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Language: English | Currency: Dollars ($) | Local time: NZST | Avg. Flight time: 24 hrs
A majority of New Zealand’s hotels are located in the larger urban hubs like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Many visitors establish their base in these cities and venture out to the nearby attractions.
In Auckland, travellers will be delighted to know that hotel prices in city centres are rarely outrageously expensive even in peak season; but during the late autumn through winter, they’re shockingly cheap, almost never exceeding $150 a night. Big brand chains such as Hilton and Sofitel are examples of world-class brands at a budget, and in close proximity to famous sights.
In smaller cities like Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Hastings, hotels are fewer, but you can still find cheap rates if you look around.
Christchurch is a nice hub on the east coast of the South Island. With its unique, older architecture and English heritage, lodging options range from ornate villas to ample hotels that feel more like condos. While in town, be sure and check out the International Antarctic Centre, home to various exhibits about Antarctica, a cafe and bar. The centre also has penguins and a “snow storm” room to exhibit a typical day on Antarctica.
Outside the city centres, New Zealand is a magical place rich with natural landscape just begging to be explored. Adventure-seekers may want to opt for more rugged campgrounds and forestal lodges. Just north of Auckland is the immaculate and serene Wainui Country Retreat. This self-contained cottage in the Wainui countryside is pastoral paradise, complete with private waterfall, 45 acres of farmland, a vintage outdoor bathtub and a pizza oven for DIY comfort food, among other unique, cosy furnishings. It’s a great way to disappear into the New Zealand country and feel at one with the land for a few days.
The awe-inspiring Fiordland National Park in the southwest of the South Island is a region of waterfalls, lakes, river and snow-capped mountains. Milford Sound, the most famous of the 14 glacier-carved fiords in the park, features waterfalls cascading down the rock faces into the ocean below. To visit the national park, you can choose to stay in a wide range of accommodation in the nearby town, Te Anau. Choose a luxury hotel or a cheap B&B that best fits your budget.
Throughout the famous Marlborough winelands, you can find lovely cottages and self-catering apartments either set amongst the vines on a private vineyard or a stone throw away from wineries.
The cheapest way to visit New Zealand on a budget is by camping, especially via tent or camper van, if you can forgo a good bed. Additionally, flying to New Zealand and reserving a hotel room during the country’s low season (especially June through August) will ensure much more variety in terms of budget-friendly lodging options.
Looking to visit New Zealand? Make sure to check out our Tips and Advice first