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Distinctive slumbers

Distinctive slumbers: thinking outside the box of a traditional hotel room

If the regional rebuild has demonstrated anything, it’s the innovation and determination of its habitants, as out of the box concepts, creations and contraptions come to life.

Distinctive slumbers
Lavericks Bay

It’s certainly evident in the range of unique accommodations in greater Canterbury. From luxury tree houses to glass pods and grain silos, this is what sweet dreams are truly made of.

Luxury treehouses: Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses is a contemporary country hotel located on a deer breeding farm, 12 kilometres north of Kaikoura. Where else could you stay in a luxury tree hut 30-feet above the ground in the canopy of a native manuka grove?

Jail bird: Go to jail and do not pass go, just for the night with The Jailhouse. The award-winning Addington accommodation once served as an actual prison, before being refurbished and opened as accommodation more than a decade ago.

Stay in silo style: It may have once been just a humble grain silo, but some clever creators have converted this Little River marvel into innovative and stylish serviced apartments known as SiloStay.

Pod perfection: Sleep in a glass pod surrounded by nature in Kaikoura, Banks Peninsula or Waipara with PurePods. These glass eco-cabins are located in the midst of the stunning New Zealand landscape.

Timber tents: Spend the evening staring at the stars from a ‘wooden tent’ with see-through roofing at Onuku Farm Hostel that is located in a tranquil clearing amidst Kanuka trees in Banks Peninsula.

Glorious glamping: Try your hand at glamping – that’s glamourous camping – with Canopy Camping Escapes at Lavericks Bay in Banks Peninsula. Rich in history, the scenic bay is set on a 1000-hectare sheep and beef farm and its luxury tents feature woodburners, a camp kitchen and even a bathroom

Harmonious huts: Stay in a snug little dome-shaped pod in Mt Lyford with Harakeke Huts. The five-hectare private property is set at the bottom end of Mt Lyford village. You have the comfort of proper lighting and heating and each hut has its own private deck and deck chairs.

Star light, star bright: Stare at the amazing Mackenzie skies from SkyScape’s building made almost entirely of glass. This distinctive accommodation is designed to maximise the extraordinary views of the Mackenzie Country both day and night.

Downton dalliance: Why not head back in time to Downton Abbey. Otahuna Lodge is a beguiling Victorian mansion that offers its guests a unique sense of wonder and discovery. New Zealand’s largest private historic residence has been revitalised with luxury accommodation.


A luxuriously small footprint: PurePods are doing some ridiculously awesome things with building space

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” Churchill once said, and Canterbury’s pioneering company, PurePods, is leading from the front to ensure we are in the best possible shape.


Humans’ stress response reduces just moments after entering a green space, and the term ‘biophilia’ is defined as the inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature. Glass eco-cabins PurePods are the essence of biophilic design, incorporating natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature and views and other experiences of the natural world into a minimalist luxury cabin.
A sojourn in a PurePod is a unique, lifestyle experience. Stephanie Hassall, CEO of PurePods says the twin goals of the company are to have the smallest ecological footprint possible, while providing luxury and 360-degree views.
Privacy is key: each PurePod is located on private land, with fabulous views well away from all human activities. The experience starts as soon as you pull off the main road and leave the world behind. From your carpark, it is a 10 to 30-minute walk (depending on which PurePod you have chosen) with your overnight bag, through an indigenous nature trail. Once there, native planting is visible under you, the sky above you and the views through three walls.
There are five individual PurePods located in secluded and beautiful parts of Canterbury, and they are looking for new locations. Stephanie says the first PurePod was built on site with most materials carried in on foot. Over the last 18 months they have developed a more prefabricated system. “It’s like a giant Meccano set, with as small an environmental footprint as possible.”
The buildings are PurePods’ trademarked and patented design, including the in-floor heating system set into the all-glass floor. Of course, PurePods use the expertise of local craftsmen, and from the beginning Coombes Sheet Metal and Fabrication has supported Purepods’ innovative designs by constructing components for the water and heating systems, and weather-proofing panelling, enabling it to perform in an exposed and remote natural environment.
The newest PurePod is at Pōhue, located high above Port Levy, where the view is rolling tussocks, down to the bay and out to the Pacific Ocean. Rock Formations (named by the original WWII Veteran owner’s Greek bride), known to climbers as The Acropolis and The Monument, are in front of and behind you.


Choosing which PurePod to book online is the most taxing part of the experience. The PurePods are identical, but each setting is unique: mountain, sea, bush, winery, and the seasons bring further variation: snow views, or golden grasses? You can book the next available PurePod, or a specific one, or why not PurePod-hop and try them all!

Project Partners

  1. Pure Pods Accommodation
    Ph: 021-685-022
  2. Coombes Sheetmetal & Fabrication
    Ph: 03 348 6023