What’s a scenery-loving traveler who can’t stand camping to do when traveling to a locale like the hills of New Zealand? ‘Glamping,’ or luxury camping, is one popular option offering many of the same benefits of staying in a tent without actually requiring you to rough it. Glamping accommodations range from oversized tipis with queen-sized beds and wood stoves to geodesic domes with their own private hot tubs, keeping you warm and comfortable while maintaining some semblance of a camping experience.
But even when the Great Outdoors is just outside your tent flap, you can feel a bit cut off from your surroundings. Enter ‘PurePods,’ a stunning solution that asks you to literally vacation outside the box. Set in three wilderness locations that require a hike-in, guaranteeing you privacy from the prying eyes of strangers, these totally transparent glass pods let you experience each setting from all angles while remaining indoors.
The first is The Little River, located in a valley with views of the sun rising over the hills in one direction and the Pacific Ocean in another. The second, Kahutara, is set within the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Range bordering the Kahutara River. The third PurePod, Manakau, features views of rolling green hills and the snow-covered Mt. Fyffe as well as Manakau Mountain. All three give you unique perspectives of New Zealand nature, as well as the starry skies, far from the light pollution of cities.
Each side of the reinforced glass hut features sliding glass doors, so you can open the interiors to the breeze. The ceiling offers an optional shade for protection from the sun when desired, and a bio-fuel fire keeps things cozy even when snow is falling outside. It would be especially fun to lounge inside a PurePod during a rainstorm, experiencing the weather while remaining totally dry.
Hike to a nearby bird sanctuary, take advantage of an optional picnic lunch, navigate farm tracks to South Bay to glimpse whales in the water or just revel in the complete absence of other humans, traffic and technology of virtually all kinds. There’s no wi-fi, and cell phones don’t work onsite. It’s the perfect time to work on a project, read a book or spend quality time with a loved one.
The pods are off-grid, powered with solar panels and using local water sources. Rainwater that falls on the roof waters the native plants outside, and LED lights provide low-energy illumination. Cook on the small glass burner in the kitchen or on an outdoor grill – and if you don’t feel like making your own meals, there are even delivery options. Did we mention that even the shower is glass?
“One of the great gifts that we have in New Zealand is our ability to be alone in extraordinarily beautiful places,” say PurePod’s founders. “That is why many people visit our country. And it is this precious gift that PurePods wants to share with you. PurePods are built on private property. In New Zealand such property is not encroached without prior permission of the landowner. We take special care in selecting our sites to ensure that there are no buildings in the immediate area, no public roadways or walkways in view of the PurePod. We ensure that you can see no-one, and no-one can see you.”