Picture this: sparkling river, private deck, sunshine overhead, a light breeze that arrives at the perfect moment and the chance to stay in a beautiful, unique tiny house. This is what you get when you decide to stay at the Iona Tiny House in Whanganui.
New Zealand is full of hidden gems that come in all shapes and sizes. The Iona Tiny House might be on the small side, but it makes a massive impact. Situated on the Whanganui River banks nestled among the flax, the unique accommodation has everything you need to take your weekend getaway to the next level.
About Iona Tiny House
The house was designed by a local architect and is made out of the hull of an old riverboat. The boat has been incorporated beautifully, with its shape mirrored in the amber timber detailing the house’s front.
The doors open up to a private deck where you can sit and enjoy the view of the sun setting over the river. Even though the house is only 10 minutes from the local shops and cafes, it feels very isolated. If you want to be even more relaxed, grab your evening wine or morning coffee, and have a soak in the hot tub.
Getting to the Iona Tiny House
You’ll pass the Iona Tiny House on your way into the city of Whanganui. We drove from Wellington, which took 2.5 hours, and we arrived just in time for check-in at 3pm. The house is about 5 hours from Auckland and 2 hours from New Plymouth.
Due to it’s proximity to the city you’ll have easy access to restaurants, shops and the supermarket. Parking didn’t seem to be an issue, but if you’re not in a rush, you can always opt for the picturesque walk across the bridge.
Things to do in Whanganui
Whanganui is one of those places that has an unmistakable artistic vibe. Street art is not hard to come by, and it’s home to New Zealand Glassworks which houses over 400 resident artists. The studio runs classes on the weekends and is also open for the public to observe artists working.
You should also check out the Whanganui River Traders Market, which occurs on Saturday between 9am and 1pm. The market is home to local artists, food vendors and more. Grab a coffee and wander through the stalls; who knows, you might find a little piece of Whanganui you want to take home.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Whanganui without getting out on the river. One option is to hire a kayak, and the other is to go for a ride on the Waimarie Paddle Steamer. The Steamer leaves the wharf daily at 11am and 2pm, taking you on a 1-hour journey up and down the river.
As you sail, the guides will inform you of the history of the area. You’re free to walk around the boat and have a look at the steam engine in action or sit on the deck and enjoy the wind in your hair.
Sunset at the Iona Tiny House
Whatever you decide to do during the day, I highly recommended making sure you are back at the Iona Tiny House for sunset. The house is perfectly set up to watch the sun disappear under the horizon as the sky turns pink.
Head out again for dinner and once you return, get cozy next to the fire pit as the stars twinkle about and the city lights sparkle in the distance.