alongside a lodge building providing superb hospitality. Opened in May 2021, the encampment is nestled into a secluded lakeside setting in the foothills of a vast high-country farm, on the edge of Lake Hawea and close to Wanaka. 

Summer, winter, all year round, Cross Hill Lodge guests snuggle into country life cocooned in a private sleeping pod that comes with brilliant sunrises and night skies. The dome provides all the home comforts, along with a few more, including insulation to withstand extreme temperatures, heating for alpine winter camping and cooling for summer heat. 

Engineered and fitted out to a high standard, the six geo domes are the first permanent structures of their kind in New Zealand. Each 40sqm pod sits on its own platform and opens out onto a private, 30sqm timber deck overlooking the lake. 

With floor to ceiling windows, the spacious dome has a king bed, separate bathroom and kitchenette. Facilities include a gas fire, climate control heating and cooling, premium amenities and plush locally sourced furnishings such as sheepskins and wool blankets especially woven for the Cross Hill. 

Adjacent, Cross Hill Lodge provides a gathering place and hospitality where guests can enjoy breakfast and dinner, a massage or quiet time in The Whiskey Room. Menus feature local South Island beef, lamb and venison, served with local and international wines. 

Some guests may not want to leave this tranquil oasis, but others will find it’s also a great base to discover the stunning alpine region. On the doorstep, there are mountains, rivers and forest trails to explore, plus easy access to Wanaka ski fields and outdoor adventures, and the Central Otago wine region. To the west, the next stop through the Haast Pass is the West Coast glaciers. 

Cross Hill hosts can arrange anything from private helicopter crayfishing excursions to the West Coast to farm tours or a local e-bike tour. 

Along with a glamping hideaway known as The Camp, the lodge and domes are part of 6,000ha Glen Dene and Mt Isthmus Station. The Burdon family, who have been farming this land for almost 100 years, also run a hunting and fishing business which uses the domes over the hunting season (February – mid-June). 

Co-owner Sarah Burdon has worked alongside the architects and landscapers to ensure The Camp, and more recently, Cross Hill Lodge and Domes, reflects the ethos of a sustainable and regenerative tourism operation.