Aroha Island Eco Centre
Rangitane Road (12kms from Kerikeri)
www.arohaisland.co.nz Phone: 09 407 5243
At Aroha Island Eco Centre you can camp from $30 per night for two or stay in one of the cottages or lodge. Birdlife is plentiful and it's a short walk to a rocky beach or a short kayak to a sandy one. Guided Kiwi Walks may be an option at night or guests can hire a red light torch ($5) and take a self guided walk.
Whatipu Road (40 minutes west of Auckland)
www.whatipulodge.co.nz Phone: 09 811 8860
Whatipu Lodge was built over 100 years ago and additions have been minimal. There are communal cooking and bathroom facilities but you need to take your own bedding. The lodge is a good option for groups - minimum charge $250 per day. You can also camp from $7.50 per night or stay in Whatipu Bach from $120 per night (discount for mid week stays). Note: The last 7 kms of road to Whatipu Lodge is unsealed and narrow in places, take care. More information about Auckland Council accommodation options.
Firth Tower Museum
www.firthtower.co.nz Phone: 07 888 8369
Self contained motor homes can park over night for $6 per van per night ($12 if power is required) at Firth Tower Museum. Look for the sign in the car park for all you need to know, especially if you arrive outside Museum hours. It's free to wander through the gardens at the Firth Tower Museum but entry to the historic buildings is $5.
Solscape Eco Retreat
611 Wainui Road
www.solscape.co.nz Phone: 07 825 8268
Unusual accommodation at Solscape Eco Retreat includes earth domes, tipis (seasonal) and cabooses. Solscape is an eco conscious property located 6km from Raglan but walking distance to the beach. If you're keen to learn to surf check out the inhouse surf school - SolSurfer. Accommodation rates suit those on a backpacker budget and beyond.
Phone: 03 738 0474
Located 33 kms west of Arthurs Pass, Jacksons Retreat provides unique accommodation for those in tents and camper vans – covered camping barns. Each barn has its own water and power supply, and large windows to take in the alpine view. Facilities include free bikes and BBQs, a small pantry shop sells free range eggs. Sites from $40 for two.
Little River Campground
287 Okuti Valley Road
www.littlerivercampground.co.nz Phone: 03 325 1014
A tipee is often used as the communal lounge at Little River Campground, and the Love Shack cabin is lit by candles only. Loos are long drops and facilities are described as rustic, it sounds like camping as it used to be, reviewers rate their experience well. You can visit just for the day in the warmer months and ride the Scary Slippery Slides (see Facebook for photos). Camp from $15pp, cabins from $75 per night.
Onuku Road (6kms from Akaroa)
Phone: 03 304 7066
Gaze up at the stars through the glass roof of a Stargazer wooden tent or park your van for the night. Double, twin, dorm (including girls only) beds are available in the Farm House. Accommodation from $15 a night. Please note: The road to Onuku Farm is winding and narrow in places, drive with care. Enquire about free pick up from Akaroa. (Closed May - September). Onuku Farm is the first stop on The Banks Peninsula Track, there are also shorter walks guests can take on the 430 hectare coastal farm.