Outrageous New Zealand Accommodations

Posted on 07/27/2017

New Zealand is a unique destination that’s home to epic alpine scenery, glacial lakes, lush forests, beaches and fiords, not to mention home to the set of Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings fans, anyone?).

Not surprisingly, this peaceful locale is known for its outstanding hiking trails, adventurous sports and activities for adrenaline-seeking visitors. In addition, Maori culture (the aboriginal people of New Zealand) perseveres, only adding to the distinctive “Aotearoa” experience.

Given the remoteness of New Zealand and the fact that sheep outnumber people 10 to 1, it makes sense that there is an eclectic variety of one-of-a-kind accommodations to stay at when visiting the Land of the Long White Cloud.

From the bizarre to the beautiful, Travel Pulse rounded-up five of the most outrageous must-see hotels:

Seascape, Annandale

With a tagline like, “Stay where the world can’t find you,” you know you’re in for a secluded, intimate experience.

Situated on the north side of Banks Peninsula, Annandale is the perfect romantic getaway. Seascape is an ultra-modern, sleek retreat that offers unobstructed views of the private Whitehead Bay and its coastline. With floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor deck complete with a fireplace and spa pool, the views are unparalleled.

Keep an eye out for local fur seals or the jovial Hector’s dolphins. Expertly designed for utmost privacy, this retreat is only accessible by helicopter or 4WD Annandale vehicle across the cliff-top farm tracks.

“The vision and design brief was to create a private escape that was romantic and intimate and which would not in any way compromise the natural setting,” says Mark Palmer, owner of Annandale.

“So it needed to be tucked into the hillside. While inside your experience should be as if you were outside and all your senses engaged with the crashing waves, sparkling ocean, sunsets, sheep covered hills and of course this dramatic honeycomb rock formation which beautifully framed the view.”

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses, Kaikoura

Opened in 2003, Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses is located at the base of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range, near the rugged Kaikoura coast and famed Mangamaunu Bay.

Set on a deer breeding farm, this inimitable hotel began with just six beds. However, upon the realization that this lodge could be transformed into an even more immersive experience within the splendor of Kaikoura, the Wilson family decided to build tree houses to place guests closer “to the birds, to the mountains, to the ocean and the sky.”

The lodge’s five tree houses are nestled in the canopy of a native Kanuka grove and are designed to merge seamlessly with the natural environment. Large windows allow for pristine views of Kaikoura's dramatic mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

“Built initially as a contemporary country lodge, the tree houses that sit 30 feet in the air amongst a native Kanuka grove, grew out of the thought that if one could but be a bird one could more fully appreciate the beauty that is Kaikoura,” says Chris Sturgeon, General Manager at Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses. “The tree houses allow our guests to nest in the tree tops in a beautiful version of a child’s tree house, among the birds.”

Fun fact: each house is named after the native bird that showed the most affinity for the house during construction.


If you’re looking for the ultimate escape from reality within New Zealand’s natural landscape, PurePod is for you. Ideal for guests looking to simply relax and decompress, there’s no Wi-Fi, no movies and no TV, so be ready to completely unplug.

PurePod accommodation is a first-of-its-kind glass structure made for two. Once you step into your hut, you’re completely surrounded by nature, as the pod is entirely made up of glass walls, roof and floor.

You need not go anywhere to soak in magical views of the sky, hills, sea, birds, bush and more. Greystone PurePod sits on a spur in a paddock, above the award-winning Greystone vineyard.

"A PurePod experience is completely unique—you get to immerse yourself completely in your own secluded slice of the beautiful New Zealand landscape in a luxurious glass eco-cabin," says Stephanie Hassall CEO, PurePods Ltd.

"The Greystone PurePod is a romantic getaway and perfect for wine-lovers—you are perched high above an organic winery with vast views of the beautiful wine-producing Waipara Valley to one side and the rolling Teviotdale Hills to the other side. With 360-degree views, watching the sunset is a truly magical experience, while stargazing on a clear night is utterly spectacular."

SiloStay, Little River

Located in the serene, peaceful area of Little River, Banks Peninsula, large metal silos most often used to store grain have been redesigned and transformed into upscale accommodations unlike any other.

Each two-story individual unit is eco-friendly and approximately 8.7 meters high. Complete with an upstairs queen bed, downstairs kitchen and living area.

The space is anything but claustrophobic. Visionary and founder of SiloStay, Stuart Wright-Stow and his design team, F3 Design, may very well have started a design revolution, as these sustainable units can similarly be transformed into a variety of accommodations, offices or conference centers, depending on the situation.

“SiloStay guests always report that sleeping in a silo is an exceptional treat. The silo offers a haven of intimacy where one can close off from the world outside,” says Lisa Ashfield, Operations Manager.

“The vision of Stuart Wright-Stow was to create an accommodation option with a unique point of difference, being a stylish, comfortable, enviro-friendly and self-contained capsule with everything a couple would need to enjoy a few days and nights of relaxation and rejuvenation on NZ's Bank Peninsula. This vision has been beautifully achieved and wholly realized.”

The Jailhouse, Christchurch

Built in 1874, Christchurch’s The Jailhouse has previously served as a men’s prison, women’s prison and a military camp. This jailhouse was refurbished and opened as a hostel in 2006, one that has become very popular with backpackers. How often can you say you stayed in a cozy prison overnight?

Within the hostel, original jailhouse features can be found, adding to the experience. Moreover, the majority of the rooms began as jail cells themselves, so the experience is quite genuine. The 80-bed hostel contains a range of accommodation options, from dorms to a family room. The Jailhouse even offers Netflix in its cinema room, free Wi-Fi and an espresso coffee bar.

“The point of difference for Jailhouse is it provides a whole experience, more than just a place to stay,” says Jailhouse manager Nikki Hayhurst. “Our guests love the unique experience of staying in a prison, it really surprises people that we’ve kept a lot of the original features and they just love staying in a historic building.”

PHOTO: This former jailhouse in Christchurch has become a very popular hostel. (photo via Flickr/Robert Young)