Meet the Bell Lodge Team

Sheree & I took over Bell Lodge in May 2006. It was a big change for both as neither of us had any previous experience looking after so many travellers. We had both worked in Customer Service type jobs previously. I in Retail and Call Centre, Sheree in a Call Centre and the Insurance Industry.

Sheree came to this from a successful career in life insurance with one of the countries leading insurance companies for 12 years. A quick succession of promotions allowed Sheree to save and follow her passion for travelling. She has visited much of the world, including Europe, Africa, Malaysia and the British Isles. Sheree enjoys sharing these experiences and hearing about where our guests hail.

rickI, aka Rick, am the jack of all trades and master of none. I have a wealth of knowledge that supports the running of the lodge including working in retail, some database building, management roles and working in Government Departments – many skills which have certainly helped with the extensive repair works needed around the lodge! My Dad, and great local tradesmen like Craig Parker Builder, Jason from Contrast Plumbing and Tomas from Check Electrical (who stayed at Bell Lodge before Sheree & I took over), have helped us get the Lodge up to the standard expected from world travellers. We are very grateful for their help and support.

Being passionate about New Zealand, I’m always keen to recommend to our guests what not to miss and why. I am working on a project that will hopefully provide our guests with the travel info they need about New Zealand before they arrive in the country. There is so much out there and so much more gets missed. I like to make sure our guests, families and backpackers alike get the best value for their dollar.

As far as travelling goes .. I was not too keen in the past, with so much to see and do in New Zealand so always said, ‘Why leave home until I’ve seen it all?’! But six years ago I travelled with Sheree to London to catch up with my brother Lance and his wife Lynn, followed by a whirlwind tour around the Mediterranean on a cruise. We even caught up with past Bell Lodge guests in London, went to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo live, and, check out a few hostels in Germany while catching up with ex-guests in Berlin and Cologne. “It has certainly changed my mind about world travel. I wish I had the courage of the young travellers today when I was younger. I’ve missed an opportunity.”

Lorraine has been a trusted and loyal member of the team at Bell Lodge for 20 years this year (2016) and has seen three owners come and go. She knows so much about everything to do with Bell Lodge, and we don’t know where we would be without her. She says ..”I’m not sure if I would like to continue after Sheree and Rick sell, the place has changed a lot since I started back in … and so have the travellers!”

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Life at Bell Lodge

“It is great when I talk with people who came from the areas I have been to, and them telling me of the changes.
They are happy someone actually knows where they are talking about and I am happy to hear of changes especially where they have been good changes.”

– Sheree

Local Activities..

We have a range of awesome activities within easy reach, something for everyone . We’ve listed a few ideas and can make recommendations to help you make the most of your time and budget.

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On-site Facilities

We’re pretty laid back at Bell Lodge. It’s up to you when you want to focus on the fun or relaxation. You can enjoy a picnic or BBQ, or, if you prefer to spend time indoors, watch some TV or any of over 400 DVs available at the Office. For a (small nominal fixed) fee, there are PC’s connected to the Internet for those who like to surf the web.

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Seasonal Work

Earn while you stay. Many of our guests are world travelers taking a gap year and making the most of New Zealand by traveling on a Working Holiday Visa. We’re happy to assist in looking for seasonal work.

Most seasonal work is within the Kiwifruit Industry. Kiwifruit Picking, Kiwifruit Packing, Pruning and Pollination

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