Best Places To Stay In New Zealand

The travel experts give their personal recommendations for the best places to stay in New Zealand!

We know how difficult and confusing it is trying to find the best accommodation to suit your needs!

All of them look great on the page, don't they?

 

We asked some of the travel experts to give their recommendations for the best places to stay in New Zealand to help you with your decision. Here are their recommendations.

CONTENTS: North Island
CONTENTS- South Island

highfield forest retreat-NORTHLAND

 

LOCATION: Waipoua Forest, Northland New Zealand

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Highfield Forest Retreat

PRICE RANGE: Mid-range

 

There are not many places in the world where you can go glamping in a beautifully appointed tent, in the middle of the forest next door to pristine conservation land. Enter the fantastic Highfield Forest Retreat located on the Kauri Coast right next to Waipoua Forest in Northland New Zealand. 

 

We love it because it's so relaxing. The only sound you can hear are native birds (including Kiwi at night if you are lucky), and it has a dreamy outdoor bath that you can fill, and soak in the beautiful surroundings. As well as the safari-style tent that's well-appointed with luxury bedding is an old kauri wood hut that contains basic cooking facilities, and a dining and lounge area full of books and board games. It's essentially off-grid so you need to self-cater with the provided gas stove, crockery, and cutlery.

 

There are lots of bushwalks in the area if you feel like stretching your legs and exploring a bit. It really is a piece of off-the-beaten track New Zealand and it doesn't get much more private and peaceful than here.

Recommended by Kylie Gibbon from Our Overseas Adventures

 

STAMFORD PLAZA AUCKLAND

LOCATION: Auckland

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Stamford Plaza Auckland

PRICE RANGE: Luxury

The 5-star Stamford Plaza Auckland is a great base from which to explore Auckland. Located in a great position in the downtown area, a moment’s walk from shops and restaurants, and near the wharf area, you can walk to most places you want to go.

 

The rooms are comfortable and spacious and some have views. There is a range of room types from doubles to two-bedroom suites. The standard rooms come with all the amenities you would expect from a 5-star hotel including a desk area, tea and coffee making facilities, gowns, and a big bathroom.

 

The facilities at the hotel are great. You’ll especially love the heated indoor pool that looks over Auckland and the happy hour in the evenings with live music in the lobby bar. There are also two restaurants on-site and room service.

Recommended by Sharon from Baby Journey

LAKE TAUPO HOLIDAY RESORT

 

LOCATION: Taupo

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Lake Taupo Holiday Resort

PRICE RANGE: Budget to Mid Range

We all know one of the best things to do in Taupo is to relax in the warm thermal pools, but what's even better is to stay at Lake Taupo Holiday Resort which has its very own massive thermal swimming pools.  Not only that, but this place is also amazing on so many levels and has a range of great accommodation options from campers to large families wanting lovely self-contained accommodation.

 

The main feature though of the resort is the thermally heated tropical-style swimming pools.  These pools are amazing!  The main pool is huge and even has a swim-up bar and a giant outdoor movie screen for watching movies and even sports.  For the little kids, there is a small water play area too.

 

But that’s not all, there are heaps of other great facilities here– particularly if you’re traveling with families.  There is a jumping pillow, playground, games room, tennis courts, BBQ areas, camp kitchen, and more.

 

The location is a little out of town, so you will need a car to get around, but honestly, for the thermal swimming pools, this place is well worth it.

Recommended by Melissa from Thrifty Family Travels

Flaxmill bay cottages- coromandel peninsula

 

LOCATION: Coromandel / Flaxmill Bay

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Flaxmill Bay Cottages

PRICE RANGE: Mid-range

These beautiful cottages are quintessentially kiwi. Small, but well-thought-out, with expansive decks, views to nature, and sublimely located. 

 

Found on the edge of Flaxmill Bay, a small, sheltered bay on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, these newly-built accommodations offer a wonderful place to relax and a handy base from which to traverse the surrounding Mercury Bay area, including the iconic Cathedral Bay walk. There is a quiet beach just across the road, shops and beautiful restaurants within walking distance and native bush trails all right on your doorstep.

It is somewhat unique to have accommodation in NZ where you do not need a car, but the Flaxmill Cottages are also desirable for other reasons. Each cottage has a BBQ and outdoor dining table, fully equipped kitchen,  and local art used throughout - all the essentials of a good kiwi bach (New Zealand beach cottage). The view from the balcony, the wonderfully friendly staff, the small-town character, and morning bird songs made the stay so memorable for me - and I can't wait to head back again to the Flaxmill Bay Cottages again one day soon. 

Recommended by Jordan from Inspired By Maps.

 

mount MAUNGANUI beachside holiday park

LOCATION: Mount Maunganui

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park

PRICE RANGE: Budget

 

Mount Maunganui is one of New Zealand’s most popular beach spots with tourists and locals alike. It’s also home is one of the best camping grounds, Mount Beachside Holiday Park. Situated at the end of the peninsula, directly under Mauao, a 232m tall mountain that’s just waiting to be walked, the views at the top are spectacular. As a kid, this was our summer holiday spot, where we created many family memories as well as made lots of great friends.

 

Mount Beachside Holiday Park has accommodation to meet everyone's needs from tent sites and to family cabins, most with views of either the harbour or the ocean. Prices range from $50 to $120 a night. The facilities are first-class here with shared kitchens and bbq areas, showers, toilets, and laundry areas. Town is a short walk and there are plenty of cafes just across the road serving breakfast, lunch and dinners, along with great coffee.

 

Located in the centre of the Holiday Park is the Mount Hot Pools. It’s the perfect place to spend the evening unwinding and relaxing.

 

If you are looking for the perfect beach spot then you can’t go wrong when you check out Mount Beachside Holiday Park.

