Pagoda Lodge
Pagoda Lodge

10 Unique Accommodations in the North Island

© Pagoda Lodge

The Weirdest Places to Stay in New Zealand

Stay in weirdest and most unique accommodations in the North Island! Hotels, motels and B&Bs come in all shapes and sizes in New Zealand. There are quirky little places that offer luxurious accommodation in yurts, a converted police station, and a church. Then there’s the downright insane accommodation such as a converted aeroplane, gypsy caravans and a houseboat!

Although the following listicle may feature some accommodation that is over the usual backpacker budget, there may still be something for the Lord of the Rings‘ nerds who absolutely has to sleep in a Hobbit hole or the aspiring lighthouse keeper.

So treat yourself to a stay in the weird and wonderful accommodation below! Or, just get pleasure out of the fact that these exist…

1. Woodlyn Park

What would you like to sleep in: a plane, a boat, a train or a Hobbit hole? Apart from crazy motels to stay in, Woodlyn Park is also the home of Billy Black: the travelling sheep shearer. You may have heard much about Maori cultural shows but at Woodlyn Park you can see a Kiwi culture show about country life. Woodlyn Park is also situated only two minutes from the amazing Waitomo Caves.

Location: Waitomo, North Island

Check Woodlyn Park out:

Woodlyn Park© Woodlyn Park

2. The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse is the ultimate beach house, making it to number two on our unique accommodations in the North Island! It is on Island Bay, 15 minutes from Wellington city centre.

Location: Wellington, North Island

Check The Lighthouse out:

The Lighthouse© The Lighthouse

3. QT Museum Wellington

To describe the QT Museum Wellington, formerly The Museum Art Hotel, in three words would be: classy, luxury and quirky. Where else can you find motorbikes as a decor in the foyer?

Location: Wellington, North Island

Check QT Wellington out:

QT Museum Wellington© QT Museum Wellington

4. Turoa Yurt Village

Yurts are based on the traditional structure originally used as a portable shelter for nomads in central Asia. The Turoa Yurt Village has used this concept to create an awesome ski chalet village in the North Island.

Location: Ohakune, North Island

Check a Turoa Yurt out:

© Turoa Yurt Village

5. Motuoapa Bay Holiday Park

Stay in a unique cabin on the shores of Lake Taupo at the Motuoapa Bay Holiday Park. Located just outside of Turangi, approximately a 40-minute drive from Taupo and en route to the Tongariro Crossing, Motuoapa Bay Holiday Park provides a silly spot to relax before and after the day’s adventure. Part of the cabin selection includes unique boathouses and retro VW Kombis!

Location: Motuoapa, North Island

Check Motuoapa Bay Holiday Park out:

11 Unique Accommodations in the North Island© Motuoapa Holiday Park

6. Greytown Yurts

Cosy up in a luxury yurt in Greytown, in the Wairarapa region just north of Wellington. Greytown Yurts features year-round comfort with a heat pump, a king-size bed and other gorgeous furnishings and fixings including a private outdoor bath. Although you’ll be away from the stresses of life in a 2-acre garden, you’ll still have access to modern comforts, such as Apple TV, USB charging points and more. Camping has never looked so good!

Location: Greytown, North Island

Check Greytown Yurts out:

11 Unique Accommodations in the North Island© Greytown Yurts

7. Pagoda Lodge

There are a number of unique accommodation choices at Pagoda Lodge. The quirkiest being: a converted boatshed, gypsy caravans, the safari tent, and the caravans. Especially with the caravans, the saying it’s what’s on the inside that counts really applies here.

Location: Bay of Islands, North Island

Check Pagoda Lodge out:

Pagoda Lodge© Pagoda Lodge

8. The Rock Adventure Cruise

Who says accommodation has to be on dry land? With the polished wooden interior that covers the cabins and bar/lounge area, you could easily forget you are on a boat. The Rock is New Zealand’s largest houseboat and is a cool way to do some activities in the Bay of Islands.

Location: Bay of Islands, North Island

Check The Rock Adventure Cruise out:©

9. Katikati Naturist Park

The slogan sums up this accommodation: for clothes-free recreation. Go skinny-dipping, stargaze in the nude, play pool and table tennis in the nude, play giant chess in the nude, and go for a walk in the Kaimai Ranges in the nude

Location: Bay of Plenty, North Island

Katikati Naturist Park© Katikati Naturist Park

10. The Flying Fox

A retreat in the Maori ancestral lands by the Whanganui River, The Flying Fox consists of three comfortable cottages. What makes them unique and an interesting stay is the focus on the cultural significance and organic principles. Not forgetting the cable cart to get across the river! The cottages themselves are made from natural materials from the local area.

Location: Whanganui, North Island

The Flying Fox© The Flying Fox

Want More New Zealand Quirkiness?

There are plenty more unique places to stay in the South Island too, as well as, some funky backpacker hostels. If you want to visit some of New Zealand’s quirkiest towns, take a look at the 22 BIG Things in New Zealand for insane sculptures in small towns.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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