Ophelia Buckleton is a reporter for the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Are these the best Airbnb rentals in NZ?

Airbnb lets travellers have a unique taste of NZ
Fossil Cove Estate boasts jaw-dropping sea views. Photo / Supplied
Fossil Cove Estate boasts jaw-dropping sea views. Photo / Supplied

You could spend your hard-earned holiday in a roadside motel, or you could stay in a tree tent suspended above the forest floor in Northland, a house truck with stunning views of Golden Bay or chopper to a snowy mountain hut in Otago.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that lets people list, discover and book accommodation around the world.

And many of the 19,000 Airbnb listings in New Zealand definitely don't lack when it comes to wacky, cool and luxurious pads up for rent.

Earthship - as seen on Grand Designs NZ

The Earthship, located in the Coromandel, is built with all natural and recycled materials. Photo / Supplied
The Earthship, located in the Coromandel, is built with all natural and recycled materials. Photo / Supplied

Dubbed the 'Earthship' because it is built in and of the earth, this Airbnb is made from recycled and natural materials including more than 1000 old tyres, glass bottles and mud bricks.

Palm trees grow out of the floor and a passionfruit vine climbs the walls of the four-bedroom retreat, sunk into the hillside in Hikuai, Coromandel.

Gus and Sarah Anning's dream home, which featured on Grand Designs NZ, collects its own rainwater and generates its own electricity using solar panels.

This Airbnb property featured on Grand Designs. Photo / Supplied
This Airbnb property featured on Grand Designs. Photo / Supplied

The Earthship is the ultimate secluded spot to unwind and feel good while you're doing it, plus it is close to some of the Coromandel's best beaches.

"Everyone comes here and completely switches off. It's really quiet - there are no street lights and no cars," said Gus.

The Earthship costs $500 per night.

Defy gravity

Nestled in the trees, this Airbnb takes accommodation to new heights. Photo / Supplied
Nestled in the trees, this Airbnb takes accommodation to new heights. Photo / Supplied

Tree Tents - nestled in trees over Northland's Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary - certainly aren't for the faint hearted.

Enjoy your days exploring a range of trails in the forest or help make a difference by participating in conservation activities before sleeping amongst the stars.

Tree Tents fund the conservation activities of the nature sanctuary and are easy on the environment.

"With normal tents you have to flatten the land, clear space, have gravel ... tree tents leave zero impact on the forest," said nature sanctuary director Octavian Grigoriu.

Accommodation comes at $159 per night and is only available between mid December and end of March.

Revolving Lighthouse

This Airbnb rotates 360 degrees at the flick of a switch. Photo / Supplied
This Airbnb rotates 360 degrees at the flick of a switch. Photo / Supplied

If you are the kind of person who gets bored of just one view from your bedroom, then the Lighthouse could be the thing for you.

Coming soon to Airbnb, the revolving Lighthouse allows every room to rotate where you want it, when you want it.

Overlooking Maraetai Beach in Auckland, the glass and steel three-bedroom property will have you in a whirl of excitement.

Don Dunick built the innovative house 15 years ago and said he hopes to make it available to Airbnb guests in the next year or so.

The Lighthouse will charge punters $585 per night.

Journey to new heights

The Mountain Hut can only be accessed by helicopter. Photo / Supplied
The Mountain Hut can only be accessed by helicopter. Photo / Supplied

For those wanting privacy and access to the great Kiwi outdoors, book into Otago's Mountain Hut.

Arrive by helicopter at this cosy, handcrafted hut located on the slopes of Mt Larkins.

This Airbnb offers a hosted, overnight experience where guests can relax in front of the fire or explore the grandeur of New Zealand's back country with a spot of skiing through the snow fields in winter or mountain biking from the tops to the valley floor in summer.

"It's a very unique and different experience for people who like spending time up high," said co-owner Christine Kelly. "It gives you a moment to contemplate and not be involved in the hustle and bustle of everyday life."

Prices range according to number of guests, but start at $795 per night.

