The business of glamping

The business of glamping


When this couple started their unique business, they knew they needed unique cover.

When you think ‘lifestyle block’, you might imagine vegetable gardens, an orchard, and a couple of sheep to keep the grass down. What might not immediately come to mind is glamping. For Emily and Joe Wilson, setting up a boutique accommodation business was one of the main reasons they wanted to buy a lifestyle block.

“I was raised on a farm and Joe has a lot of rural connections too, so being rural-based has always been our dream,” says Emily. “When we started a family, we wanted to give our kids that experience too.

“But running our own glamping business has also been a major motivator. Before we purchased our land, glamping wasn’t very popular. Three-and-a-half years later we have built two glamping sites and both are booked out almost year-round.”

Located 15 minutes out of Taupo, Te Tuhi Hut and Dome is an off-the-beaten-track boutique holiday destination that’s home to two unique glamping sites: the Hut and the Dome. Each is hidden away in its own private valley and enjoys picturesque views across rolling farmland, native bush and Lake Taupo.

For the Wilsons, the journey has very much been a labour of love – particularly because they’ve had to fit in their work around their two young children.

“We wanted to create something really unique,” says Emily. “Everything is custom made, sometimes out of bizarre materials. We’re both really creative people and Joe has done a lot of the building himself, so having that outlet was really fun. Life is hectic with two pre-schoolers, but we’ve become very good at multi-tasking and getting lots of work done during naptime!”

With so many moving parts on their property, it was important that the Wilsons found an insurance company that ‘got’ them.

“Sorting out insurance can be daunting,” says Emily. “FMG are different. They’re New Zealand-based and work with farmers and lifestylers every day so they really understand our niche. They get to know you then create a policy to fit, rather than squeezing you into the policies they offer like other insurance companies do.

“FMG created a policy for us that’s really comprehensive. We have cover for our house, farm buildings, the Dome and Hut, livestock getting out and causing damage, having people on our property … FMG has never batted an eyelid with whatever we’ve thrown at them. We’ve simply worked together to create a policy that gives us the cover that we need.”

Credit: Stuff Ltd