The Ultimate Guide to Glamping in New Zealand

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Camping is a great way to strip back to basics and reconnect with nature. New Zealand is actually one of the best places in the world to go camping as there are no dangerous animals and plenty of wide open space. But, for some, the idea of trekking into the wilderness, sleeping in a tent, cooking a meal over a fire, and being surrounded by creatures of the forest simply does not appeal. For those people, glamping is a great option!

Glamping, a portmanteau of glamorous and camping, is an upgraded version of traditional camping. With glamping, you can enjoy the rest and relaxation aspects of camping without having to hike, pitch a tent, or build a fire. Read on to find out more about glamping in New Zealand.

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Where to go glamping:

There are places to go glamping all over New Zealand so, no matter what area you’re wanting to visit, there’s likely to be accommodation available. We recommend heading as far away from home as possible, so you can truly remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Popular glamping regions are Northland, Canterbury, and Coromandel. 

When considering your options, think about what you sort of experience you want. Glamping is a broad term which means the type of accommodation, as well as the available facilities and services, can vary significantly.

Types of structures include yurts, domes, tents, teepees, treehouses, cabins, caravans, huts, and pods.

Some glamping sites will have fully furnished structures, power, running water, showers, flushing toilets. Other glamping sites may be comfortable but completely off the grid and only have a composting toilet.

Glamping providers:

  • Canopy camping founders Liz and Sonia were ahead of the trend when they created Canopy Camping in 2012. On the site, you can browse a curated collection of premium glamping accommodation all over New Zealand.
  • Airbnb needs no introduction or explanation but, did you know that there are more than home listings on there?. Browse and book privately owned glamping accommodation all over New Zealand, and the rest of the world.
  • Solscape is located in Raglan, overlooking the famous Manu Bay surf break. This eco-village offers guests the opportunity to stay in an off the grid lotus belle tent, tipi, or earth dome.
  • Wildernest provides a made to order glamping experience. Pick from one of their existing locations or have the team come to you and set up a lotus belle tent, plus any other facilities you want. 
  • Purepods offer six eco cabins around the Canterbury area. Each pod is made entirely of glass, including floor and ceiling so you feel like you’re outside even if you’re inside.
  • Glamping Hub is a directory of private glamping sites all around the world. Enter your location and dates to discover all sorts of glamping accommodation available in the area.
  • Awa Tides is a hosted hideaway 45 minutes North of Auckland. If you're wanting total privacy, this is your place as they can only facilitate one booking at a time here (currently). 
  • Takou River offers the ultimate riverside retreat. They offer a number of gorgeous cottages, as well as one safari-style tent, each with their own claw foot outdoor bathtub so you can enjoy a soak under the stars!
  • Glam Camping is part of Castaways Resort, located on the clifftops overlooking Kiriotahi Beach. In addition to two luxury glamping huts, they also have a unique glamping village with 12 two bedroom tents surrounding a communal fire pit.
  • Luxury Under Canvas is a great place for couples, families or small groups to experience glamping. Their spacious, furnished luxury tents are nestled into the hillside overlooking hundreds of acres of native bush.
  • Explore Life is situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka. On offer are three fully furnished lotus belle tents carefully placed to provide complete privacy and picturesque views. 
  • Pagoda Lodge offers self-contained accommodation surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens in the Bay of Islands. The historic grounds are full of character and are home to many creative accommodation options including a converted bus, cabins, safari tents, and gypsy caravans. 

Glamping activities:

How you spend your time while glamping depends on whether you're keen for action, or relaxation.

If you're after action, check out what activities are on offer in the area. A lot of glamping sites won’t have cell phone coverage or internet available so you'll need to do research and make arrangements before arriving. It's likely your accommodation provider will be able to assist with recommendations and bookings if you want a hand. 

If you're less concerned about activities, just go with the flow and fill your hours spending quality time with your company, burrowing into a good book, wandering in the wilderness, or soaking up the surroundings. 

Most glamping sites will be situated in the bush or near a body of water so, be sure to take walking shoes as well as togs. 

What to take with you:

What you need to pack depends on what's provided or available at your glamping accommodation. Most sites will provide bedding and towels, cooking equipment and implements, and some source of light but anything beyond this cannot be expected. Make sure you thoroughly read the details of your site set up so you don't forget any essentials.

Regardless of where you're headed, we'd recommend packing the following:

  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Walking shoes
  • Togs 
  • Raincoat
  • Book
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Torch
  • Matches
  • First aid kit

Don’t forget, if food isn’t provided you’ll need to take your own. Cooking facilities are usually basic so, we recommend keeping it simple with barbeque meats and fresh salads. 

Pack sensibly as it's possible you'll have a short walk between the parking area and the place where you're staying. 


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Posted by Kezia Lynch on 28th of November, 2018