Anyone on the lookout for a unique weekend getaway will know it’s not only about what you do during your trip, but where you choose to do it – and this includes where you stay. From treehouses to teepees, “bach” holiday homes and even buses, many of us (especially city-dwellers) are seeking idiosyncratic accommodation in interesting, back-to-nature locations.

Australian vacation website Riparide has been a go-to for booking trips like this after launching in Victoria in 2014. Now, with over 2000 properties across Australia, it’s expanded to New Zealand.

The platform has over 100 property listings in the North Island to begin with, with more locations (including in the South Island) to come. As well as bookings that span the aforementioned treehouses and buses, there’s an A-frame chalet with a pizza oven and plenty of places with outdoor baths. There are houses in the bush and on the beach, cottages near lakes and tiny homes on farms.

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“Riparide is a way to offset the daily grind and reconnect with nature,” co-founder Marlon Law told Broadsheet in 2019. His father co-founded surf behemoth Quiksilver, and Law grew up on the Victorian coast. After moving to Melbourne, he found that returning to nature was key to switching off from city life – a realisation that prompted him to create the platform.

Law says the company is thrilled that New Zealand is its first international launch. “Kiwis are adventurous by nature, but it can be hard to find the time to explore your own backyard between work and life commitments,” he says. “We want to empower Kiwi travellers to unplug, reconnect with nature, and seek local adventures.”

On the website, not only does each Riparide listing contain all the details about the property, but many are also profiled with a story by a previous visitor. These “storytellers” provide a colourful account of their experiences of the place and its surroundings, along with some images from their stay.

The write-ups are intended to act as both travel guides and inspiration. Each one includes suggestions of activities to do in the area – including local walks, swimming spots, the best places to eat and more – so you can be sure to get the most out of your getaway, no matter how fleeting it might be.

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