The Bay of Plenty is the perfect place to go off the grid and have a bit of luxury at the same time.
Sure, there is plenty of satisfaction to be had pulling off your muddy hiking boots outside a DoC hut following a seven-hour day in the hills before curling up in a sleeping bag between one snorer and another person who wakes up at 4.30am. But what about having a bit of backcountry bush and the comforts of home at the same time?
Whether you’re a family looking to get away in nature without the hassle of packing, a couple looking for a romantic escape, or even just a solo traveller like myself who enjoys hiding away somewhere special with both nature and creature comforts, glamping – aka glamorous camping – appeals to all.
In the past decade, there has been a veritable boom of glamping spots all over New Zealand. While many started on farms that were looking to share their incredible land with others and diversify income streams, others have been pure passion projects hearkening back to the bach culture.
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Nowhere does glamping better than the Bay of Plenty. The region really does offer it all, from geothermal wonders and stunning beaches to historic sites and stunning farmland – and only a few hours from Auckland.
I’ve stayed at many glamping sites around New Zealand, and they all vary widely in terms of what’s available. Most have no power, or work on generators and have access where you need to follow instructions carefully to find them, making the journey part of the experience.
Some are set up with beautiful Lotus Belle glamping tents, founded by a clever Kiwi, while others are more permanent structures, kind of like a combination between a DoC hut, cosy cabin and DIY shed with outdoor kitchen facilities. Some are super eco focused while others reflect the history of the place and the land.
Phoenix Valley sits just outside of Tauranga, and has glowworm grottos, swimming holes and waterfalls all nearby. With an epic outdoor shower and stylishly appointed safari tent, it’s the perfect spot to get away for a wee holiday.
Further afield near Paengaroa will bring you to Falcon’s Nest, a new stunning cabin that reflects both the beauty of the land and the vision of the family behind it. Take long hot soaks in the outdoor wooden spa overlooking the Pāpāmoa coastline.
The Redwood Farm has both a treehouse glamping site and a tiny house spread across 200 hectares of lush farmland near Te Puke, with panoramic views across the Bay of Plenty and Mount Tarawera on a clear day.
Just outside Whakatāne you’ll find Kahikatea Farm, a collection of huts and a Lotus Belle tent nestled amongst mature mānuka, huge kahikatea and nīkau palms. At the lush oasis you can bring the kids and have a holiday with the best of nature and the best of home at the same time.
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published 2022-01-31 12:01:49