Book reveals strangest places to stay

03:26, May 21 2012
The Boot
The Boot in Nelson is the strangest place to stay in New Zealand, according to Wellington author Pip McCurdy.

You've probably spent thousands of nights sleeping in a bedroom and maybe you've even ventured as far as a tent, or even a car - but chances are you've never slept in a boot or a former prison.

It's likely you've slept in a plane before, but how about the cock-pit?

Wellington author Pip McCurdy takes readers on a unique journey through the eight strangest places to stay in New Zealand in her new book Stay Somewhere Strange.

Nelson's The Boot is on the top of the list.

"A bedroom tucked halfway up the leg and a kitchen in the heel, it is like residing in fairytale. This place is truly extraordinary," McCurdy said.

The Boot has been admired ever since it opened in 2000. Visitors can't even escape the shoe-themed bed and breakfast when they're outside. The courtyard is shaped as a footprint and the courtyard wall is the sole of another boot.


McCurdy travels the world and usually stays in unique places, eight of which have made it into her new book. All are in New Zealand and all are odd.

The Giant's House in Akaroa is home to a medley of creatures decorated in mosaics. There are humans, angels, butterflies and a piano, boat and giant egg.

The Jailhouse in Christchurch also made the list. The former women's prison was given a light makeover before it became backpacker accommodation. The rooms were cells, bars remain on the windows and the bedroom doors are 12 centimetres thick.

But if a jail or a boot aren't your cup of tea, you can rest your head in the cock-pit of an old DC freighter plane, the last New Zealand plane to carry troops out of Vietnam at Woodland Park in Waitomo or spend a night in a tepee in Raglan instead.

McCurdy is continuing her hunt for weird and wonderful places to stay, so it's certain she'll have more surprises for us in the future.

The full 2012 list:

The Boot, Nelson

The Giant's House, Akaroa

Nikau Sanctuary, Raglan

The Jailhouse, Christchurch

Maruia Springs Spa, Lewis Pass

Woodland Park, Waitomo

Pagoda Lodge, Kerikeri

Solscape Eco Retreat, Raglan

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