Arrivals & Departures Curious Kiwi stays: Five of New Zealand's oddest accommodations

Silo Stays at Little River, Christchurch
Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Have you ever considered sleeping the night in a lighthouse, a grain silo, or even a jail?

Accommodation can come in weird and wonderful forms, and New Zealand is well in the unusual stays game with a lighthouse, grain silos, glass pods, tree houses and even a prison available.

SiloStay, Little River 

Perched above the hamlet of Little River on Banks Peninsula, just south of Christchurch, are these striking metal silos. Traditionally used to store grain, they've been re-purposed as accommodation.

Despite having agricultural origins, the silos make for some funky industrial design. They cost from $180 a night.

The Lighthouse, Wellington

In 1994, Bruce Stokell built a painting studio for his wife. To gain interrupted views to the South Island from the seaside Wellington neighbourhood of Island Bay, he had to build up. So he built a lighthouse.

The lighthouse has a kitchen area and bathroom on the first floor, bedroom in the middle and sitting room with fantastic views on the top floor.

It’s a 15-minute drive from downtown Wellington and costs from $170 per night.

The Jailhouse, Christchurch 

Built in 1874, Christchurch’s The Jailhouse was has been a men’s prison, women’s prison and a military camp. It was decommissioned in 1999 before being reopened as an 80-bed hostel in 2006.

Many original features still remain, and many of the rooms are former cells. Accommodation options range from dorms to a family room. Dorm beds from $29 per night.

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses, Kaikoura

These five tree houses, perched 10m above the ground in a grove of native kanuka trees, aim to get guests closer to the birds, mountains, ocean and sky.

Located just north of Kaikoura on the South Island's east coast, the beautifully designed tree houses cost from $999 a night.

PurePods Greystone, Waipara

With walls, floors and ceilings made of glass, the new Greystone PurePod has uninterrupted views across Greystone Winery and up the Waipara Valley.

Found nowhere else in the world, the PurePod is a first-of-its-kind glass structure made for two. Located less than an hour north of Christchurch, it costs $490 per night.

Fact File


With suggestions from Tourism New Zealand.


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