New Zealand’s most innovative and unique accommodation experience.
It’s been incredibly inspiring following the PurePods journey over the past few years, seeing the company grow from having their first pod in Little River on the Banks Peninsula, to the launch of the Manakau and Kahutara pods in Kaikoura, right through until now where they have just opened their fourth pod in the heart of the Waipara Valley wine-producing region.
For those of you who are new to the PurePods concept, these mostly-glass eco cabins are designed to hover with minimal impact on the environment, while still being able to provide full comfort and a luxury stay in nature.
Just short of an hour’s drive north of Christchurch is the award-winning Greystone Wines Vineyard, which is the stunning location of the latest PurePod. This is what makes this location so unique, looking out over rows of vineyards while still being surrounded by stunning views of the Southern Alps, Teviotdale Hills and the Waipara Valley. Not to mention having a cellar door close by!
As the PurePod is hidden in the hills above the Greystone Vineyard, it’s important to arrive before sunset so you can easily follow the directions provided upon booking. This also means you may even get to sit back and relax while watching the sunset from the balcony of your PurePod!
From the carpark, you’ll follow a scenic walking track that passes through regenerating native bush, giving you a good introduction to the local environment. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you make your way to the pod, with hawks and falcons often spotted in the region, while sheep occasionally roam the farm in between the vineyards.
As you arrive at the final point of the trail, the views open up and you’ll get a glimpse of the Greystone PurePod hidden behind a row of trees. It’s at this very moment that you realise just how special the location is and how amazing the experience is going to be! From the PurePod, you are exposed to breathtaking 360 degree views and you feel far enough from the Waipara Valley below to get a good sense of privacy and isolation.
After arriving at the PurePod, you’ll probably want to spend a few minutes checking out all of the great features that makes the experience so unique. From the solar electricity powered LED lighting, fridge and water system, to the ‘comfiest bed the team could find’, and probably the most important part of the PurePod – the perfectly located shower that has a window looking out to the most spectacular view of the vineyards!
There is a drawer stocked with games, books, a telescope and even a Bluetooth speaker which will help keep you occupied during your stay. There is nothing like putting on some tunes and relaxing in the luxury loungers on the deck with a glass of wine in-hand.
The bed was another luxury feature, not only was it one of the comfiest beds I have ever slept in, the views from it were unreal! You could look up to the stars and out to the mountains, watching nature put on a show all while wrapped up in crisp white sheets.
It was an amazing feeling going to bed watching the stars glittering in the distance above you, and then waking up to the sunrise lighting up the sky in different shades of pinks and golds.
Lighting is one element that has been carefully considered when building the PurePods. The specially-placed lights provide a great mood for an evening in the pod. The underfloor lighting is my favourite part, being able to see the grass and tussock beneath your feet was pretty awesome and a nice reminder that nature was still so close.
When describing the PurePod experience to others, a question I often get is about the toilet / shower setup and whether there is any privacy. The toilet has a built-in blind giving you complete privacy, while the shower has a curtain that can be drawn if you choose to. In my opinion, the open shower is what makes the experience so natural and unique, looking out over breathtaking mountain ranges, knowing that you are so isolated and in complete privacy.
Food & Drink
You can either bring your own food supplies, or you now have the option to pre-order a sumptuous dinner and breakfast package which is made up of fresh local ingredients. The dinner includes a platter of locally made cheese, pate, crackers and fresh ciabatta bread along with a meat of your choice, ready for you to cook on the hob or BBQ. Fresh salad, gourmet potatoes and a sweet treat also accompany the meal. For breakfast, you can enjoy a freshly made muesli mix with locally-sourced organic yoghurt – a refreshing way to start the day!
Things to do
Read a book
Listen to the local birdsong
Hurunui Cycle & Walking Trails
Visit the Cellar Door at Greystone Wines
Stargazing through the telescope
Relax in the sun lounger under the shade of a nearby tree
Now that there are four PurePod properties within a relatively close distance, there is a brilliant new idea that the team have coined ‘Pod-hopping’. This is exactly what I did on my trip and absolutely loved the concept. Each pod has something that makes it unique, so despite the physical buildings being quite similar, it’s mostly the neighbouring environment that sets the properties apart from each other.
We should all spend a few nights off-grid more often. There is something so refreshing and rejuvenating about switching off the phones and laptops and truly appreciating your immediate surroundings, especially when combining luxury with nature.
Falling asleep to satellites and shooting stars glittering in the sky above from bed
Knowing you are making less impact than a tent would, while still enjoying a luxurious stay in the natural environment
Showering while being able to experience the outdoors!
Location: Waipara Valley, New Zealand