As a journey author for greater than a decade, I’ve stayed in quite a lot of lodging through the years. From sleeping on a pile of mats in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan to flashy five-star resorts in Dubai, I’ve seen all of it. However one factor that hasn’t modified is that little hit of serotonin you get once you stroll right into a lodge for the primary time, and also you instantly like it.
If there’s one place that’s been persistently fabulous for lodging in New Zealand, it must be Canopy Camping. A set of distinctive glamping websites round New Zealand, they’ve among the coolest locations you may keep. All off the overwhelmed observe, many are on non-public farms or in wilderness areas that will let you take pleasure in nature in consolation. Some are like cabins or huts, others are massive canvas tents, and most mirror the sensation and historical past of the place.
Once I discovered I might be going as much as Whanganui, there was one place I used to be dying to stick with them – the Iona Tiny House, a historic boat-turned-tiny home. Signal me up!
Simply two hours north of Wellington on New Zealand’s North Island, Whanganui is a good getaway, particularly for these trying to get off the overwhelmed observe. Over the previous few years, town remodeled right into a veritable hub of artwork and tradition. And with seashores, mountains, and exquisite nature proper in your doorstep, Whanganui ticks all of the packing containers.
You don’t must spend a lot time in Whanganui to understand how vital the Whanganui River is. It’s the primary on the earth to be thought-about a authorized particular person. The river itself can be one of many Great Walks in New Zealand, besides you paddle in a canoe as an alternative of strolling.
So long as people have been in New Zealand, the Whanganui River has held nice significance to Māori and afterward to Europeans. Boating alongside its shores has lengthy been a vacationer exercise, and water is vital to Māori, linked to identification, transport, and meals gathering.
“Ko te wai te ora ngā mea katoa” – Water is the life giver of all issues
The Whanganui River cuts proper by city earlier than assembly the Tasman Sea. Regardless of the place I discovered myself, I used to be by no means removed from the river.
Reflecting the historical past and significance of the river itself is the Iona Tiny House. Perched above the river banks subsequent to city, it’s a haven and enjoyable place. It’s a kind of locations you get to and by no means need to go away. I might really feel a smile lighting up my face as I walked down the little path to the entrance of the home; I had by no means seen something fairly prefer it!
This cute tiny home is constructed into the hull of the Iona, an outdated kauri and totara riverboat used for fishing a century in the past in Dunedin. Native architect Elinor McDouall noticed the outdated boat on the market on Trademe in Northland in 2016 and determined to offer it a brand new lease on life.
As somebody who chronically takes on initiatives that she grossly underestimates the work concerned, I can’t even start to think about how exhausting it could have been to show this into the fashionable dwelling we take pleasure in at the moment.
Coming in at solely 35 sq. meters, the Iona Tiny Home is small however packs an enormous punch. It’s additionally the primary city glamping place I’ve stayed. Throughout the river from the historic downtown, a street runs alongside it. You’re just a few minutes stroll away from the whole lot you would possibly want.
However when you pull in and park your automotive, you’ll rapidly notice it’s set as much as really feel such as you’re off the grid. You don’t hear or see any neighbors. Surrounded by native bush, there’s just a little non-public path to the river.
As you get out of the automotive, you see the hull of the Iona types the again of the home, nonetheless distinctly boat-shaped. Then you definately meander round a wood plank path to reach on the entrance, which overlooks the river. With a wood spa exterior, it couldn’t be extra idyllic. It’s additionally totally enclosed and arrange like a house, so it’s much less glamping and extra tiny house-ing. It may be opened up or closed off.
You’ll be able to inform the Iona Tiny Home is a real labor of affection.
With a kitchen you may simply keep in and never even go away, watching the river meander by from the mattress. Tucked right into a little bit of a nook, it’s the epitome of cozy. There’s even just a little hidey gap the place children can sleep. Hold your eyes peeled for a pleasant cat that pops by some evenings for pats.
There’s a curved couch constructed into the hull of the ship the place you may curl up with a guide and simply be at peace. With just a little logburner, it’s the epitome of cottage-core. Although I used to be right here in the course of the summer season, so it was undoubtedly not wanted.
I spent practically every week on the Iona Tiny Home, which was such a deal with for me. Often after I journey, I transfer round quite a bit. To have the ability to settle in, usher in groceries, and take my time made me really feel like I might actually admire this place.
It rained quite a bit whereas I used to be in Whanganui due to the weird cyclone up north on the time. I could be the one one who loves it when it rains. Down in Wanaka the place I dwell on the South Island, it’s very dry. It doesn’t rain quite a bit. This summer season was notably sizzling and dry, we went weeks and weeks with out rain.
I like falling asleep to the pitter patter sounds of rain on the roof. When the sky darkens, and you already know the rain is coming, nicely that’s the most effective. I like staying in mattress late studying and consuming espresso simply having fun with being inside in a wonderful place.
Rising up in rural Virginia on the east coast of the US, we had sizzling, humid summers with thunderstorms practically each afternoon. I’ve a lot nostalgia for the nice and cozy odor of contemporary rain. The light buzz of cidadas. Sleeping by the river within the Iona Tiny Home took me straight again down reminiscence lane.
My time right here was nothing in need of magical.
The increasingly more I journey, the extra I like slowing down and taking my time. Simply being in a wonderful place is particular for me. I’m now not pushed by that must scratch off as many issues as doable from an inventory like I did in my twenties.
Whanganui is a spot that beckons you to come back and keep. Right here you may sit down and discuss to strangers with ease. And there’s no the place higher to base your self than on the distinctive former boat – the Iona Tiny Home.
What’s essentially the most distinctive place you’ve ever stayed? Would you sleep on this boat too?
Many because of Whanganui and Companions for internet hosting me on this wonderful journey – like all the time, I’m maintaining it actual. All opinions are my very own like you possibly can count on much less from me.