Russell - Orongo Bay Holiday Park
5960 Russell Road, Russell, Bay of Islands
www.russellaccommodation.co.nz Phone: 09 403 7704
Chosen by the BBC to film New Zealand's rare birdlife, Russell - Orongo Bay Holiday Park is the only Enviro Gold holiday park in Northland. Accommodation with shared facilities includes a tipi, cabins, bach and camping sites. There are four self contained options including an Eco Chalet from $95 for two per night.
Aroha Island Eco Centre
Rangitane Road (12kms from Kerikeri)
www.arohaisland.co.nz Phone: 09 407 5243
At Aroha Island Eco Centre you can camp from $30 per night for two or stay in one of the cottages or lodge. Birdlife is plentiful and it's a short walk to a rocky beach or a short kayak to a sandy one. Guided Kiwi Walks may be an option at night or guests can hire a red light torch ($5) and take a self guided walk.
81 Pa Road
www.pagoda.co.nz Phone: 09 407 8617
Pagoda Lodge has a variety of unusual accommodation options including gypsy caravans, a riverside boat shed and safari tents. You can book a getaway for two in a safari tent from $125 per night, or a night in the boat shed from $130. You can also camp at Pagoda Lodge from $15 per person.
Whatipu Road (40 minutes west of Auckland)
www.whatipulodge.co.nz Phone: 09 811 8860
Whatipu Lodge was built over 100 years ago and additions have been minimal. There are communal cooking and bathroom facilities but you need to take your own bedding. The lodge is a good option for groups - minimum charge $250 per day. You can also camp from $7.50 per night or stay in Whatipu Bach from $120 per night (discount for mid week stays). Note: The last 7 kms of road to Whatipu Lodge is unsealed and narrow in places, take care. More information about Auckland Council accommodation options.
Katikati Naturist Park
149 Wharawhara Road, RD2
www.katikati-naturist-park.co.nz Phone: 0800 4 567 567
If you're comfortable in your birthday suit you can pitch your tent, hire a caravan (or park your own), or book in to a kitchen cabin or chalet at Katikati Naturist Park. Alternatively you can visit for the day, from $10. Facilities include a spa, mini putt, outdoor chess set and petanque court.
Tui Ridge Accommodation
176 Work Road
www.tuiridge.nz Phone: 07 552 0061
Our warm and cosy wooden ‘Ark’ is tucked up the back of our property which is located in a Kiwifruit orchard. Recycled pallets make for alternative bedding with the separate guest bathroom and dining area located nearby. We have extensive gardens to roam, a river to explore and stunning views out to the Kaimai Ranges. In the summer house is a BBQ and a hammock to relax in.
Firth Tower Museum
www.firthtower.co.nz Phone: 07 888 8369
Self contained motor homes can park over night for $5 per van per night ($10 if power is required) at Firth Tower Museum. Look for the sign in the car park for all you need to know, especially if you arrive outside Museum hours. It's free to wander through the gardens at the Firth Tower Museum but entry to the historic buildings is $5.
Solscape Eco Retreat
611 Wainui Road
www.solscape.co.nz Phone: 07 825 8268
Unusual accommodation at Solscape Eco Retreat includes earth domes, tipis (seasonal) and cabooses. There is also a small number of campervan and tent sites. Solscape is an eco conscious property 6km from Raglan but walking distance to the beach. If you're keen to learn to surf check out the inhouse surf school - SolSurfer. Accommodation rates suit those on a backpacker budget and beyond.
46 Cron Street
www.rainforestretreat.co.nz Phone: 03 752 0220
Rainforest Retreat isn't strictly unusual but the accommodation is spread throughout a bush setting which sits nicely with the log exterior of the buildings. Rainforest Holiday Park on the same site offers cheaper accommodation in dorm rooms, and powered sites for campervans. Monsoon bar (when it rains we pour) and restaurant is onsite, and Glacier Hot Pools are opposite.
12 Glenmark Drive (77kms from Hanmer Springs)
www.waiparasleepers.co.nz Phone: 03 314 6003
Sleep in a guards van at Waipara Sleepers or pitch your tent or park your van for the night. Shared guards van stays from $25, unpowered site $20, powered site $25. Free hot bread every morning and maybe an egg or two at the chickens convenience.
www.jacksonsretreat.co.nz Phone: 03 738 0474
Located 33 kms west of Arthurs Pass, Jacksons Retreat provides unique accommodation for those in tents and camper vans – covered camping barns. Each barn has its own water and power supply, and large windows to take in the alpine view. Facilities include free bikes and BBQs, a small pantry shop sells free range eggs. Sites from $40 for two. Check out the top notch reviews on Rankers and Trip Advisor.
Little River Campground
287 Okuti Valley Road
www.littlerivercampground.co.nz Phone: 03 325 1014
A tipee is often used as the communal lounge at Little River Campground, and the Love Shack cabin is lit by candles only. Loos are long drops and facilities are described as rustic, it sounds like camping as it used to be, reviewers rate their experience well. You can visit just for the day in the warmer months and ride the Scary Slippery Slides (see Facebook for photos). Camp from $15pp, cabins from $40 per night.
Onuku Road (6kms from Akaroa)
www.onuku.co.nz Phone: 03 304 7066
Gaze up at the stars through the glass roof of a Stargazer wooden tent or park your van for the night. Double, twin, dorm (including girls only) beds are available in the Farm House. Accommodation from $15 a night. Please note: The road to Onuku Farm is winding and narrow in places, drive with care. Enquire about free pick up from Akaroa. (Closed May - September).
Onuku Farm is the first stop on The Banks Peninsula Track, there are also shorter walks guests can take on the 430 hectare coastal farm.
TOP 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde
54 Robins Road
www.camp.co.nz Phone: 03 442 9447
Curious, quirky and unusual all describe the facilities at Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde. From the ‘Tapas Room’ barbecue pavilion to the trompe l’oeil (deceive the eye) murals in the communal bathrooms.
Hollyford Valley, Te Anau
Get away from it all at Gunn's Camp - there is no phone coverage or wi-fi, but a generator provides electricity for a few hours at night. Some cabins date from the late 1930's when they housed men working on a roading project. There is a modern communal kitchen with gas cookers but you need to take your own crockery etc. Visit the onsite museum to learn about the camp's history and the legend of Davey Gunn and his son Murray. Ideal base for day walks and longer tramps like the Hollyford Track. Camping from $15 per person, backpacker accommodation from $25 per person.