Go NZ: Five unique ways to escape reality for summer

Here are some of the weird and the wacky places you can stay in this summer. Brought to you by the team behind our weekly Travel magazine, published on Tuesdays.

Colonial Wagon + Sleep-out, Kaikoura Flat

Just 4km from Kaikōura town centre, this colonial-themed stay consists of two separate dwellings. The main wagon features a king bed, kitchen and bathroom, while the second features a set of bunk beds only, so you can get a little distance from your kids or travelling companions if you wish.

That may not suit all guests but they’ll be well-compensated by the stunning mountain views, chance to do a llama tour, outdoor hot tub, gas-fired pizza oven and freedom to explore the property and commune with nature.

Yellow Submarine, Marton

If you want the lyrics to the Beatles fave on repeat in your head for days, this tiny house is for you. Nestled among redwoods on a secluded property seven minutes from the village of Marton, the dwelling was custom-built using an old grain silo, spa bath and parts from a milking shed. The submarine sleeps four, albeit in close quarters, with two double beds in bunk formation. Entry is via a bulkhead, opening into a steampunk-themed sitting area.

Waitanic Captains Unit S1, Waitomo

This former World War II petrol boat in Woodlyn Park was recovered from Australia and cleverly converted to cater for those looking for a little adventure with their accommodation. Rambling corridors lead to a comfortable living area and well-adorned bedrooms. The main bedroom leads to its own private deck on the prow. The ship comfortably sleeps six – in addition to the main bedroom, there are two more each with two single beds.

Waitomo Woodlyn Park Plane Tail Unit, Waikato

We can’t stop at Woodlyn Park without mentioning the Vietnam War-era Bristol freighter that has two separate accommodations hidden within. The tail unit sleeps four, with a queen bed in the only bedroom and bunks in the living/common area. The cockpit is decked out as a separate unit, with its own entrance. Some guests have mentioned hearing their neighbours in the front. Another one for the off-beat traveller or those with adventurous younger kids.

Hira Oasis Sleeping Barrel, Nelson

Channel your inner hobbit by visiting these two round, wooden barrels on several hectares of gorgeous property not far from Nelson. Each cabin sleeps four with a queen bed on the bottom and a king above. The beds are in very close proximity so best suited to families. The experience is more akin to “glamping” than self-contained accommodation – there is an outdoor toilet, bathroom and well-appointed kitchen shared by both cabins. The outdoor fire lends itself to toasted marshmallows and sing-alongs, while in warm weather there is also a little watering hole for swimming.

This is an amended version of a story by Megan Wood, published in the Herald on September 29. For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, go to newzealand.com

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