Here’s our picks for solar-powered getaways this summer. If you’re after a vehicle to get you there then we can hook you up! Visit our bookings page to hire a Snap Rental.
WHARE KEA LODGE, WANAKA
Prepare to lose your breathe (and your eco footprint) at this Wanaka beauty. Accessible by helicopter, the lodge is 1750m above sea level in the Albert Burn Saddle on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park.
Designed to have minimal environmental impact, the chalet took two years to build and has not only built a physical structure, but a legacy, too.
Whare Kea has won awards for its unique steel structure and the environmentally conscious power and waste systems. The roof holds snow; solar cells produce power and bottled propane gas is used for heating and cooking.
Not to mention the unbeatable views, extreme privacy and luxury.
According to its website, “four months of the year it is covered in snow, and in summer the slopes of tussock grass are dotted with wild flowers and tarns. It’s a spectacular base in which you can enjoy many chalet adventures – from scenic helicopter flights, hiking, heli-skiing or simply enjoying the stunning mountainscape.”
BIDDY AND THE STARGAZER, MASTERTON
A cute little caravan and outdoor bed comprise the quaint Biddy and the Stargazer in Masterton. The dynamic duo – Biddy (the caravan) and outdoor bed (the stargazer) are nostalgic 1970s caravans renovated with recycled wood.
Biddy is off the grid and has solar lights, a gas cooker, and a little coal stove. On a family farm near Masterton, Biddy sits with the Star Gazer, a double outdoor bed ideal for lying back and watching the night sky.
Novelty, neat, nostalgic and no eco worries here.
Golden Bay Hideaway
Into drinking champagne from an outdoor bath overlooking the infinitely enticing Golden Bay coast? Though so. Golden Bay Hideaway is for you.
Forget your worries – especially your eco ones – as you melt into the scenery and laid back Golden Bay way of life.
According to its website, “this holiday house catches all the afternoon sun, stores it, and maintains a comfortable temperature”.
Built for with environmental technology and smart building from the foundations, this is an energy efficient and low maintenance off the grid accommodation made to last – and create lasting holiday memories.
BEACONSTONE ECOLODGE, WESTPORT
This award-winning west coast escape ticks all the eco boxes.
The lodge is a solar-powered, quiet retreat overlooking the Paparoa mountains to the sea – an impressive vista at the best of times, especially when you are enjoying it from the comfort of a hammock on 42 hectares of farmland.
Get lost (not really though, take a GPS) along the bush walks to idyllic local river pools, and wander around the organic garden.
With an abundance of local activities nearby, you could try your hand at river rafting; visiting beaches, a seal colony and the famous Bayhouse Cafe, or drive 30 minutes to Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks.
Photos show the solar-powered possies merged with the native bush, providing incredible views at all times – even when you’re brushing your teeth.
DRIFTWOOD BEACH HUTS, NORTHLAND
Eco-huts nestled into lush native forest and a short stroll to the beach – Driftwood Seaside Escapes is camping with more style and luxury.
The Beach Huts are on a private cove just outside of Kerikeri and come equipped with sea views, the sound of native birds and activities like taking out the boat, relaxing in the hammock, cooking in the outdoor pizza oven (or toasting marshmallows) and stargazing.
Oh, and the amenities are pretty great, too.
Listen to the sound of native birds in the lush surrounding forest, wander down to the private cove and take the dinghy for a row or toast marshmallows and stargaze.
With two huts, each has a basic camp kitchen with gas hob, chilly bins and solar power – as well as luxury linen.
KOKOHUIA LODGE, NORTHLAND
Luxurious, solar powered and private – Kokohuia lodge has sweeping views of the Hokianga Harbour and famous sand dunes.
Immersed in native bush, there is room for just one couple but plenty of room to unwind, relax and enjoy the local sights from the fully organic gardens, bush and orchards.
CASCADE RETREAT, OTAGO
Just an hour out of Dunedin and a further hour to the Catlines, this off-the-grid escape is an authentic, hand-crafted log cabin.
Cascade Creek Retreat is unhosted, meaning your romantic getaway will truly be uninterrupted as you relax atop this Central Otago plateau.
There is no cellphone coverage, internet or television here, but there is powered supplied by solar and hydro sources and ample walking tracks, native birds and cascading waterfalls.
TRIPLE TUI LOG CABIN
Near Nelson at the top of the South Island, the Triple Tui log cabin is a romantic, remote escape.
Cross your own swing bridge to access the cabin, situated on a 50 acre farm near the Nelson Lakes National Park.
Defined as “rustic luxury” the Riverstone Cabin is built from locally harvested, sustainable wood, powered by solar power and hydroelectricity.
A great way to get off the grid in style and comfort, there is an onsite hunting and fishing guide as well as bush and walking tracks.