From Humble Beginnings.
Visitors have travelled to stay in Glenorchy, at the head of the lake, since the early 1800s in awe of the magnificent and revered glacially mountain scenery.
The original properties housed the historic Glenorchy campground where for many years Kiwis came to camp and access the greater outdoors and trout-rich waters of the Dart, Routeburn, Rees and Greenstone rivers nearby.
American philanthropists Debbi and Paul Brainerd had an innovative and progressive vision for the property when they first visited in 2014, subsequently designing and creating Camp Glenorchy based on regenerative design principles.
It’s the first-ever accommodation facility designed and certified according to the Living Building Challenge – the most rigorous sustainability standard globally - created in collaboration with the local community, national and international experts including many artists, craftspeople, and energy management specialists.
Our state-of-the-art buildings, including the luxury lodge, dining room, living areas and large, artist-crafted meeting and entertainment room alongside the individual chalets, have evolved into The Headwaters Eco Lodge and Chalets. They stand as an international showcase of unsurpassed regenerative design and beautifully comfortable accommodations that create restorative experiences for our guests.
With intrinsic links to the local community, the founders of The Headwaters have set up the Glenorchy Community Trust, administered entirely by local trustees, to benefit from company profits. The Trusts mission is to give back and increase the vibrancy and resilience of the town and its people.
“Our vision was to create a thriving regenerative business model that is environmentally and financially sustainable, and that gives back to the local community and larger world.”
Debbie Brainerd, Founder
Local Community & Sustainability
Staying at The Headwaters Eco Lodge means you’ll make a real difference to the planet and to our local Glenorchy community. The Headwaters Lodge and private chalets have been built to one of the highest standards of sustainability in the world known as the Living Building Challenge and was recently acknowledged receiving the world’s first ILFI Certification of Sustainability for Visitor Accommodations. We are certified Net Positive for Energy producing more energy through solar and well-designed buildings than The Headwaters operations require.
Company profits from The Headwaters business go to the Glenorchy Community Trust administered entirely by local trustees to benefit the local community – discover more here.
Love the folks at Camp Glenorchy. Always welcomed with a smile! The retreat is fantastic and a wonder but its people is where it is really special! It is a great place to slow down and soak in the beauty of the buildings and its surrounds. Fresh cookies in the rooms can't be beat!
Nicole, New Zealand