Looking for sweet dreams in sweet places?
We’ve sorted out some of the funkiest accommodations for unforgettable stays on the West Coast.
Absolutely not your average camping ground, Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park has created a unique niche in boutique holiday accommodation. In this small but perfectly-formed holiday park, you'll find upmarket, quirky accommodation for couples after a romantic weekend or a few days close to nature, away from the humdrum.
First there were the 11 smartly up-cycled shipping container units now masquerading as apartment or sleeping pods. Think super comfy beds surrounded by funky furnishings, private decks with bbq and outdoor bath. Choose from a fully self-contained apartment pod, or a smaller ‘sleeper pod’ with full access to exceptionally well-equipped communal amenities. You could even pop up a tent for the kids, while enjoying the comforts.
Next, hot off the press — opening this summer season — a set of four fabulous new luxury geodesic domes will add a saucy dash of glamping luxe. Each dome sits on its own secluded site, boasting stylish furnishings, ensuite bathroom, luxury bedding and a private deck to relax on. Book ahead.
Ross Top 10 is perfectly located right on the Tasman Sea-front with sandy beach as far as the eye can see, a mountain backdrop behind and front-row views for those glorious golden West Coast sunsets. Alongside the luxury options, the holiday park offers classic RV, motorhome, caravan and campsites. There’s a takeaway food truck, large communal lounge, outdoor fire with bean bags, hot-tub spa, bike hire and shuttle services. Plus, it’s right beside the southern end of the West Coast Wilderness Trail — all set for a relaxing pre- or post-ride stay.
While not nestled in the wilderness, The Brewer's Night Inn offers a genuine 'escape' and stands as one of the West Coast's most remarkable and beautiful accommodations.
The Brewer's Night Inn is located on a tranquil street in Reefton, a small West Coast town steeped in yesteryear charm.
This enchanting establishment draws inspiration from Stewart Monteith, an early settler and the inn's original owner, affectionately known as "The Brewer." Built in the 1870s, the historic cottage has undergone meticulous restoration and furnishing, preserving its historical allure. The interior exudes a captivating blend of rustic high-country cabin and opulent hotel.
It features an open-plan layout with a lounge, kitchen, and bedroom. Beautiful French doors lead to a brick patio and a thriving English garden, abloom with wildflowers in the summer. An exquisite Victorian-inspired bathroom features a concrete soaking tub and dramatic linen drapes.
A stay at The Brewer's Night Inn promises an unforgettable experience—an opportunity to escape the everyday and journey back in time, all with a touch of contemporary luxury.
Keen to experience the West Coast bush off-the-beaten-track AND in comfort? Find your way north of Westport to the Rough and Tumble Bush Lodge — a 50-minute-drive, firstly along the coast road then inland into a privately-owned wilderness on the banks of the Mokihinui River. It’s a mini backcountry adventure just getting there.
Deep in the forest, the Rough and Tumble is a one-in-a-kind hospitality experience. It’s run by the charitable trust that operates the incredible Old Ghost Road mountain bike trail and all profits go back into keeping those ghosts alive. It’s right on the northern end of the trail but you don’t have to be a mountain biker to enjoy the lovely bush, the mountain views above, the soothing swish of the river below and the lodge’s homely comforts. Fish in the river, walk the trails, relax on the deck or beside the fire.
Crafted with care from recycled timber and river stone, the lodge is full of quirky rustic design features. Stay in one of five, two-level guest suites. Each guest room accommodates up to four people, and features great beds, ensuite bathroom and bush views.
The in-house licensed cafe operates during the day serving guests and hungry cyclists with hearty edge-of-the-wilderness hospitality. Each evening, there’s a buffet-style two-course ‘meal of the day’ menu (with continental serve-yourself breakfasts). The lodge is open September to May.
There’s no missing the old Hokitika Fire Station Apartments with the vintage red fire truck sitting out the front. Bright and shining, it’s a foretaste of the polished renovation that transformed this heritage-listed building into a suite of fancy apartments.
Hokitika’s fire service started way back in 1864 and, even though the building now occupied by apartments isn’t the original station, it oozes character and stylish touches with memorabilia. Plus it’s the ideal location to explore Hokitika’s long, colourful evolution from raunchy gold town to today’s cool little creative town.
Each named for a fire chief from the past, the five spacious 5-star rated apartments feature super beds with fine linens, lounge, full kitchen or kitchenette, and ensuite bathrooms with luxury amenities. Along with air conditioning and heating, there is an air purifier to encourage sublime slumbers. Cosy up on your comfy couch or gather around the fireplace on the outdoor terrace.
It’s just a few steps to Hokitika’s iconic beachfront, great little eateries, pubs and bars, creative workshops (pounamu / jade, glass and more) with artists in residence and cinema. For cyclists on the adjacent West Coast Wilderness Trail, there’s bike storage and excellent laundry facilities.
Take a step back in time for a dream stay in a railway carriage that’s not going anywhere.
There’s a lovely touch of retro whimsy about Aurora's Landing — a quirky little bed and breakfast in a vintage, refurbished railway carriage that’s found a forever home on a hillside near beautiful Lake Brunner.
Friendly hosts Chrissie and Ken have created their own little paradise in a beautiful garden setting, refurbishing the old guardsman’s carriage as an eco-friendly, solar-powered accommodation just for two. Inside, there’s a luxury queen bed, underfloor heating and RV-style kitchen and bathroom inside. Outside, there’s a deck with a bbq and panoramic views, and a conservatory room with a wood fire that can be closed in for cooler days or opened up for brilliant sunsets and stargazing.
The Quirky Carriage Hideaway at Marsden is an historic 1907 guards’ van that served all over New Zealand’s South Island before it came to a sudden stop, derailed in a train crash in 1963. These days — reimagined as a smartly turned out, unique stay — it’s happily settled beside a tranquil pond, amongst the birdsong on a secluded 4.5 acre property, close to a wonderful rugged beach, Shantytown and the West Coast Wilderness Trail.
The owners, keen ‘DIYers’, have created a self-contained adults-only accommodation where rustic elements blend with modern comforts. The carriage has a queen bed with an electric blanket for cooler nights, small dressing and a lounge area overlooking the large pond. A covered ‘platform’ leads to the cutest mini ‘train station’ with a well equipped kitchen diner and modern bathroom. Outside, nestled beside the bush, there’s an outdoor bath area with hot water on demand.