Experiences

Experience NZ: What’s so great about glamping?

So in my last blog I wrote about Hokianga and the awesome sand dunes of Opononi/Omapere. In this blog ill give you a glimpse into what the heck glamping is and why its pretty much camping for the pampered. I’ll also share with you our experience of Bayle’s/Rapiro Beach as well as the great Kauri forests.

noun: glamping
  1. a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.
    “glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries”
So now that were all up to date on the terminology lets dig into where we went!

Highfield Forest Retreat on the Kauri Coast

We left Auckland for a 2.5 hr. journey to this magical glamping site that we were given paper directions to follow. No Google maps addy? Wha?! Nicole was driving and I needed a coffee. Yea, you saw that right. Its hard work navigating/supervising.

We stopped off for a bit in Dargaville which is the largest town in the region and is the kumera (sweet potato in Maori) capital of New Zealand. The city is pretty tiny and there’s not much to see aside from the kumera farms so we quickly left to find this secluded secretive glamping spot.

After several minutes of slow driving across gravel roads we finally found it. Our first experience glamping. Highfield Forest Retreat.

 The place had a “tent” above, a small kitchen/living room area, a shower, toilet and a outside tub where you can bath with Epsom salts at night surrounded by candle lights (and bugs). The place was surrounded by flatland and owned by a couple of farmers. It was secluded and very private.

 

The kitchen itself had an old school fridge that did not require electricity. All that was required was a huge block of ice that you put in the top compartment which circulates the cold air around the “unit”. It was a glorified cooler. Wish I took a photo of it.
Here are some more photos of the place and surrounding areas:

On the last night while we were snuggled in bed we heard a weird noise coming from outside the tent. It started quite but started getting louder and louder. Something was approaching our tent. The sound was quite terrifying as the noise crescendo-ed into a loud shriek until finally we heard a jump and a smothering of another animal then silence.

Time stood still for what seemed like eternity. The vibrant night sounds of the birds and animals ceased. The ruffling of the leaves and wind went quiet. We could feel our chests pumping with anxiety. What on earth was that?! Finally we heard the noise again, it was drifting farther and farther away from the tent. We sighed in relief and went to bed.

 

Later, when we were home, we tried to figure out what in the world that noise was. What creature could have made such a terrifying sound? What presence could silence an entire forest full of birds, animals and bugs?!?

 

 

 

 

The answer?

 

 

 

 

A mothef^%&ing kiwi. The most terrifying animal in NZ.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

So how much is this place going to set you back? We payed $260 per night for the luxury.
Can I charge my iphone? Listen, even though its glamping there’s still a bit camping involved. Everything in the house is powered by solar or battery and has no electrical sockets to charge anything (including my laptop *shakes fits*)
Where can I get more information? here for the same glamping site and here for the general glamping site.
What else was there to do around there? Well that’s a great question… Please see below.

Largest Kauri Trees in the Country

I mean when  I say massive trees it doesn’t invoke the same shock and awe as let’s say the Jurassic Park like feel of Milford Sound or the pristine waters near Queenstown, at least, that’s what I thought.

Waipua Forest is a 15 minute drive from Kaihu which was also on the way to the Hokianga Region where we did our sand dune surfing into the ocean.

 maps.PNG
 Tane Mahuta is the largest Kauri tree in NZ , in the forest that Tane is located in are the “Four Sisters” as well as 2nd and seventh largest Kauri Tree in the country. I often wondered how and why anyone would take the time to rank trees by size and if they measured every single tree in the country. Could there be a larger tree that remains undiscovered? Who cares.
By virtue of our trip we ended up in the vicinity of the 2nd, 7th and 4 sisters Kauri trees first (Tane gets his own little entrance further along the trip). It was a nice brisk walk and each tree had its own little sign telling you where to go.
and after that brisk walk…

Its actually more impressive in real life… tried to get a shot beside the trees but it makes it look even smaller. I’m talking about the tree not my…

Here are some more trees:

Next up was Tane whom we had to drive another 5 min for. He got his own area surrounded by what I’m calling his tree like “bitches and hoes” and was by far the busiest of the two locations.

I actually thought Tane was a bit of a waste of time. Not only did you have to climb over a crap ton of tourists but you also had to clean your feet again (must be done at the beginning and end of all hikes to avoid Kauri Dieback disease affecting the mighty Kauri trees). I also thought Te Matua was larger by sheer height but I guess since Tane was thicker he gets to be number one (all about dat giiiirth).

Guise, that’s it for my glamping adventure. I post an entry about various topics each week on Weds and would like to know what you guys want to hear more about. If you liked the post or any of my posts please remember to push that like button below. THANKS GUISEEEEE! What enormous trees have you seen recently? Have you ever experienced glamping in the wild? What cool amenities did you get? More importantly how much was it? Have you ever heard a kiwi before?!

Comments, love hate, questions and likes below.

 

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