Love the one you're with? There's a secret new spot for romantics hiding in the hills above Paekākāriki

Travel News from Stuff - 11-09-2023
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It was after the third loud scrape under our car that I remembered the email: “I’ll meet you at the woolshed.”

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In our haste to reach we'd blitzed past that very woolshed and were now driving on an increasingly aggressive country road not really suited for our 2006 Mazda Atenza.

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Stopping to make a quick phone call to Hannah Thornton, owner of our weekend retreat high in the hills above Paekākāriki, we were informed that, yes, we had gone too far and missed the turnoff to this brand-new tiny home retreat.

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The bumps our car suffered were soon forgotten about as we drove down the steep descent to this secret off-grid hideout. Opened in April, this unashamedly romantic spot offers a break from the rigours of daily life, all within spitting distance of downtown Wellington.

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Everything in the one-bedroom home has that little bit of luxe about it, from the power shower to the kitted-out kitchenette, to the obligatory outdoor bath.

Those who like to do as little as possible can while away the time watching the incredible sunsets, toasting marshmallows on the wood fire or just hanging out and talking, or not talking, for hours. There's no TV or wi-fi but board games aplenty and a retro-vibe record player. This is laid-back bliss.

Don't fancy cooking? Trained chef Hannah will cram the fridge with meals to last the zombie apocalypse. Those who love unboxing videos will be in rapture by pulling out the various treats, all labelled with how-to cook guides. The pork and fennel lasagne was a particular highlight.

Ghostly voices from walkers on the nearby occasionally waft over the grasses, heard but not seen. Those with a bit more spring in their step can join them on the track, or more active couples can go mountain biking nearby. If you want to splurge that little bit more, how does your along the glorious Kāpiti Coast sound?

The only problem is having to return to reality.

It's $900 for a two-night minimum stay. Tuesday-Thursday can be booked for a single night at $550. There are meal options ranging from $35 to $120.

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