Blog | Off The Beaten Track |

Keep 'em coming: Off The Beaten Track accommodation growing

Michele and Roy Connell set up Off the Beaten Track in April, and are encouraging people to list their rural properties for others to experience hidden New Zealand.
Thousands of people have signed up to Off the Beaten Track since it launched in April, with around 80 listings registered throughout New Zealand.

But the Hamilton-based creators of the website are still encouraging people to share their rural hidden gems with the world.

"The biggest thing for us is getting more land owners on board," founder Michele Connell said.

"It's free to list, and it will be a way to make a passive income without even knowing it."

She said a lot of farmers ask her: but will people want to stay here?

"I say yes, they absolutely would. It doesn't have to be flash. It's somewhere that no-one else is offering."

The website is an accommodation platform that allows people to experience a holiday in rural locations, either houses, cabins or land on private properties.

Prices range from $20 to $600, with options of tourists bringing motorhomes or families bringing tents.

"It's been good. We've had lots of new listings every week, but we know it's going to evolve over time.

"As we're going into the warmer, summer months I think there will be even more interest."

Official bookings have been made, but people have yet to experience the accommodation.

"We did pop champagne as promised," Connell said.

"We just thought, we hope this is the start of many and we just wanted to make the first one memorable."

Cathy Rogers signed up to Off The Beaten Track and listed their Bush Hill cottage in Raetihi.

"We really loved the ethos of OTBT (Off the Beaten Track)," Rogers said. "The idea of showing a part of New Zealand people might not otherwise explore."

She said their cottage is in a "peaceful, quiet location, with beautiful views of farmland and bush".

There is not good phone service, no wi-fi connection or a television.

"I think people appreciate direct contact with local people, whether they're New Zealanders or from overseas. They like the home setting and the freedom to go off the grid."

She said if people are thinking of listing their properties, enquire and don't be afraid.

"Sometimes people get clouded by the money you can earn, but it's really about sharing your part of New Zealand with visitors.

"That's the main thing, we want to share our beauty with other people, and our way of life."