A ship turned tiny home is Whanganui’s cutest keep

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As a journey author for greater than a decade, I’ve stayed in plenty of lodging over time. From sleeping on a pile of mats in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan to flashy five-star inns in Dubai, I’ve seen all of it. However one factor that hasn’t modified is that little hit of serotonin you get while you stroll right into a resort for the primary time, and also you instantly adore it. 

If there may be one place that’s been persistently fabulous for lodging in New Zealand, it needs to be Canopy Camping. A group of distinctive glamping websites round New Zealand, they’ve a number of the coolest locations you’ll be able to keep. All off the crushed observe, many are on non-public farms or in wilderness areas that mean you can take pleasure in nature in consolation. Some are like cabins or huts, others are large canvas tents, and most mirror the sensation and historical past of the place.

After I realized I’d be going as much as Whanganui, there was one place I used to be dying to stick with them – the Iona Tiny House, a historic boat-turned-tiny home. Signal me up!

iona tiny house

iona tiny house

Simply two hours north of Wellington on New Zealand’s North Island, Whanganui is a good getaway, particularly for these seeking to get off the crushed observe. Over the previous few years, the town reworked right into a veritable hub of artwork and tradition. And with seashores, mountains, and delightful nature proper in your doorstep, Whanganui ticks all of the packing containers. 

You don’t must spend a lot time in Whanganui to understand how vital the Whanganui River is. It’s the primary on the earth to be thought of a authorized individual. The river itself can be one of many Great Walks in New Zealand, besides you paddle in a canoe as an alternative of strolling. 

So long as people have been in New Zealand, the Whanganui River has held nice significance to Māori and in a while to Europeans. Boating alongside its shores has lengthy been a vacationer exercise, and water is vital to Māori, linked to id, transport, and meals gathering.

“Ko te wai te ora ngā mea katoa” – Water is the life giver of all issues

The Whanganui River cuts proper by means of city earlier than assembly the Tasman Sea. Regardless of the place I discovered myself, I used to be by no means removed from the river. 

Reflecting the historical past and significance of the river itself is the Iona Tiny House. Perched above the river banks subsequent to city, it’s a haven and stress-free place. It’s a type of locations you get to and by no means need to go away. I might really feel a smile lighting up my face as I walked down the little path to the entrance of the home; I had by no means seen something fairly prefer it!

This cute tiny home is constructed into the hull of the Iona, an previous kauri and totara riverboat used for fishing a century in the past in Dunedin. Native architect Elinor McDouall noticed the previous boat on the market on Trademe in Northland in 2016 and determined to present it a brand new lease on life.

As somebody who chronically takes on tasks that she grossly underestimates the work concerned, I can’t even start to think about how arduous it might have been to show this into the fashionable house we take pleasure in immediately.

Coming in at solely 35 sq. meters, the Iona Tiny Home is small however packs a giant punch. It’s additionally the primary city glamping place I’ve stayed. Throughout the river from the historic downtown, a highway runs alongside it. You’re only some minutes stroll away from all the things you would possibly want. 

However when you pull in and park your automobile, you’ll rapidly understand it’s set as much as really feel such as you’re off the grid. You don’t hear or see any neighbors. Surrounded by native bush, there’s somewhat non-public path to the river. 

As you get out of the automobile, you see the hull of the Iona varieties the again of the home, nonetheless distinctly boat-shaped. You then meander round a wood plank path to reach on the entrance, which overlooks the river. With a wood spa outdoors, it couldn’t be extra idyllic. It’s additionally totally enclosed and arrange like a house, so it’s much less glamping and extra tiny house-ing. It may be opened up or closed off. 

You may inform the Iona Tiny Home is a real labor of affection. 

With a kitchen you’ll be able to simply keep in and never even go away, watching the river meander by from the mattress. Tucked right into a little bit of a nook, it’s the epitome of cozy. There’s even somewhat hidey gap the place youngsters can sleep. Hold your eyes peeled for a pleasant cat that pops by some evenings for pats. 

There’s a curved couch constructed into the hull of the ship the place you’ll be able to curl up with a ebook and simply be at peace. With somewhat logburner, it’s the epitome of cottage-core. Although I used to be right here in the course of the summer season, so it was positively not wanted.

I spent almost per week on the Iona Tiny Home, which was such a deal with for me. Normally after I journey, I transfer round rather a lot. To have the ability to settle in, usher in groceries, and take my time made me really feel like I might actually respect this place. 

It rained rather a lot whereas I used to be in Whanganui due to the weird cyclone up north on the time. I is likely to be the one one that loves it when it rains. Down in Wanaka the place I dwell on the South Island, it’s very dry. It doesn’t rain rather a lot. This summer season was notably sizzling and dry, we went weeks and weeks with out rain.

I like falling asleep to the pitter patter sounds of rain on the roof. When the sky darkens, and you understand the rain is coming, properly that’s the most effective. I like staying in mattress late studying and ingesting espresso simply having fun with being inside in a stupendous place.

Rising up in rural Virginia on the east coast of the US, we had sizzling, humid summers with thunderstorms almost each afternoon. I’ve a lot nostalgia for the nice and cozy scent of contemporary rain. The mild buzz of cidadas. Sleeping by the river within the Iona Tiny Home took me straight again down reminiscence lane. 

My time right here was nothing wanting magical. 

The increasingly more I journey, the extra I like slowing down and taking my time. Simply being in a stupendous place is particular for me. I’m not pushed by that must scratch off as many issues as doable from a listing like I did in my twenties. 

Whanganui is a spot that beckons you to come back and keep. Right here you’ll be able to sit down and discuss to strangers with ease. And there’s no the place higher to base your self than on the distinctive former boat – the Iona Tiny Home.

What’s essentially the most distinctive place you’ve ever stayed? Would you sleep on this boat too?

Many because of Whanganui and Companions for internet hosting me on this wonderful journey – like all the time, I’m protecting it actual. All opinions are my very own like you can anticipate much less from me.