People in glass houses

This Airbnb is perfect for stargazing. Photo / Supplied
This Airbnb is perfect for stargazing. Photo / Supplied

Worried about losing your privacy in a tiny hut with a glass, floor, roof and ceiling - fear not.

Set high above the award-winning Greystone Winery in the heart of the Waipara Valley, the PurePod is as private and isolated as they come.

The solar-powered, luxurious Airbnb offers unobstructed views of the stars above, vine-covered flats and rolling hills from the comfort of your bed.

The PurePod is total surround glass - walls, floor and roof - offering spectacular views. Photo / Supplied
The PurePod is total surround glass - walls, floor and roof - offering spectacular views. Photo / Supplied



CEO Stephanie Hassall said this is the fourth PurePod location in New Zealand, all of which tap into a growing market of city dwellers who yearn for nature.

"It's an intensely deep immersion into pure New Zealand.

"Imagine being all alone in a stunning natural location in a luxury glass cabin, after leaving your car parked safely and completing a 10 minute walk through a wonderful natural environment."

Accommodation is $490 per night.

Luxury island getaway

American pop singer Lady Gaga has stayed at this luxurious Airbnb on Waiheke. Photo / Supplied
American pop singer Lady Gaga has stayed at this luxurious Airbnb on Waiheke. Photo / Supplied

If you are looking to impress your significant other with a romantic getaway - a favourite of Lady Gaga herself - then Fossil Cove Estate on Waiheke Island is the perfect place.

The luxurious six-bedroom home, set on 12-acres of peninsula headland, has jaw-dropping sea views, a heated infinity pool, helicopter pad, large library and a Range Rover available for bookings of more than seven nights.

What's more, Fossil Cove is serviced daily and has chefs available to cover all dining requirements.

Rents for $5000 a night.

House Truck

This Airbnb in Golden Bay is a quirky accomodation option. Photo / goldenbayhideaway.co.nz
This Airbnb in Golden Bay is a quirky accomodation option. Photo / goldenbayhideaway.co.nz

For holiday makers wanting a holiday home on wheels, the House Truck is a must visit.

The vehicle spent 10 years travelling around the country before it settled in a private bush location in Golden Bay.

All windows and doors were custom made for the fully-equipped wagon, which has been lovingly restored to provide a unique Kiwi experience for up to four guests.

The quirky House Truck has no Wi-Fi, but there is electricity, water and great views. Photo / goldenbayhideaway.co.nz
The quirky House Truck has no Wi-Fi, but there is electricity, water and great views. Photo / goldenbayhideaway.co.nz

Owner Lawrence McIntyre said he loves all the detail in the House Truck including the kauri backdoor and "all the wee cupboards and shelves".

"Renting it out has kept it alive."

With an outside bath, sea views and a wood fire, this quirky Airbnb is sure to make your holiday dreams come true.

Rates start at $110 per night.

Fully-staffed, luxury home

The private outdoor fireplace at this exclusive and luxury Auckland Airbnb. Photo / Supplied
The private outdoor fireplace at this exclusive and luxury Auckland Airbnb. Photo / Supplied

And if money is no object when it comes to lodgings, St Marys Residence is definitely a slice of luxury to check out.

Located in one of Auckland's most exclusive heritage suburbs, the St Marys Residence is blessed with a 360-degree view of the Waitemata Harbour and city scape.

With a 'single party reservation' policy, guests are guaranteed to have the place to themselves for the entirety of their stay - unless of course one opts to have a private chef, stewardess and housekeeper team to make their stay effortless.

St Marys Residence enjoys spectacular views of the Waitemata Harbour. Photo / Supplied
St Marys Residence enjoys spectacular views of the Waitemata Harbour. Photo / Supplied

This Airbnb offers never-ending luxury, including a private cellar stocked with wine, spirits and craft beers, and the options of chartering a helicopter or spending a girls' day out with a personal shopper and stylist.

Charges start from $6900 per night.

- NZ Herald

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