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Guide to Finding Accommodation in NZ
Guide to Finding Accommodation in New Zealand
New Zealand accommodation options are diverse and suited to every style of traveller - whether you are a budget backpacker or a luxury traveller, you're bound to find someplace to stay.
Be it on the North or the South Island, you'll find a range of options from high end luxury lodges, to locally owned motels, quaint B&Bs, backpackers hostels and holiday parks or even basic campsites run by our fantastic Department of Conservation. Literally every town and city in New Zealand will have options for places to stay, and assuming you book in advance you'll have no trouble finding something to suit your budget.
The peak season for travel in New Zealand is during our summer months, specifically from December - February. Similarly, winter in our ski towns of Queenstown and Wanaka on the South Island and Ohakune on the North Island see a big run on accommodation - namely in July and August (read up on our Ski Fields here). The School Holiday time periods in New Zealand are especially busy too, as you have both domestic and international tourists exploring our stunning little corner of the world. We suggest that you book in advance regardless of when you're travelling to get the best rates, but especially if you're here during these times.
Below is a guide to the types of holiday accommodation you can expect to find in New Zealand!
Luxury Lodges, Resorts, Boutique Hotels
These target the more affluent traveller, providing for every need, from fine dining to the best of facilities, and extras such as spa treatments, golf courses and guest experiences suited to the location.
There is a wide range of hotels in New Zealand, from budget hotels to luxury hotel chains. Usually providing tea & coffee making facilities, en-suites and including a restaurant on site. Chains found in the major cities may include Accor, Hilton, Rydges and Intercontinental. Our hotels are frequently found within walking distance of town or shopping centres.
A range of room styles are available at most motels with some form of cooking equipment, so meals can often be made. These are usually on the verges of the town as they are targeting the visitor that is travelling and has their own transport. Often our motels have swimming pools and maybe games rooms for guests. Most have a guest laundry.
You'll find holiday parks and campgrounds in all of New Zealand's towns and cities. These are a great place to pitch a tent or park your campervan if you're looking for added amenities like showers, kitchens and communal lounges. They're often in pretty scenic locations too! Many people do not realise that many of these grounds have other accommodation for hire too. Motel rooms are frequently offered, as well as family or budget cabins. The cheapest rate will be for an unpowered campsite for campers with their own tent or caravan, using shared facilities. In the cabins, linen may not be provided although it usually can be hired. Top 10 Holiday Parks
Department of Conservation Campsites & Freedom Camping
A cheaper camping option is using Department of Conservation campsites or freedom camping, but there are restrictions on these forms of camping. Often long drops may be the only toilets or if there are none, you may only stay if your vehicle is self-contained (has its own toilet and water collection). It is expected that you leave nothing other than footsteps and take only photos in these places, keeping New Zealand 'Clean & Green' for all future visitors. Free camping is becoming very restricted due to the filth left behind by campers in the past. Generally, only an option for people with their own transport as these campsites are in remote and scenic locations! Check out this article for some tips and more information about Freedom Camping in New Zealand.
In New Zealand a traditional Public House (Pub) is often referred to as a Hotel, and offered rooms as well as the bar facilities. A pub can be a noisy place to stay, but also tends to offer a hospitable crowd for the social visitor. Rooms generally have shared bathrooms.
Bed & Breakfasts
As individual as the people you will meet, each Bed & Breakfast business offers its own unique experience. Taking advantage of this form of hospitality is a marvelous way to get close to the people of New Zealand.
Known by their Kiwi slang name, the Bach (or crib on the South Island) was traditionally a seaside property is enjoyed by families during their holidays. These houses are likely to have different rent rates depending upon the season.
Homestays & Farm-stays
Take the opportunity to interact with Kiwis in their own space and enjoy getting to know a bit about their lifestyle. Farm-stays can be especially interesting to visitors who are new to the rural way of life. Meals may be supplied by request, and payments will usually be in cash.
Hostels & Backpackers
Offering beds in dormitory rooms or a selection of double, twin and single, usually with shared bathrooms, these accommodations are good value for those on a tight budget. Frequently access to a communal kitchen, laundry and TV rooms are part of the rate. Often in the centre of town, these hostels generally offer storage in the form of lockers, and food items are stored in shared facilities. Most hostels in New Zealand - whether they're locally owned or part of a national or international chain - are of a very high quality!