Wainamu Luxury Tents
This luxe New Zealand camping experience encapsulates off-the-grid romance in Bethells Beach. The wild nature of the area, about 40 minutes form central Auckland, is captivating—black volcanic sand, undulating dunes, farm land, tussock, starry clear nights, and bird song and sea salt in the air. And with outdoor baths and proper toilets, Wainamu has it all. For those who want to unplug completely, there's no cell phone coverage in the area. Set on farm land with the shelter of sand dunes and bush-clad hills, there are two private camp sites, with a third due to open next season, which will include two tents and an eating and living whare (house); it's ideal for two families or groups of 12 to 15. Choose self-catering or your own chef. If you choose the former, you’ll still enjoy offerings from the owner, Anna Saunders, such as fresh eggs, lemons, and pots of herbs. The canvas tents are designed by her partner Jim Wheeler and inspired by the luxury safari tents of Botswana and Maori whare—complete with recycled wood floors, and linens and blankets by New Zealand makers. The activites are plentiful, including swimming and surfing at Bethells and nearby O’Neills, visiting Lake Wainamu, and plenty of waterfalls to explore. Book well in advance as popularity has spread. Wainamu is open from October to June.