Waikato's quirky camping options

Tara Wrigley and Guillaume Gignoux didn't think their house bus rental would be as popular as it is.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

Tara Wrigley and Guillaume Gignoux didn't think their house bus rental would be as popular as it is.

Off the grid, off the beaten track and off the radar even in Raglan is a house bus nestled in native bush with a sea view.

And for $90 a night, you can rent it.

Tara Wrigley and Guillamue Gignoux​'s quirky little accommodation will sleep two adults and a couple of littlies (though there's room to pitch a sizable tent). It's got a generator, a composting toilet and even hot running water.

There is plenty of room to relax and read books or listen to music in the house bus.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

There is plenty of room to relax and read books or listen to music in the house bus.

There isn't, however, any wifi or phone reception. Wrigley and Gignoux see that as a selling point.

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"I think it's the opportunity to unplug from reality, get back to nature. The people who love it the most are the ones who come out here and go, I so needed this," Wrigley said. 

The bus caters largely for couples with a queen bed, but also has bunks for children.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

The bus caters largely for couples with a queen bed, but also has bunks for children.

It's an opportunity to get back to the things that matter.

"It's for the adventurous people, the young romantics - not young people, necessarily but young romantics at heart, people who love that vibe that you just want to spend time with each other and not be distracted by anything else." 

The bus is popular at the moment - a lot more popular than they ever thought it would be. It is available all year round - even July has proved to be  a popular month. 

The bus has full kitchen facilities, which allow you to cook meals, even a roast dinner if you want.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

The bus has full kitchen facilities, which allow you to cook meals, even a roast dinner if you want.

That's possibly because of the pot-bellied stove.

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"That was a real surprise. We thought that it would be dead in winter, but July was one of our busy months. There is a fire, we put extra blankets on the beds, so it's really cosy."

There is the opportunity to do some exploring while not having to venture off the 15-hectare property. 

There is an outside fire pit which people can enjoy at night time.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

There is an outside fire pit which people can enjoy at night time.

"We have little bush walks that we've made for people, there is a nice waterfall and there is a picnic tree - which is a pretty spot to have a  break. 

"It's got everything you need. It's not perfect - it's an old house bus - but it's glamping," Wrigley said. 

It's not the only quirky option in the area.

If you're looking for different, there's also Solscape, in Whale Bay, which offers recycled railway cabooses, earth domes or even a tipi to rent.  

Or if you feel like getting in touch with your inner Mongolian, Raglan's The Round Tent - an honest-to-goodness yurt - sleeps two. 

Then there's The Barn in Honikiwi, 25 minutes from Waitomo, which can sleep seven.

Also near Waitomo is Woodlyn Park, which has a variety of options if you want something different. You can stay in two hobbit units, or on a ship, a train or a plane.

For really glamorous camping, Slipper Island is an option. It's a private island 3 kilometres to the east of Coromandel Peninsula. It's a 15-minute water taxi ride from Tairua or Pauanui. It has two luxury tents that overlook the ocean. 

 - Waikato Times

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