Te Awa Hut is a haven in the depths of the Wairarapa. A perfect retreat for those who long to get lost, you’ll enjoy peace and solitude in a gorgeous natural setting at this cosy glamping site.
A few weeks ago, Matt and I were lucky enough to be offered to go on an overnight stay, thanks to Canopy Camping. Located just outside of Martinborough in Ruakokapetuna, Te Awa Tent is part of the Rivers Edge Glamping site and is listed on my favourite New Zealand accommodation website.
Canopy Camping do unexpected luxury getaways ‘off the beaten track’. They curate a selection of beautiful places for a romantic stay that you won’t find anywhere else. Canopy Camping makes it easy to find your ideal New Zealand accommodation based on location, vibe and price. Many of their beautiful hidden glamping spots have unexpected featured such as an outdoor bath, care packages and bottles of wine on arrival, total privacy and friendly farm animals nearby. I love Canopy Camping and entirely trust them to find somewhere excellent which is a bit different, so I couldn’t have been happier to experience Te Awa Tent and put it to the test.
Te Awa Tent expertly mixes practicality with fantasy and certainly isn’t camping as you remember it from school. Located on private farmland, down a long gravel road, the tent itself is a gorgeous canvas creation with a solid timber frame. As you drive up to the tent, after going up and down the winding hills and through the muddy gates (well, it was September), you’ll see a sturdy deck with outdoor living furniture, perfect for a glass of Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc as the sun goes down. Around the back of the tent is a generous outdoor tub complete with Ashley and Co bathroom products, waiting for you to hop in and enjoy a moonlight soak.
Inside, the front of the tent has a large glass sliding door which is thick enough to keep out the cold, even in winter. The floors are timbre, littered with fur throws, and in the corner is a wood burner, complete with firewood and firelighters. The tent can be lit by small torpedo lamps. Wide leafy plants adorn heavy antique furniture, giving a modern feel. In the middle of the tent is a huge king-sized bed which is made up with luxury linens. At the back is a bathroom with french country accents and huge shower with hot water, and a small kitchenette including icebox. Little thoughtful details are scattered around, such as small bouquets of flowers and even a box with marshmallows and digestives to make ‘smores.
But the most beautiful thing about this stunning site is the evening light as the sun goes down. It flickers through the tree branches, golden. Your hands seem to glow. Even the tent itself seems to levitate in the beauty of it. With complete privacy, you can truly relax and be at peace with nothing but the sound of sheep ‘baa-ing’ and the rushing swoosh of water running in the river. Sitting on the deck, I felt like I was getting to see a side of the Wairarapa which few others do.
As far as the Wairarapa goes, the weather can be - to say the least - changeable. How does Te Awa Hutt measure up?
It started raining heavily on the night that Matt and I stayed but the tent remained bone dry and warm. The sound of the rain pouring down, mixed with the river, actually felt quite cosy, and fortunately, there was no wind. The next day it was chilly but was enough to pop the wood fire burner back on and relax for a few more hours until it was time to go for brunch in Martinborough. Bliss!
Important information if you stay at Te Awa Hutt: this site is truly off the grid. The tent has running water but cooking is by gas-bottle and there is no electricity. Knowing this, on the way over we picked up some Thai takeaway from Martinborough for dinner (because why not!) and made sure we didn’t arrive in the dark. This proved perfect because we didn’t have to arrive and then turn around again to go out and buy food for dinner.
I would highly recommend a stay at Te Awa Tent for those who want to experience New Zealand’s sublime natural beauty in a luxury setting in the Wairarapa. Perfect for girls getaways, romantic anniversaries and honeymoons, you can’t go wrong with this secret treasure!