The ultimate off-grid sanctuary

The ultimate off-grid sanctuary

For a life-enhancing experience unlike any other, New Zealand now offers a wilderness retreat that will leave visitors spellbound.

Words Kyra Xavia.

Tucked away in secluded pockets of paradise, a PurePod is much more just than a special place to stay.

Imagine an abode so still and beautiful, where it’s quiet, private and spacious enough to tune into your own rhythms and desires. Picture too, complete freedom to rest and relax, and enjoy the power of the pause without distraction and intrusion.

Set as close to nature as possible and as far from the demands of society as practical, it’s the exceptional combination of rare and precious elements that creates PurePod alchemy. What manifests is unique for each visitor and their gift to treasure.

The Greystone PurePod is fitted out with a super-comfortable bed made up with fresh crisp linen.

There are four PurePods, all in the Canterbury region. 

This is what happened for me.

The magic starts at the moment of booking, when an email is received with a map to the PurePod’s secret location. An hour north of Christchurch, anticipation built as I turned onto a gravel road and slowly made my way up to the rugged ranges and beyond. When I parked the car, I was enveloped in silence - then on the short hike, a welcome sense of distance, as I left the busy world behind.

A panorama of the Waipara Valley unfurled below, and nestled in a sheltered curve in the hillside above, was the PurePod.

A thrill ran through me and there were more to come because I had entered goosebump terrain.

With its streamlined, light-filled interior, transparent floor, ceiling and sliding walls, all suspended above the ground so the growth beneath is visible - this off-grid, glass eco-cabin is the ultimate sanctuary. As light on the earth as a tent, with all the romance and intimacy plus plenty of luxury, the PurePod has been innovatively designed to minimise its impact on the environment, while deepening our bond with it via 360-degree views and a structure that lets the outdoors in, for full sensory immersion into nature’s lull.

After enjoying a meal in silence, I lay cocooned in comfort on the bed and savoured the soft transition of day into dusk, watching birds fly overhead. I showered in the gloaming with the lights off, and let the night enfold me like a velvet blanket.

Although I hoped to see a sky dusty with the Milky Way, it didn’t matter that the cloud closed in. (Whatever theatre is on show weatherwise, it’s bound to be memorable.)

Infused with calm, feeling safe and blissful, I went to sleep with the doors open, inhaling fresh air, loving how silky the sheets were against my skin, while a cool, light breeze kissed my cheeks. I woke with the rising sun, and in the serenity with my senses tickled, knew just what my morning required. In such a seclusive setting it was time for naked yoga!

The space works wonders. Clarity increases, inhibitions dissolve, time slows, and the heart fills up, which might explain why a single rejevenating night in a PurePod feels like a week spent elsewhere.

Purity flows freely inside and out. Water comes from an artisian spring, solar power provides electricity, and heat and hot water is powered by bio-fuel combined with solar when available. And aligned with a love of the land, this particular PurePod is located in an organic Vineyard.

Deliberately devoid of noisy, power-hungry appliances, and without TV, DVD, Wi-Fi or powerplugs - there’s a richer connection to be found with yourself, your loved ones, and your surrounds - and that’s the whole point.

There are other PurePods in the South Island, each one sequested somewhere stunning with unique flora and fauna – and it’s no surprise their enchanting effects have generated a phenomena called podhopping.

Thanks to mine, I left Greystone with my step a bit lighter.

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