Ah, dome sweet dome

A premium "glamping" geo-dome. Photos: Stephen Jaquiery
A premium "glamping" geo-dome. Photos: Stephen Jaquiery
Otago Daily Times  illustrations editor Stephen Jaquiery swaps his swag for luxury at Glen Dene Station.

Sleek, space-age geo-domes are the latest in accommodation to come on to the Central Otago holiday market.

Glen Dene Station owners, Richard and Sarah Burdon, searched the world to find suitable and unique accommodation to complement their busy hunting, fishing and camping operation, which runs alongside the high country sheep, beef and deer farm on the shores of Lake Hawea.

Glen Dene Station has been owned and operated by the Burdon family since 1929.

Six geo-domes provide a premium "glamping" experience at the Lake Hawea Camping Ground.
Six geo-domes provide a premium "glamping" experience at the Lake Hawea Camping Ground.

The interior of a geo-dome at Lake Hawea Camping Ground.
The interior of a geo-dome at Lake Hawea Camping Ground.

Richard and Sarah have leased the council-owned Lake Hawea camping ground, which borders their farm, for 10 years. During that time they have upgraded existing huts and cottages, added tent glamping options and most recently have erected six geo-domes to provide a premium camping experience.

Situated in a secluded area of the 15ha forest-like grounds, each 40sq m dome has a gas fire, air conditioning, a compact kitchen, luxurious bathroom and a large bed facing the clear panel front window, affording light-free night sky and morning sun views.

A deck wrapped around the front of each dome leads to a covered entrance where dirty boots can be discarded before entering the dome.

A clever feature for the "less organised" guest is a hidden area where bags and clutter can be left to easily keep the front of the dome tidy.

Inside one of the luxurious geo-domes.
Inside one of the luxurious geo-domes.
The padded walls and ceiling exude a pleasant cocoon feeling and, while you are sheltered from the elements, the quite thin protective exterior skin does not block the dawn chorus alarm clock of birds from a surrounding forest of trees.

A much lager dome, "The Beehive", with a 6.7m-high ceiling and 120sq m of floor space, is available for functions such as corporate retreats and weddings.

Sarah said that the domes have been popular with wellness retreats and younger New Zealand travellers in the 25-30 age group. Travellers are using a dome as a base while they enjoy tramping, cycling and other outdoor pursuits in the Central Otago area.

• Stephen Jaquiery was a guest of Glen Dene Station

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