Owen River Lodge wins at the Qualmark Awards

August 04, 2021

By Felix Borenstein

We’ve made history!

Following last week’s win at the 2021 Qualmark Awards, Owen River Lodge is now the most-awarded fishing lodge in New Zealand.

Qualmark certification is no pushover. The requirements, particularly for the Luxury Lodge and Gold Sustainable Tourism accreditations we hold, are stringent. And the competition for the Awards is brutal. The standard’s extremely high and we were up against the best of the best.

It’s all about our people

This year’s Qualmark 100% Pure Experience Awards were decided on how well we looked after our guests, our team and our community in 2020, the year that decimated New Zealand’s tourism industry.

Every business decision I made in that year was based on keeping our staff employed—because I’m well aware that without the people who choose to work with me, all I really have is a fancy building and some rooms. The people make the difference.

So despite losing 95% of our market overnight when the country’s borders closed, Owen River Lodge opened for the 2020–21 season. We worked our butts off to increase the Lodge’s profile in the domestic market; an initiative so successful that many of our Kiwi guests have re-booked to stay and fish with us for the coming season.

We still took a financial hit but our team kept their jobs. And they helped Owen River Lodge win yet another major award. I am so very proud of them. “Owen River Lodge got through 2020 by doing what people in rural communities have always done—sticking together, listening, offering support, showing aroha (compassion/empathy). Owen River Lodge was exemplary in putting whānau (family) well-being first in all business decisions.” —Judges’ comments, 2021 Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards

Looking ahead

If you want to experience the sort of accommodation, cuisine and angling adventure that consistently wins New Zealand’s top tourism accolades, book now for the 2021–22 season. Be quick, though to secure your preferred dates and fishing guide.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Felix Borenstein

Owner & General Manager

Back to list

Mar 30 2022

After a two year holiday hiatus, escaping to Owen River Lodge was simply brilliant! Felix, Kylie, Ryan and Jo looked after us so well and treated us like friends rather than guests.… Read more

Wayne & Cheryl: Cambridge, New Zealand : TripAdvisor

Feb 15 2021

My husband was looking for a place to go to stay for a few days that provided him with a great place to fish but would suit myself (who doesn’t fish). He spotted Owen River… Read more

Helen & Brian New Zealand : TripAdvisor

Awards & acknowledgements

Owen River Lodge NZ: “Fly fishing at its very best”

Ph: +64 3 523 9075 Address: Owen Valley East Road, Murchison, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Email: fish@elevenangling.com