Time Line Blog

Jan 24, 2018

A wonderful Xmas present to the Bushland Park Lodge's hosts

Jennifer, their daughter presented her gift in a small parcel. Her favorite childminder-book -  with a happy note.  "Please read me this book after 8th of August...."

Aug 24, 2017

In August 2017 the 1st litter arrived on this world with 4 wonderful kittens

Those 4 Babies have been sold allover New Zealand, before they have been even born.
Families who nearly gave up on hope to have a cat as a companion are now happy for Xmas 2017 to celebrate with a new family member.

Mar 24, 2017

March 2017 Reinhard built a wintergarden for the new venture hypoallergenic "Siberian Cat Breed"

Queen Natusha & King Pasha have been imported to start the breed of hypoallergenic kittens at Bushland Park, a side hobby of the Nickel family.

Jan 1, 2016

New Years Eve 2015/16

very "gemuetliche" atmosphere for celebrating the upcoming year with a FONDUE and fire place.
International guests as well New Zealander at Bushland Park paradise

Aug 26, 2015

September 2015, host/owner Reinhard & Petra Nickel are showing their Coromandel paradise again on the exclusive exhibition LUXPERIENCE in Sydney to invited high end market Travel Agents.

Aug 21, 2015

to offer the Bushland Park Lodge & Retreat guests 100% privacy and a welcoming gate the glass-chef Reinhard created the matching 2 Lodge logos in glass, the initials and the Twin Kauri Tree logo.

Aug 21, 2015

to July 2015 a new pathway in front of the Lodge entry has been developed matching to the tiles from the house entry. Resin hardened gravel with 925 cobble stones framed.

Feb 20, 2015

20 years in New Zealand

Multiple Milestones Celebration at Bushland Park:

20 years since arrival in New Zealand
18 years of operation since Bushland Park Lodge inception
32 years of marriage & and still going strong
Supported by cray fish tails & aioli
Brie de Meaux, very mature raw milk cheese
Freshly home-baked baguette
Dom Perignon 2004
Enjoyed at the waterlily pond – rehearsal for the ‘Crayfish in the Park’ package 2015

Nov 11, 2014

Networking with an important Tour Guide and Tourism Colleague in Auckland who flew in with a Helicopter to discuss a package for a guided Coromandel Tour from Auckland to Bushland Park Lodge & Retreat and bush & beach, to Hobbiton and via Rotorua back to Auckland. This is a package for travellers with less time to experience the North Island of New Zealand.

Feb 2014

VIP Treatment

VIP Chairperson from the biggest German Travel Agency visited Bushland Park Lodge via Helicopter trip through New Zealand. Enjoying fine dining in the Lodge's private bush setting, scrumptious beach-picnic on the "well kept secret spot" OPOUTERE BEACH, walk the Wentworth Falls track and they had swim in a pool of the Wentworth River will set a good memory of this area. Chef Reinhard's cuisine and an afternoon massage in the Lodge's suite rounded up the holiday impression.

Jan 2014


... beginning of January 2014 the neighbour property burned down. Luckily nobody has been harmed and the wind was in a fortunate direction that the flying glowing amber did not ignite the in 25 meters distant bush. Bushland Park Lodge guests have been evacuated at 3 o'clock in the night to the 300 meters more distant neighbours who spoilt them with coffee, cookies & some single scotch whisky. Two and half hours later all guests could go to sleep again

Dec 31, 2013

New Years Eve 2013

New Years Eve 2013 to 14, two guest couples enjoyed the evening in the private bush dine-setting close to the Lodge's glow-worms. Lots of entertainment with a fine decorated table, a FONDUE Bourgogne and full body tasting Pinot Noir and a freshly beaten SABAYON as dessert.

Feb 26, 2013

"Over the Top" flies in guests 7 days NZ

Auckland via Coromandel to Taupo to Marlborough Sounds; Arthur's Pass & finally Queenstown. Honkong based guest inhales the beauty of the Bushland Park-Garden. February 2013

Oct 27, 2012

Dining in the private bush

close to the glow-worms in the Lodges spring water grotto, Bushland Park Lodge offers from November 2012 a truly unique feature. In the heated (gas brasier)bush, guests who like a real special dining experience, or romantic boys like to "pop the question" for a marriage proposal, .... this is it !!!
Chef Reinhard's 3 course dinner can be cooked and served at the spot, The Dessert even flambeed at your table,... for only $150 per person (up to 4 persons). Something you will not find in New Zealand twice.


