Many children dream of venturing into space or working on some interesting projects when they grow up. One woman from New Zealand has fulfilled her childhood dream by building a stunning flying pirate ship treehouse.
“I’ve wanted to live in a pirate ship treehouse since I was about 15 and the idea was always there but it wasn’t until we started setting up the little retreat center that I thought I could actually build it,” said Stacey Eastwood, a yoga instructor from Auckland.
About three years ago, Stacey found an 85-year-old hull that was once part of a Cornish sailing boat, built in Cornwall in 1935. It was then fished across the English Channel and ended up in Australia by the mid-1950s.
The 32-year-old woman bought this old, derelict hull for 360 pounds (US$459) and stored it in her dad's shed.
Enthused by her idea to build a pirate ship treehouse, Stacey and her friends started to work on building the pirate ship treehouse project using recycled materials.
“We started working on the pirate ship and then some of our other getaways and it took about a year to fully finish it,” Stacey said, alluding to the adventurous project.
Explaining the process in detail, Stacey shared she and her friends started collecting pirate memorabilia in the most quirky ways to build up the beautiful ship.
“It was pretty crazy how some of the things came to us—I’d always envisioned a spiral staircase going up to the ship and I tried having a look online but it was impossible,” Stacey regaled.
One day as Stacey was returning from a surf, she noticed an old, derelict spiral staircase outside a man’s house. Inspired to add this to her treehouse, she left a note to the man expressing her interest in purchasing it. The man quickly got back to Stacey and asked her if she had any children, but the young woman shared that the staircase was for her and her friends.
Gradually, other quirky features like a mast that was found on the roadside, a wine barrel, which is now the crow’s nest, a hand-carved wooden Hinemoana bust, and even a chest full of pirate gear to get in uniform were added to the ship to make it complete.
The resulting swashbuckling treehouse, which is called the Hinemoana after the Māori personification of the ocean, came into existence. Situated at the Tanglewood Retreat and suspended 20 feet above the ground amongst treetops, the pirate tree house shop boasts a double bed in the cabin and an entertaining area fit for 10 people in the back of the ship.
Apart from the ship, Stacey and her team also hand-built a cob house and potting shed cabin alongside the pirate ship project, offering other unique and luxurious getaways for adventurous guests.
According to Stacey, the pirate ship has a lot of people interested. She explained many people try to surprise their partner for a weekend getaway by visiting the pirate ship treehouse. Meanwhile, there are some people who hire out the whole space for their wedding.
“[T]he wedding parties love the pirate ship especially and the groom usually ends up hanging out of it into the early hours of the morning,” Stacey shared.
However, it’s not just adults who enjoy the adventure; kids too end up having a great time.
“It books out really quickly and it’s great seeing people get really excited about staying in the pirate ship," Stacey added.
As for what the adventurous team has been up to lately, Stacey shared they have “spent lockdown renovating a 1963 bus into a self-contained unit so that will be another really fun to stay in once it’s finished.”