To offer their guests a high-class experience, the former high-flying European corporate couple Reinhard and Petra have created a luxury accommodation complex within a nature paradise in New Zealand and have infused it with a German Black Forest homely and cosy ambiance to give Bushland Park Lodge and Retreat a specific life and soul – the so-called German “Gemuetlichkeit”.
Reinhard, trained by a Michelin Star chef, loves to prepare gourmet meals for guests using Petra's fresh organic produce grown in the garden-park. They are both also glass fusion artists and have an on-site art studio for creating their own unique glass tableware.
The hand written welcoming blackboard and their painstaking love for detail in everything they do show a caring personality, which finds its foundation in the story of their early shared life and development.
After 25 years of stressful work in managing retail businesses in Germany with over 650 staff, Reinhard and Petra Nickel had an epiphany and decided to change their lives.
In 1994, Reinhard travelled to New Zealand on a sabbatical and spent six months searching for a new future and life to share with Petra and their nine year old daughter Jennifer.
In January 1995, they started a Bed & Breakfast business in the Wentworth Valley and in 1998, 1999 and 2000 they reached the finals of the New Zealand Tourism Awards.
Following this success, they developed Bushland Park into an NZ-Qualmark 5 star rated Boutique Lodge & Retreat. Achieving this prestigious award meant that their ambitious lifetime goal of creating a luxury Lodge and Retreat from five acres of virtually nothing had finally been realized.
Now settled permanently in their new country, they became 100% Kiwis when they applied for New Zealand Citizenship in 2007.
In 2011, Bushland Park Lodge & Retreat was invited to join the "New Zealand Lodge Association", representing the Coromandel Peninsula.
In 2013, Bushland Park Lodge was the 16th property to be assessed under the New Zealand-Qualmark category of ‘New Zealand Luxury Lodge’.
Today, Reinhard and Petra are living happily ever after entertaining an eclectic mix of guests from New Zealand and around the world.