YOUR HOSTS, Dave and Barb Milina

Dave and Barb both grew up in rural New Zealand.   They have designed and created the landscape and gardens at Warblers Retreat and are passionate about protecting the natural environment that surrounds their property. They grow as much organic food as possible and recycle as much waste as they can into compost.

They love to share their creations, their knowledge and their hospitality with their guests.  They enjoy fishing on the Auckland Harbour - when they get the opportunity - and spending time with their family, friends and guests.

Background to Warblers Retreat

The main residence was built in 2000 by a French couple who incorporated a European architectural style that was at the time, very futuristic.  The residence was only just completed when Dave and his former partner purchased the property in 2001.  At that stage it was a residence on its own in a clearing on five acres of bush.

Dave being a stonemason, landscaper and craftsman, set about to create the foundation and structure in which to build an extensive garden and outdoor living areas.  He set to work tirelessly building stone walls, creating garden areas and designing and building the in ground swimming pool and outdoor fireplace.

In 2012, Dave teamed up with Barb, and after making some improvements to the property they decided to establish a landscaping business called Sustainable Landscapes.  They rented the property out and lived and worked out of a caravan for a year.  The plan was to travel around New Zealand landscaping, however they never got out of Auckland as they had so much work to do, plus there was still a hankering to further develop the property.

Dave and Barb moved back to Warblers Retreat and set about re shaping and extensively adding to the landscaping and upgrading and decorating the buildings on the property.    You will find fruit trees, vegetable gardens, extensive native plantings, and a range of formal and informal plantings incorporating many sub-tropical plants as you wander around the property.  The stone walls have been added to and pathways and gardens have been expanded.  It is a labour of love Dave and Barb both share.

Sustainability and a love of the natural environment is important to both Dave and Barb.  Barb had previously worked with Council to establish Sustainable Paremoremo, a community group which has won three major Auckland Council Sustainability Awards.

Dave and Barb both love the prolific bird life on the property and the peacefulness of the place.  When looking to marry, they decided that Warblers Retreat was “as nice a place as anywhere to get married.”  They tied the knot by the waterfall in a special celebration that also had the waterfall blessed.

We look forward to sharing the tranquility and beauty of Warblers Retreat with you and at the same time, offering you some very genuine Kiwi hospitality.

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Red Tussock Motel
10 Lakefront Drive
Te Anau, New Zealand

Reservations: 0800 473 388
Mobile: +64 27 324 9910
Ph: +64 3 249 9110
Fax: +64 3 249 9112

© Red Tussock Motel 2019