Hidden away far up the Whanganui River, Heather and Fritz Bonk live off the grid and love everything about it.

They own Posh Pioneers, a collection of self-sustainable huts beside the Whanganui River which are only accessible by jetboat, canoe or helicopter. The huts were built in Tauranga and dropped off by helicopter.

Heather said buying the plot of land on Maharanui, formerly a farm, 10 years ago was one of the best things they have done.

"It was better than winning Lotto," she said.


The couple built Maharanui Lodge soon after buying the land and wanted to share what they had with like-minded people.

"Such was the feedback and encouragement from family, friends and visitors, we decided to take further steps to share this pristine location with others by building six shepherds' huts on wheels, a kitchen and a bathroom with all the modern comforts," Fritz said.

"This to us is paradise," Heather said.

The pair have been living and holidaying in the central region around the Whanganui River for the last 50 years and love the tranquillity that comes with living remotely.

"Our nearest neighbour is miles away," Fritz said.

"We have all become spiritually enlightened by our everyday effort. It is a wonderful journey to be a part of.

"We now want to share those wonderful experiences with our guests where they can enjoy the hidden attractions of the Whanganui awa while getting some much-needed relaxation in an amazing setting."

Former technology teacher Heather said the initiative was all about sustainable living, with a quarter acre (1011 sq m) of gardens filled with all types of fruit trees, solar panels for electricity and composting toilets.


"We grow all our own vegetables, use our lawn clippings for compost. We have traps for possums and I use the fibre to make hats."

Being away from the city has its benefits, including visits from kiwis.

"Kiwis always come up on the mown grass area right by the huts. They love it up there. You can hear their calling."

For visitors, there are two jet boats on site, or they can go canoeing and hiking. Heather also runs traditional crafts, such as soap making and harakeke weaving, for those looking to slow down.