Your Hosts: Susanna & Glen
We live just next door with our young family – Harrison, born January 2018 and Holly, born March 2021 – so please do feel free to pop over and ask us any questions that you may have during your stay. We also have two wonderful dogs – Cooper (a Border Collie) and Yuki (an old German Wire-haired Pointer). Our neighbours’ lovely dog, Copper (a Springer Spaniel x Border Collie) also thinks that she’s part of our pack! Our dogs will be kept within in a fenced yard during your stay, unless you request otherwise. The dogs are never permitted within the Eco-Retreat, so allergies shouldn’t be of concern.
We’re passionate about Fiordland, and love to get out and explore it whenever we get the chance. Having a young family means that we are enjoying a slightly slower pace of life these days, but we’re looking forward to being able to get out and do more hiking, mountain biking and skiing / snowboarding as a family.
Our Passion: the Environment & Sustainable Living
We both have a passion for the environment, and try to leave as little a footprint as possible. We designed Fiordland Eco-Retreat ourselves, using sustainability knowledge that we’ve gained over the years through work and study.
I (Susanna) came to New Zealand from the UK in 2010, with a Masters degree in Sustainability & Environmental Consultancy from University of Leeds. While in the UK I worked for a ‘sustainable buildings’ company where, among other things, I studied to be a ‘Code for Sustainable Homes’ assessor (similar to Homestar in NZ). Since being in New Zealand, I have also studied towards a certificate in ‘Ecological Building and Design’, which focused on creating homes that are not just sustainable, but are also healthy for their occupants to live in.
The Eco-Retreat welcomed its first guests in November 2018.
I (Susanna) grew up in England, and first visited Te Anau during a back-packing trip in 2010. I instantly fell in love with it and deemed to be ‘the most beautiful part of the most beautiful country in the world’.
I was fortunate enough to be able to move to Te Anau in 2012, once I’d gained my NZ residency, and since then I’ve held many tourism-focussed positions, including a season sharing my knowledge of Fiordland with visitors at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, and two years managing Fiordland Cinema (its movie, ‘Ata Whenua’ is a definite ‘must see’!). I’ve also spent many years in voluntary community committees, organising internationally-renowned events such as as the ‘Kepler Challenge’, and the ‘Te Anau Tennis Invitational’. I’m now extremely grateful to be able to spend every waking moment with our young children, and to help guests to enjoy our little piece of paradise.
Glen is an Ecologist and runs the takahē programme here in Te Anau. He has a Masters degree in Zoology from University of Otago, and is extremely passionate about NZ flora and fauna.