Woman uses shipping containers to create stunning off-the-grid home in private New Zealand sanctuary

Most of us would like to step away from the fast pace of modern life and be self-sufficient and enjoy nature, but for so many of us it is nothing more than a dream.

Many of us are lucky enough to achieve this by taking a vacation when we can, disconnecting with society and living a simpler way for a week or two, but one woman decided to make this her everyday life and did so with breathtaking results.

Rosie was living in Auckland, New Zealand and always dreamed of living off-the-grid. When she met her now husband, she sold her house in the city and moved in with him, freeing up her finances to start building a dream they both shared.

She found a plot of land in the beautiful Mahakirau Forest Estate on the coastal island of Coromandel. This idyllic setting is on the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand’s North Island and is a popular holiday destination.


But now Rosie calls the popular vacation spot her home as she enjoys the breathtaking setting all year round after purchasing a 23-acre plot of land on a privately owned reserve.

The area has been designated as a sanctuary, and Rosie bought one of the smallest of the 25 plots of land on the 1,100 acres of property. Living on a sanctuary means she has a responsibility to honor the nature and wildlife around her, something she does from the comfort of her home.

Made up of five 20-foot shipping containers Rosie and her husband’s home is a slice of modern in a natural setting.

“I really like the industrial look and had heard really good things about how long they last and strong they were; sometimes I change my mind…so it would be a bit easier to expand,” she explained of her choice to use shipping containers to build her tiny home.


Her house was named “Ahurewa,” which means “sacred place” and is filled with art work that her daughter, who is an artist, created.

Rosie takes the guardianship aspect of owning land in the sanctuary seriously by living in the most environmentally responsible way possible.

They get their power from 12 solar panels and have two water tanks and a vermicomposting toilet. Their water waste is routed to tanks utilized in their composting system.

The house’s breathtaking views are stunning, not only on the outside where Rosie has planted an array of plants she lets grow naturally as well as edible and medicinal plants for her personal use, but also on the inside.


You enter her home via the mud room, the perfect place to kick off your boots before entering the main living area of the house. The mud room has an area where the solar batteries are stored and the power base for the house lives, without any interference to the rest of the house.

Through the mud and storage room you enter a large room complete with kitchen, dining area, and patio with a focus on the floor-to-ceiling windows which offer breathtaking views.

The fireplace makes the house even more welcoming, not only does it heat the entire house but it can be used as a stove if their kitchen burner runs out of fuel.

Walk through the living room and you enter a room us bookworms can only dream of, a library with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with books and the most inviting chair offering more stunning views of the surrounding beauty.


On the opposite side of the house is the couple’s bathroom and bedroom.

With this house Rosie has achieved a bill-free life. Thanks to the couple’s solar power, rainwater collection, and its eco-friendly vermicomposting toilet, there are no water or power bills.

.There is also has an outdoor space to sit and relax on both sides of the property, ensuring she can enjoy sun or shade at any time of the day. The space was initially used for outside cooking while the house was being built and kitted out.

Take a tour of this amazing property in the video below.

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