"Glamping at its finest - Hurunui Jacks"
Looking for a weekend escape from reality, we did some research and found a very unique stay that caught our eye - Hurunui Jacks. We left Queenstown and headed over the Haast Pass to the West Coast of the South Island and discovered a completely different landscape to the one we have at home. The West Coast is wild, rugged and full of lush greenery which was such a refreshing change for the weekend.
Just a short drive from Hokitika, we arrived at the Canopy Camping escape, Hurunui Jacks. Greeted by the warm and welcoming owners, Maureen and John, we geared up in some iconic kiwi gumboots and headed down a tree-lined path to the property.
As we peered around the last corner, the rainforest opened up to a magical setting - a luxurious canvas tent surrounded by mossy trees and situated on the rivers edge.
The property was set up as two separate areas, with a warm and cosy tent for sleeping and relaxing in, the other is a kitchen/bathroom next door.
The main tent had all the comforts that regular camping doesn't offer, as well as a toasty fireplace and separate dining/living area, perfect for relaxing, reading and enjoying the serenity.
The kitchen had everything you need from tea & coffee, to pots, pans and all of the equipment you need to cook a meal (so stock up on goodies at the shop before you go!). Fresh eggs from the farm and crisp home-grown herbs really added that extra special detail to our stay.
John helped us set up the fires and lanterns to get prepared for our night in this little slice of paradise. We boiled the kettle on the traditional firewood stove to make a cup of tea and settle in on the front porch looking out to the rainforest and rushing river.
The sun made its way to the horizon which meant it was now time to crack open the sweet pack that was left for us - filled with marshmellows and cookies. We hunted down some suitable sticks for toasting our marshmellows on the fire and got cooking.
After our tasty dessert, it was time for the highlight of the night - hidden down a little path was an outdoor bath tub taking the whole experience closer to nature. There was nothing more relaxing than this lantern-lit setting underneath the canopy of ferns.
It was such a refreshing feeling to spend time in isolation, away from technology and the internet. There was plenty to do on the property, from gold panning in the creek, board games, reading and even fly fishing lessons from John.
Keep an eye out for the resident eel in the river! It was unbelievable to hear that this eel considers this river home, but it is suggested they migrate all the way to Tonga for spawning.
This simplistic getaway was the perfect break from reality, and judging by the feedback left in the guest book, this romantic retreat has left a special memory in the minds of many.
There is only so much you can put into words about this incredible stay, but we hope the pictures do the rest of the talking!
Telephone: 0272 507 427
Location: 12km from Hokitika, New Zealand