Flying saucer in Canterbury, 'heavenly escape' in Waikato among New Zealand's 2022 Airbnb Host Award winners

Flying saucer in Canterbury, 'heavenly escape' in Waikato among New Zealand's 2022 Airbnb Host Award winners.
Photo credit: supplied/Airbnb

Airbnb has announced the New Zealand winners of its 2022 Host Awards which are said to honour the platform's most welcoming, creative and thoughtful hosts.

Among the winning Aotearoa properties are a flying saucer home in Canterbury, a luxury hilltop retreat in Waikato and a remote backcountry cabin in Twizel.

They were selected based on Airbnb data such as guest scores and reviews with oversight from a panel of judges that included Australia and New Zealand Airbnb Country Manager Susan Wheeldon.

"We know that hosts put in tremendous effort to ensure their listings are unique, curated and full of thoughtful touches that allow guests to immerse themselves in a truly unique experience to remember," said Wheeldon.

"It's incredibly exciting to see travellers so enthusiastic about exploring new destinations and hosts act as passionate advocates for the regions and communities they live in. Being a host is not just about sharing a special place, it also allows people to showcase their local areas while having an opportunity to earn extra income to combat the rising cost of living."

Area 51 Futuro house wins Best Unique Listing in New Zealand's 2022 Airbnb Host Awards.
The Area 51 Futuro House. Photo credit: supplied/Airbnb

The spaceship home is listed on Airbnb as 'Area 51 Futuro house' and its host Nick McQuoid won Best Unique Listing.

Located around 25 minutes drive from Christchurch in Ohoka, the unusual home is located on a property that also features a pool, spa, sauna, outdoor shower and a room with retro arcade games.

"Our Area 51 Futuro House is an original Futuro house from 1974. It is one of only 60 in the world and the only one restored to the original design that you can stay in," said McQuoid.

"The attention to detail makes our guests feel like they are truly in a 1960s space age world. Our stay is so different to anything most guests have experienced before, which is what makes us stand out."

Daniel Smith's Heavenly Escape in Wyuna Bay, Waikato wins Best Designed Stay in New Zealand's 2022 Airbnb Host Awards.
The Best Designed Stay winner in Wyuna Bay, Waikato. Photo credit: supplied/Airbnb

Best Designed Stay was awarded to a five bedroom home in Wyuna Bay, Waikato listed as 'Heavenly Escape' that offers views of Long Bay and the Coromandel Harbour.

Its owners said they worked with award-winning Queenstown architects Kerr Richie to try and create a home in which "every detail has a wow factor".

"The hosts have designed a beautiful home that takes full advantage of its location and the needs of a family or group on holiday," said Airbnb Host Awards judge Felicity Stevens.

"They have also gone to great lengths to set up a substantial solar system to power the home and guests' electric cars if needed. They are also incredible, helpful and generous hosts who provide their guests with great information on activities in the local area and set up a well designed home to ensure their guests leave having created incredible memories and wanting to return."

New Zealand's 2022 Airbnb Host Award winners:

  • Best Unique Listing: Nick McQuoid - Area 51 Futuro House, Canterbury
  • Best New Host: Becs McCarthy - The Stables Cottage, Auckland
  • Host of the Year: Susan Taylor - Loft by the Lake, Bay of Plenty
  • Best Designed Stay: Daniel Smith - Heavenly Escape, Waikato
  • Best Nature Stay: Liz Harpleton - Skylark Cabin, Canterbury
  • Most Magical Experience: Arthur Lim - New Zealand Nature Highlights, Palmerston North.

More information about each winner can be found on the Airbnb website.