New Zealand Treehouse

My sister, Dee, is travelling around New Zealand and documenting her journey on a blog (

In her latest entry, she found an awesome little tree house north of Kaikoura. I get an honourable mention because she knows I like such things!

So, time for a critique: First off this is really a stilt supported cabin made to look like a tree house. But the aesthetics are so good that I’m willing to give it the thumbs up on ‘treehouse’ status.

This is an interesting approach to treehouse building, and one that I’ve had many people consult me on lately. Build the structure securely on posts, and then landscape around the base with fast growing shrubs and trees that will then envelop the structure and provide the desired look.

This is appealing for some because it emphasizes the architectural design of the house. This way the builder can make the structure exactly as they want, since the trees and vegetation accommodate the building rather than the other way around.

One of the most difficult things about building a tree house in a tree is the planning and design involved in working around irregular tree trunk placement and branches. Basically, the form of the trees impose their will on the design possibilities. Stilts simplify this process immensely, however, also limit the height of the structure and are also subject to bylaws and regulations that a true treehouse can often avoid.

Yet, the thing I like best about this particular design is the mix of modern and rustic. The slats on the side are awesome — found drift wood — and the contrast with the roof overhang, and sharp clean glass window lines, is very nice.

For more information on this treehouse resort see later posting: Kaikoura Treehouse Resort in New Zealand