Glamping in New Zealand: Luxury in the Outdoors

Approximately 40 million people in the U.S. go camping each year as part of their vacation. However, it was always something I’ve been hesitant to do.  To me vacation means glamour and the fun of staying at luxurious hotels that pamper and offer you the very best amenities. Anyone with reservations about the rustic outdoors is unlikely to pay good money to sleep uncomfortably on the cold, wet ground – until the introduction of glamping!

Glamping is all the fun of outdoor camping unified with luxury accommodations. For your inaugural trip, consider New Zealand. The country has some of the most beautiful landscapes and is famous for its glamping sites and accommodations. It’s also known for its extreme sports and outdoor activities that include fishing, canoeing, cycling, and tramping.  With that in mind, grab your most high maintenance pals and try out glamping in New Zealand.

Waitomo Hilltop Glamping Site

Waitomo landscape, Glamping in New Zealand
Waitomo Landscape by Phil Whitehouse (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hangatiki, Waitomo is approximately 88 miles from one of the country’s largest cities, Auckland; and home to one of the most glamourous campsites: Waitomo Hilltop Glamping. Located on a 500-hectare family farm, guests stay in custom-made tents made in and brought from South Africa. Each tent allows for personalized temperature adjustment for each of its two rooms. The main sleeping space has a queen size bed with luxury linens for a comfortable night’s sleep under the stars. 

The Waitomo site also provides for your culinary needs with an outdoor kitchen, including a wood burning brick oven for pizza. Additionally, it offers an indoor flushable toilet and two large soaker tubs with amazing views. The property has a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Activities include bird watching wood pigeons, tui, kingfisher and fantails, all native to New Zealand. 

Note: there is no electricity at Waitomo Hilltop Glamping. However, there is mobile phone and 4G coverage.

What to Do While in Waitomo

Glowworm caves. Glamping in New Zealand
Glowworms Waitomo by 2il org (CC BY 2.0)

You will need to rent a car to get to the many outdoor adventures while in Waitomo. Topping the list for many visitors is a trip to the glowworm caves. These glowworms, specific to New Zealand, make for a beautiful sight! In fact, people from all over the country (and the world) travel and take a boat ride through the caves. Tickets begin at $53 New Zealand dollars and leave every 15 minutes. The sight has been described as an almost religious experience of serenity.

Another activity to do while in Waitomo is visiting Marokopa Falls.  Unlike the serene atmosphere of the caves, a visit to the falls can be loud and exhilarating. For thrill seekers, take the Black Abyss tour, which features tubing, black water rafting and abseiling into the depths of Ruakuri Cave. The tour costs $255 per person (16+ years only) and includes an abseiling lesson.

Come to New Zealand for a glamping adventure because it has it all: adventure, isolated open spaces, and most importantly, luxury. Glamping combines the allure of the great outdoors, adventure, relaxation and luxury. A stay at Waitomo Hilltop Glamping site combines the fun of outdoor living and the luxuries of a five-star hotel.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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  1. Top Luxury Places to Visit in Oceania | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] good number of charming sites with absolutely breathtaking views and utmost comfort. For instance, Waitomo, about 88 miles from Auckland, boasts one such notable glamping site. There are so many interesting […]


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