Inside Coromandel’s best secluded summer getaways
The way Kiwis spend their vacations in New Zealand could change as we learn to live with Covid-19. More and more people will want to escape the crowds and relax with family and friends, in an extended bubble.
So we drove around one of the country’s favorite summer spots, Coromandel, in search of the best secluded getaways.
Ahurewa Ecological Retreat
This new off-grid container house recently opened its doors to guests, and the hardest part will be getting a reservation.
Ahurewa Eco Retreat is nestled in the Mahakirau Forest Estate, which is a private, gated eco-sanctuary home to some of the country’s rarest creatures. Most of the property’s 600 hectares are protected land, although there are a few private houses dotted around.
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Ahurewa was featured on the online show Living big in a small house, where it got over 5.7 million views on Youtube – and the demand to stay here is expected to be huge.
The estate is bordered by the Manaia Kauri Sanctuary and the Coromandel State Forest, a huge 72,000 ha reserve encompassing most of the former Coromandel hinterland.
Inside, the colorful house has an impressive library and large kitchen – although the bedroom is the highlight, with large windows and views as far as the eye can see.
While the Coromandel has no shortage of boardwalks, pretty little towns, and golden beaches to explore, you won’t want to leave here again. Ahurewa is Maori for “sacred place”, and it couldn’t be more precise.
Food: Standard kitchen.
To be able to: Solar energy with standard outlets.
Bathroom: Heated indoor and flush shower.
This little escape house is located in its own valley near Tairua and is nestled against a hill of native bush.
Inside the main hut, owners Andie and Chris Lusby managed to pack three different levels into a small space. The main level houses an ultra-soft and comfy bed, there is a living room downstairs and a mezzanine bedroom tucked away upstairs, meaning the retreat can accommodate up to four people.
The highlight, however, is along a back walk – if you follow that you’ll reach a creek-side glass hut that houses the bathroom overlooking the native bush.
Food: Basic outdoor kitchen with gas hob and BBQ.
To be able to: Solar energy for lighting and charging the phone.
Bathroom: Standard flush toilet and shower.
Luxury getaways in Coromandel
Nestled on the edge of Matarangi harbor is a glamping getaway with an emphasis on romantic luxury.
This secluded tent sits on the edge of a farm, overlooking the harbor and the Coromandel Ranges. The safari-style main tent has a soft bed with a fan to keep you cool in the summer.
An independent cabin houses the bathroom, with a luxury freestanding bathtub overlooking the harbor.
There is also a large fire pit for roasting marshmallows under the stars and there is no shortage of nearby beaches for those hot summer days.
Food: Kitchen equipped with a refrigerator.
To be able to: Yes.
Bathroom: WC and flushing bath.
The bubble tent
If you want to get away with your bubble buddy, you can literally spend the night in one.
Mercury Bay Estate is a vineyard near Cooks Beach specializing in Pinot Noir.
Nestled among the vines, you will find a transparent bubble tent ideal for stargazing with your partner. The tent works with the help of a turbine which keeps the cool air inside.
During the summer months the tent gets hot during the day. However, you are only steps away from a “rustic cabin” that you own for the duration of your stay. This has a large terrace overlooking the vineyards where you can also relax with a book and a glass of wine.
Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach are also nearby, so you’re sure to spend most of your day exploring.
Food: Yes, in the rustic cabin. It has a toaster, a jug, a Nespresso machine and a microwave.
To be able to: Yes.
Bathroom: Heated outdoor shower and indoor flush toilet
Glamping Extra Mile
This new Waikawau retreat offers stunning coastal views and is surrounded by native bush.
The site almost looks like a miniature glamping village, with two tents sharing a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and outdoor tub, but it’s only accessible to one group at a time. You have the option of having a single tent or paying a small extra to include the other tent, adding two more people. This makes it the perfect getaway for two couples who want a weekend getaway (or you can bring the kids).
As the property is isolated, bring all the food you may need for your stay. But being isolated doesn’t mean you’re bored, with two scenic beaches nearby and a plethora of boardwalks.
To be able to: Solar energy.
Bathroom: Heated indoor shower and flush toilet.
Ahurewa Ecological Retreat is $ 325 per night for two with a two night minimum stay. A third person on a rollaway bed costs an additional $ 30 per night for an adult or $ 20 for a child. See: canopecamping.co.nz/ahurewa-retreat
Serenity Retreat is $ 295 per night for two and an additional $ 40 per night for additional adults and $ 20 for children. See: canopéecamping.co.nz / serenity-retreat
Luxury getaways in Coromandel from $ 265, with a minimum stay of two nights. See: coromandelluxuryescapes.co.nz
The bubble tent Mercury Bay Estate costs $ 595 for a 2 night stay. See: Mercurybayestate.co.nz
Glamping Extra Mile is $ 290 for the large tent. The smaller tent can accommodate up to two additional people for $ 120 (one king bed or two single beds). See: extramileglamping.co.nz
Carbon footprint: Flying generates carbon emissions. To offset your carbon emissions, visit airnewzealand.co.nz/sustainability-customer-carbon-offset
Stay Safe: New Zealand is currently subject to restrictions related to Covid-19. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.
Author photographs for Canopy Camping, however, all inclusions are based on merit. This story was produced as part of an editorial partnership with Tourism New Zealand. Learn more about our partnership content here.
This story was first published in October 2021 and has since been updated.