If you haven’t heard about these before, they are a tent that is suspended in the air, using trees to hold them up. Hmmmm, if that doesn’t make sense, here is a picture.
But the experience there was so much more than an sky tent.
Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary felt like it was situated in the middle of nowhere, but in reality it was about an hour north of Dargaville. The place was set up by Octvaian (yes that’s his name!) to offer a volunteering opportunity for those interested in protecting the native flora and fauna of the area and conservation promotion of an animal/insect that I bet you didn’t even know existed.
The Pupu Rangi, otherwise known as the New Zealand Kauri Snail is not cute, in fact it’s not cuddly either, so protection and conservation over this creature is pretty minimal. If you are lucky you may have seen their shells lying on a forest floor whilst hiking (or in NZ they call it ‘tramping’).
As part of our experience we were invited to dine with the group and watch a movie. It was bloody cold in the evening - which I wasn’t prepared for (as usual). The volunteers stay in container cabins and us guests get to head out into the bush to our hanging bedrooms.
First impressions - SO AWESOME! Actual impression - kinda impractical but fun and snuggly. If you ever stay in one, make sure it is with someone you at least like because in the morning you will all be smooshed in a heap in the middle of tent.
To get into the tentsile, you must climb up through a door in the bottom on the tent. This means that you do end up sleeping across the tents entry/exit. I had to make sure I didn’t drink much at dinner to ensure I didn’t have to do any midnight shuffling to get out to pee.
There aren't many places in Australia where you can rent/hire a tentsile as they are pretty expensive to buy (>$1000) and Pupurangi is the only place in New Zealand that you can stay in them (at the time we went anyway).
The next morning we were provided breakfast and coffee and continued on our northern tour of New Zealand by visiting the close by Kai iwi lakes.
I only happened to come across this organisation by chance, I would recommend following their journey on Facebook and provided support wherever you can!
Details on Pupu Rangi can be found at the links below:
Do you have any unique accommodation recommendations?
Until next time,