‘A completely glass eco-pod immersed in the foothills of the Kaikōura Ranges’. About a year ago, we were fortunate enough to have stumbled upon one of New Zealand’s most innovative developments in luxury accommodation, ‘PurePods’.
Through a unique fusion of predominantly glass paneling complimented by timber and steel, PurePods allows the outdoors to meet the indoors, revolutionizing a stay into an experience of its own.
Fast forward 12 months later and we’re driving along a backyard farm road about 20 minutes from Kaikōura, effortlessly crossing tiny streams and dry river beds, shortly before arriving at the farmhouse carpark of PurePods Kaikōura, the second evolution.
Upon our arrival we received one of the warmest welcomes we’ve experienced in New Zealand by property owners Tony & Ange, a family with deep roots to the area going back over three generations.
We locked up our car at the carpark, securely standing within a stones throw from the farmhouse and grabbed our bags to set off on the 500-600m stroll up to ‘Manakau’, our escape into nature for the following two nights.
The short walk up to the PurePod began with a picturesque farm road alongside a sheep-filled paddock that soon connects to a forested pathway where we walked under a canopy of Kanuka trees that soon opened up to glimpses of our PurePod.
That moment when the PurePod comes into view is indescribable – it’s truly one of those, “wow, that is something special” moments.
After sighting the PurePod we couldn’t help but pick up the pace, as the anticipation to get there was impossible to contain.
On arrival to our PurePod we found ourselves completely torn between wanting to get inside to immerse ourselves in glass goodness or get out onto the deck and take in the magnificence of the 2,000 acre property that surrounded us.
With its northerly aspect, it was hard not to stand in awe to take in the impressive views of towering Mount Fyfe and 2,600m high Manakau mountains that stood before us.
As the light began to fade we retreated indoors to enjoy a scrumptious dinner of freshly caught crayfish and provisions locally sourced from a few of Kaikōura’s food artisans, all while shaking our head in disbelief with how magical the setting we were immersed within.
The pod has every conceivable kitchen utensil needed on a short stay, with cooking and heating fuelled by a cleverly engineered biofuel power source.
One of the highlights of a PurePods experience is taking a shower, one completely enclosed in glass.
When else do you get excited about jumping into the shower ?
Well a PurePods shower means gazing out through the glass walls surrounding you, looking out over the meandering landscape, towering mountains and sheep-dotted hills right before you….a bathing experience hard to beat!
Tucking in for the night, we closed up the doors, climbed into our crisply sheeted luxurious bed and watched the evening sky transform minute by minute into complete darkness.
The following morning it was time to explore – being located on a 2,000 acre property meant there was no shortage of trails to explore, short ones and longer more adventurous ones.
Just out front of the PurePod a short path leads down to a superb view of the Kahutara River beneath and access to the second PurePod onsite, aptly named ‘Kahutara’, something we could only imagine would be the perfect addition if travelling with another couple or family.
While we enjoyed the privacy of our own hidden escape we couldn’t help our curiosity to catch up with the Tony (the land owner) to hear more about his story about the property his family had owned for some years.
Tony is one of those people that has so much passion and connection to the land he lives on that words were clearly not going to be sufficient for him to explain the uniqueness of this truly special location.
Before we knew it we were sitting on the back of his quad bike, heading for the very peak of the surrounding hills behind the PurePod, all while hearing about the animals on the farm and Tony share his story of his favourite viewpoints.
Having experienced both of the first two PurePods it is clear that PurePods is so much more than just a place to stay, it is a concept that is only made possible when some very special elements come together.
When a unique location emerges, when a landowner has a shared vision and they are both connected by this revolutionary concept in accommodation – only then is something as unique as PurePods possible.
Experiencing one PurePod is so very different to experiencing another as the settings are so very different, we cannot help but wait in eager anticipation of where next ?
Showering while being able to experience the outdoors
Watching the sunrise over the valley and waking up to sheep roaming past our doorstep
Meeting our friendly hosts and getting to know the history of the farm