Types of Accommodation for holidays in New Zealand
Accommodation in New Zealand is easy to find and generally of a high standard. Much is independently owned which keeps standards of service high and is frequently used by Kiwis as well as tourists. The main types of accommodation are:
Bed & breakfast accommodation, guesthouses & lodges
By far the most plentiful type of accommodation in New Zealand and with a level of service and comfort to suit all wallets, from basic guesthouses with shared facilities to lodges and boutique hotels offering more sumptuous surroundings.
Homestays offer bed and breakfast accommodation in private houses but unlike traditional B&Bs the owners invite their guests to be part of the family, which includes eating together and chatting in the kitchen. They are an excellent way to meet New Zealanders and many hosts are extremely welcoming and generous with their hospitality.
The rural equivalent of homestays, where guests stay on a working farm for at least a couple of nights, sharing meals with their hosts and also helping out with farm jobs such as rounding up sheep, fencing or whatever needs doing. Some offer discounted rates in exchange for a committed number of hours farm work. Farmstays are growing in popularity and are a memorable way to experience rural Kiwi life, frequently in beautiful locations.
Most holiday parks will offer self-contained cabins with varying degrees of amenities. Simpler cabins offer beds with no linen and guests use the general campsite kitchen and toilet facilities. At the other end of the scale are fully serviced cabins with their own full set of facilities.
Holiday Parks Motor Camps
Ubiquitous and well equipped, most towns have at least one ‘Holiday Park' offering facilities for campers in tents, caravans and campervans. Communal kitchens, lounges with TV and Internet access, power hook-up and showertoilet facilities are all the norm. Many holiday parks affiliate themselves to large groups, which help bring a consistency of service and amenities.
Motels in New Zealand are popular, plentiful and generally well equipped. Although often not the most stylish of settings they are cheap and especially good value for larger groups such as families. Most main roads into towns have at least a handful of motels to choose from. Units are self-contained usually with kitchen, bathroom and sleeping quarters. Upmarket motels are often known as Motor Inns and can include bars, restaurants and swimming pools.
Some say the only way to travel around New Zealand is in your own campervan, with the freedom to stop whenever and wherever you fancy to relax, enjoy the location and have a meal or a cup of tea. Hiring a camper is easy with models to suit all tastes and budgets from a variety of well-organised national hire companies many of whom offer one-way hires i.e. pick up and drop off in different locations.
Budget accommodation for the backpacker is plentiful and often in fantastic locations in town centres, national parks, or next to the beach or mountain action. Most offer good communal facilities, varying degrees of privacy in the dormitories and a fantastic place to meet other travellers and swap stories and tips. Transport to and from railway and bus stations can often be arranged.
New Zealand has some of the best camping facilities in the world. Choose from the many holiday park campsites if you are after a full set of amenities. For a closer experience with nature the Department of Conservation (DOC) provides over 250 DOC campsites in some of the most idyllic locations in the country. Most locations are in national parks, nature reserves, maritime and forest parks and are unbeatable for scenery. Facilities are basic as a result with most just providing cold running water and toilet facilities. Here are three of the best DOC campsites in the North Island.