55. Witness the starry skies at Nightsky Cottage
Live up luxury in New Zealand with its architectural masterpieces in the wildest of locations and five-star retreats with serious eco credentials: here is No. 55 of our 101 Reasons To Stop Dreaming About New Zealand And Go.
Stargaze beneath the dark skies of Tongariro National Park and wake to panoramic views of Mt Ruapehu from the five-star comfort of Nightsky Cottage, a luxury eco retreat in Ruapehu in the heart of the North Island/Te Ika-a-Māui. This adults-only bolthole is squirrelled away in a hectare of native bush – made up of mānuka and ancient beech trees – bordering Tongariro.
Operating with a zero-waste philosophy alongside a host of other planet-friendly initiatives such as boardwalk access to protect the delicate forest floor, it was recently awarded a coveted Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award by Qualmark (the New Zealand tourism industry’s official quality assurance organisation). This mindfully and site-specifically designed spot captures all the charm of a quintessential Department of Conservation (DOC) hut (public refuges that are scattered across the country’s most scenic landscapes) on the outside, with five-star luxuries on the inside.
It has two bedrooms with king-size beds and a spacious living area including a dining space and cosy wood fire, with mānuka bush views from every corner. Its bathroom features two freestanding tubs side by side with bath salts and candles supplied, while the wraparound deck provides the perfect position for spotting wildlife like kiwis and deer. And for stargazing, of course.