How many stories have I penned over the years about my adventures alone around the world? Backpacking in Asia solo? Hiking around New Zealand on my own? Running away to charming cabins in the mountains to think and write? Growing up an only child, I love my own company, and being on my own makes me happy. It’s comforting.
Solitude has very much been my forte. Traveling alone has been my cup of tea since I was a teenager. But for two years now I’ve been part of a family, living with my partner and his two daughters in Lyttelton. My home dynamic has changed drastically. My sense of self, of family, of being a partner, has evolved significantly over the past few years. I’ve been learning to be part of a team.
Because we share custody of the kids, by default, most of our travel was done when they weren’t with us. Though to be fair, my travel days have scaled back a lot since New Zealand’s borders closed. But when I had the chance to return to one of my favorite local glamping spots to check out a new site, I was struck that this might be a good chance for us to all travel somewhere together.
It was hard, fun, challenging, rewarding.
I’m always on the hunt for unique and quirky getaways, brought to life by creative souls who have a lot of heart and grit! And my friends at Canopy Camping never cease to amaze me with the incredible people they bring on board with their glamping sites around New Zealand.
Rockwood Station – the Carriage is a refurbished historic train carriage hidden away on a high country farm in rural Canterbury, an hour and a bit inland from Christchurch. Nestled next to a creek with views of Mt. Hutt, it’s cozy, cute and charming, the perfect place to escape.
Giulio and I came out here to the original glamping site to celebrate our anniversary a year ago. It was beautiful to return with the kids and show them the joy of rural New Zealand. Spoiler alert – they loved the horses.
Lovingly restored and decked out in the coziest of ways, Rockwood Station the Carriage is the perfect place to get away with your loved ones for some R&R. Wifi-free and out of reception, I never get tired of visiting places where I can truly disconnect.
In 2019, locals Ben and Cheryl purchased an old goods carriage and began to breathe life back into it. The restoration took a few years, with the most unparalleled glamping experience. The Carriage is their second glamping retreat on their farm. The Summer House sits just up the road and is equally stunning.
Where two cute streams meet up and turn into Hororata River is where the carriage has its new home. With a large deck area that enjoys beautiful, epic views towards Mt Hutt, it’s the perfect place to switch off, unplug and soak up the natural surrounds of the stunning high country farm.
As the sun sets, you’ll enjoy amazing pastel skies and stunning cloud formations that make the Canterbury high country so spectacular.
Though of course, the best feature is the double outdoor bath. Perfect for soaking under the stars, especially for two little sisters!
Sneaking away here with Giulio’s two kids was so much fun. I love seeing the wonder and joy in the eyes of children as they explore new places. This is definitely a new chapter for me as a lifelong solo traveler, but getting out into nature (in comfort) with kids for a few days was enlightening.
Fingers crossed they think I’m cool for bringing them places like this, but who knows!
Have you ever stayed in a train carriage like this? What’s the most unique place you’ve visited? Are you new to family travel too? Share!