New Idea for 2012 and following years

since the very beginning (1995) of Bushland Park Lodge, Reinhard & Petra were dreaming about a gourmet-dinner inside the private bush, close to the glow-worm grotto. Constructing a new access way to this grotto, using a local digger, this idea was revived!
Gourmet dining with fairy lights, candles & a special patio heater in the private bush is possible from the 2012/13 summer on. Romantic couples who like to "pop the question" for an wedding engagment, or simply like to have an extraordinairy dining surrounding and ambience will be pleasant surprised.
A 3 course menu or simply an antipasti platter will be available for those special guests.

Apr 5, 2011

NZLA, named since 2012 Luxury Lodges NZ

In March 2011 Bushland Park Lodge was invited to join the very selective “New Zealand Lodge Association” an exclusive group, since 2012 newly named, "Luxury Lodges of New Zealand" www.lodgesofnz.co.nz. Bushland Park joint in April 2011 as the 25 th. member nation wide & the only Coromandel region member, after a full day assessment by the NZLA Executive. Proudly belonging to the 27 most Unique & Luxury Lodges spanning the length & breadth of both islands was a major milestone.
Entering this level of Tourism-market Bushland Park Lodge created 2011 it's own logo with the hand-drawn Twin Kauri Tree which is centred in the park-property.

Apr 1, 2009

major refurbishment in Bushland Park's suites.

Reinhard fulfilled his MASTER WORK. He was for 12 weeks: builder, roofy, plumber, sparky and tiler and painter. He organized a friend to lay with him the new carpet, and the both older “Balcony rooms inclusive the open balcony became the new Super suite of the Lodge = Lounge, bedroom & bathroom = 3 rooms for 1 super suite.
It was Reinhard's & Petra's long awaited goal, that all suites are in the same standard & pricing and between 45 & 55 sqm space. Inbuilt fireplaces and a seperate luggage room with dressing space. Guests should never sit or sleep between their luggage anymore. High standard for the high end luxury market is guaranteed.

Feb 1, 2009

unique experience for romantics

This unique bath creates fun for the Domestic Guests like the International Guests. Most couples remember the first few years deep in love sitting together in the bath tub, and eventually they can refresh this experience in Bushland Park.

Jan 15, 2009

for the entertainment part

In 2009 the 12 year old SPA Pool was sold via www.trademe NZ, and Reinhard built a modern GARDEN BATHROOM (infrared heated area) close to the Lily pond, with a Double Slipper Claw foot bath, for all romantic couples visiting Bushland Park.

Aug 2007

Artist in glass fusing, artists for a fine lifestyle & fine food, artists for the entire life.

Year for year they have continued to improve the lodge and its grounds. Recent projects have been the redevelopment of the front entry room into a dining wine cellar, and the redevelopment of the secluded out door private hot-tub area with a double slipper bath. A new colour scheme for the outer Lodge appearance was sort and applied. They have also continued to take on new challenges. Inspired by a TV cooking programme, Reinhard bought a glass fusing kiln and a “how to do it” book, and taught themselves how to make their own unique table ware. To their surprise, their first efforts won them first and second placing at the 2007 New Zealand Glass Art Competition!
Now with a five-star Qualmark rating, Bushland Park Lodge is set to prosper for many years to come. Reinhard & Petra became New Zealand Artists. Reinhard had already been creative in his previous life (Germany) in “Silk Painting”. Now they were both looking for a new hobby with a classy material, which they could work on together.

Jun 5, 2007

becoming real KIWIS

Citizenship: In 2007 they cemented their commitment to New Zealand by becoming New Zealand citizens.
Giving up the German passport & the commitment to the country they have been born in and, NOW = shaking hands with the Mayor of the Coromandel Peninsula. Kiwi-to Kiwi.

Sep 20, 2005

Chef cooking for cooking class guests

Reinhard lived in his 20'ies for 4 years with Spanish people. Paella is a speciality he cooked hundreds of times. A fun package was created for couples who love Spain and food and Spanish music and Sangria.
Cooking class with a Spanish evening, a wonderful way to learn cooking a genuine Paella to replicate this at home for the private guests in a garden party.

Many guests book this package as a Birthday present for the loved one.


Lifestyle with class & style for guests and themselves.

Building the Nickel's Dream for atmosphere they are missing at most.

Around 8 weeks building time for Reinhard and the dining-wine-cellar became the center-point of the dwelling.

Reinhard & Petra developed their dream-property year for year with this small annual income. They have seen the world before they came to New Zealand and implemented all their experiences in this paradise. The reason for the unique personality of this grown "Luxury Lodge & Retreat".

