79. Stay at the award-winning Iona tiny house
In New Zealand’s indigenous language of te reo Māori, tiaki means ‘to care for people and place’, and the country’s invitation for travellers to take the ‘Tiaki Promise’ inspires visitors to ‘care for the land, sea and nature, treading lightly and leaving no trace’: here is No. 79 of our 101 Reasons To Stop Dreaming About New Zealand And Go.
It is fitting that the award-winning Iona tiny house sits lightly on the banks of the Whanganui River given that the 35-square-metre bach is constructed in large part from the recycled native kauri and totara timbers of an old boat. The Iona was built in Otago in 1924 and found in Northland/Te Tai Tokerau by the tiny house’s owners Hamish and Elinor McDouall. Elinor, an architect by trade, set about designing the compact space, utilising the weathered and worn timbers. The resulting small space is big on comfort, with a queen bed placed perfectly to watch the river meander by, a deck to relax on and cedar hot tub for soaking under the stars. While the property offers up loads of relaxing quiet, it is actually situated just a 10-minute walk from the restaurants and cafes of Whanganui’s buzzing Victoria Avenue, providing the perfect best-of-both-worlds escape.