secluded and romantic privacy
Warblers Retreat is nestled on five acres of bush on the fringe of Albany City, Auckland. Offering complete privacy, this beautiful Retreat will give you the chance to escape, relax and rejuvenate while you become in tune with nature throughout your stay.
The property is a true sanctuary offering peace and quiet, along with plentiful birdsong in a location very close to the hustle and bustle of busy city living. To be surrounded by beautiful New Zealand bush in a totally secluded place where you can listen to water falling is soothing to the soul.
For our overseas guests, it’s the perfect place to stop over on your trip to scenic Northland, or to rest and relax before your return flight home. If you are on a short New Zealand tour, you can have a great Kiwi experience by spending a few days in Auckland, there’s so much to see and do.
It’s a great escape for Auckland residents wishing to get away somewhere quiet. Here you can truly relax without having to travel long distances… a taste of ‘the Waitakere Ranges on the Shore.’
Warblers Retreat is only 45km from Auckland airport and 25km from Auckland CBD.
Background & your hosts
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.
Sustainability & eco-accommodation
To us sustainability means to do what we can to protect the natural environment we live in, to grow as much of our own food as we can, and to recycle as many of our used products as we can
- Dave & Barb Milina
We use biodegradable eco-friendly cleaning materials. There’s a range of indoor pot plants to ensure healthy indoor air quality.
We source our soaps, shampoo, conditioner and bath oils from New Zealand Forest & Bird. Every purchase of these products carries a donation back to the NZ Forest & Bird Society.
It is our philosophy to try our best to do our bit for the environment by recycling of as much packaging, cardboard, paper, tin, cans plastic and glass as possible. We provide bins for guests to use.
Any food scraps are recycled by being fed to the worms and hens who in turn provide amazing compost.
Rainwater is collected for use within the property and where possible, recycled waste water is used for garden irrigation.
As we rely on rainwater, we can reduce usage by minimising the washing of linen, flushing toilets only when necessary and not leaving taps running.
We use bio-degradable washing powder and dish washing products.
We encourage guests to re-use towels to reduce the impact of washing materials and water on the environment.
Using solar lights in the garden and switching off lights and appliances when we are out.
Installing low energy LED light bulbs wherever possible and encouraging energy efficient use of resources.
We regularly upgrade appliances to more energy-efficient models.
Surrounded by bush, at Warblers Retreat we cannot help but be aware of the nature around us. It’s part of being on this property. With it comes a sense of responsibility to respect the natural world around us.