Jan 15, 2000

an experience never to forget

The family have had many amazing experiences over the years. Reinhard especially remembers the day he joined other volunteers in an effort to rescue 71 pilot whales stranded on nearby Opoutere beach – something he would never have done back in Germany! Petra and Reinhard have also welcomed a steady stream of international celebrities to the lodge over the years. In 2007 they cemented their commitment to New Zealand by becoming New Zealand citizens.

Feb 10, 1999

VIP's in Bushland Park

Petra and Reinhard have also welcomed a steady stream of international celebrities to the lodge over the years..
The cosy atmosphere, the candlelight and fireplace atmosphere attracts those people who are looking for “Gemuetlichkeit” (means = all things match together = good food, good company, good vibes and your soul is tempted to sing a song)… this atmosphere attracts wealthy “old money” guests, as well guests from all levels with a balanced life-philosophy.
Whilst filming the first session of "Lord of the Rings" the actor "ORLANDO BLOOM" with some colleagues relaxed 3 days in Bushland Park Lodge. Over the years coming, some VIP's enjoyed the uniqueness of this Lodge & Retreat, like:
the former Attorney of Bill Clinton, some International Diplomats and some high ranking Corporates. Zoe Naylor from the TV series "Mc Leaod's Daughters" got engaged in the Lodge's glow-worm grotto in the Bush-Park.

Nov 1, 1998

New Zealand Tourism Awards

Over the next few years, Bushland Park Lodge began to make a name for itself, featuring in over 50 newspaper and magazine articles as well as on TV "time of your life". It was nominated as FINALIST three years running (1998,1999, 2000) for the "New Zealand Tourism Awards".

Feb 8, 1996

officially open February 1996

On February 8 1996 the Nickel Strausse and Bushland Park Lodge opened to the public. Within a few months a famous German “Michelin Hat Chef", named "Angel" happened to visit, and offered to train Reinhard (up until then a keen but amateur cook)(see photo)
in return for a few weeks free accommodation. The success of this bit of bartering can still be tasted nightly!
The Lodge as a B&B with the dining lounge "Nickel Strausse" started its way to the future.

Nov 11, 1995

an unusual present

Never say “No” to an unusual present the “Camp-Ground-Ranger”, living up the Valley on the DoC Campground chopped down a huge pine tree. Helping here, he offered the Nickels this tree as a gift. “do whatever you want with this tree,
...I can organize a Maori guy for you, to cut this in slabs, if you like !”
...done deal, and Reinhard & Petra decided to make their own dining-furniture out of this tree, as money was running out anyway.
A wood turner-friend helped to create those tables and table legs.

Oct 1995


There followed months of backbreaking work as the lodge and grounds were developed. Gaining Planning Permission for a hospitality business in a “rural A zone” proved something of a challenge, but the Nickels were eventually able to achieve their goal.

Building of the accommodation and kitchen began in October 1995. Reinhard did much of the work himself, assisted by Petra and Jennifer as well as friends and the occasional professional. When a huge pine tree was felled further up the valley, the wood was offered to the Nickels, who had it turned into the tables, chairs and corner benches of the Lodge.

Jan 1995

Building starts

after buying this rubble dump — no money was left — the muscles were still strong and it was time to 'spit in the hands' and the development of 'Bushland Park' started.


New Beginnings

December 1st 1994 to January 1st 1995

The whole family left Germany on December 31st 1994, arriving in New Zealand on January 1st 1995. They headed for the Wentworth Valley, and moved into a shattered farm let which cried loud for developing.

After tidying up and cleaning the property they could live in this existing house.


German Life

Mid 1994

Reinhard's career in Germany went from strength to strength. He became Regional CEO with responsibility for 20 super-stores (like Mitre10 Mega) and more than 650 employees scattered over a quarter of Germany.
Turnover from $250 million was the yearly goal & firm-expectations, combined with driving 40,000 km between his dedicated retail stores.
Petra worked as the PA for the director of a multinational pharmaceutical company.
They considered emigrating to Australia — a country they had previously visited and loved — but did not have sufficient immigration points for the Australian authorities. So in 1994 Reinhard left Germany for a fact-finding trip to New Zealand, a country they had never been to before.
Reinhard spent six months in New Zealand, travelling the length and breadth of the country in a battered 27-year-old Triumph, and learning English along the way.

Reinhard felt destiny had spoken in the Coromandel! By the time he returned to Petra and Jennifer he felt certain that he had found what they needed — a life away from the corporate rat race, where they could be their own boss, and live closer to nature.

Reinhard & Petra Nickel experienced an epiphany and decided to change their life.
to control their own life again — not being lived by the corporate system anymore, living their own personal life & drop off the European 'Yuppie life'
Concentrate on the essence of life