Recommended by Scott from 4degreesofdestination

Angelust hut-in Nelson lakes national park

 

LOCATION: up in the Nelson Lakes National Park, near Angelus Lake

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Angelus Hut

PRICE: NZD 30 per night

 

Angelus Hut is by far one of the most scenic mountain huts in New Zealand. The hike up is strenuous and should only be undertaken in good weather conditions. However once at the shores of the lake you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and an amazing silence. The hut usually has a warden present. 

 

The hike is usually snow-free from January onwards until March or April, depending on the season. The Robert Ridge Route is an undulating scrambling route that should only be done by experienced trampers. Alternative routes are available, but include river crossings. 

 

Due to high popularity, you’ll need to book your bunk in advance through the Department of Conservation website. You’ll need to bring everything you need for the night, including, but not limited to a sleeping bag, cooking gear, food, and rain gear. 

Recommended by Antonette Spaan from we12travel.com

 

jailhouse accommodation

LOCATION: Christchurch

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Jailhouse Accommodation

PRICE RANGE: budget

About: Have you always wanted to experience a night in prison? At the Jailhouse Accommodation in Christchurch you can! And what’s even better, you will have your own key, so you can escape whenever you want…

 

This unique hostel in one of the best budget places to stay in Christchurch. It’s a former prison built in 1874 that has been converted into a beautiful and comfortable hostel. The prison cells have been transformed into small but comfortable rooms (dorms and private, all with shared toilet facilities).

 

The staff is very friendly and while you wouldn’t expect it from a prison, the building is actually very stylish and has been restored beautifully. Altogether there is a unique atmosphere at the Jailhouse Accommodation and spending a night here before embarking on a road trip around New Zealand is an excellent choice.

RECOMMENDED BY- Lotte from "Phenomenal Globe"

white horse hill campground-canterbury

 

LOCATION: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, Canterbury

ACCOMMODATION NAME: White Horse Hill Campground. 

PRICE RANGE: Budget (Adult: $15 per night)

 

Sitting right underneath the largest mountain in New Zealand, White Horse Hill Campground is all about natural beauty and great views. 

 

Most will use the campsite as a base for long treks into the alpine areas, but it shouldn’t be limited to that. A short walk from the campground gives you great views of Mt. Cook and the surrounding area. 

 

You’ll spend your night sitting up listening to the fantastic sound of the cracking and crunching ice moving upon Mt. Sefton. Don’t worry; it’s farther away than it sounds! :) Be sure to bring extra layers, as it does get cold at night.

 

You can’t book the campsite in advance, so be sure to get there early. Also, there is no hookup, so be prepared to go without your electronics! The facilities are very high quality for campgrounds, albeit basic with only toilets, shelter, and water. 

Recommended by Nick from Illness To Ultra.

 

ross beach top 10 holiday park- west coast

LOCATION: Ross Beach, south of Hokitika, West Coast, South Island

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

PRICE RANGE: Budget for campers, Mid-range for container accommodation

 

The Ross Beach Top 10 Holiday Park is a really unique place to stay as all the accommodation buildings and kitchen areas are all made from converted shipping containers.  They are modern inside and a bit of a luxury stay, while camping.  

 

The campground is right on the beach, which isn’t busy, as the historic gold mining town is off the beaten tourist track.  Yet, it is still close to local attractions such as the Hokitika Gorge or the West Coast Treetops Walk, making it the best of both worlds.

 

The container cabins have ensuites, induction cooking (ie. super fast hobs) and their own BBQs (with free gas) on the decks.  Every container was secluded and surrounded by private hedging, meaning you won’t feel like you are at a campsite at all.  Finish off your day on the campsite's beach and experience a brilliant West Coast sunset.

RECOMMENDED BY-Jennifer from Backyard Travel Family: Active Family Travel Specialists in New Zealand

Glendhu bay motor camp- wanaka

 

LOCATION: Wanaka, Otago (South Island)

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Glendhu Bay Motor Camp

PRICE RANGE: Budget

Why do you recommend it?

 

Glendhu Bay Motor Camp is located on Lake Wanaka, less than ten minutes from the town of Wanaka. I stayed at this camp when I was in the area to hike Roys's Peak and found it to be one of the best budget accommodations I had during my six months in New Zealand.

The facilities were all incredibly clean, the staff were friendly and offered great recommendations for lesser-known hikes in the area and it was very affordable ($20 NZD per person per night).

 

What I loved most, however, was that my campsite was on the lake. I was sleeping in my car and the trunk opened to the most wonderful view. This location made for lovely sunrises and early evening swims. I definitely recommend Glendhu Bay Motor Camp to any budget travelers!

Recommended by Mikaela from Voyageur Tripper

GRANDview farmstay-on the alps 2 ocean cycling trail

 

LOCATION: 118 Livingstone-Duntroon Road, Duntroon, NZ

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Grandview Farmstay

PRICE RANGE: Mid-range

This modern 3-bedroom home sleeps 8 and is perfectly set up for cyclists riding the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It is conveniently located with the A2O literally running past the back door of the house.

The owners were incredibly friendly and helpful, and at the time of our stay they offered a service of providing groceries to cyclists riding the trail. We really appreciated this service as it meant we didn’t have to ride to find a grocery store after a long day on the bike.

The house is situated just down the road from their family dairy farm and while we were there, they generously offered to give us a tour of the dairy farm at milking time. If you are from the city and have never seen a cow up close, then this is an experience to remember.

The local area is a beautiful place to explore with a creek running just down the hill and Elephant Rocks just down the road. Narnia fans might recognize Elephant Rocks as the locations used for filming Aslan’s Camp in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Grandview Farmstay is the perfect location to stay when visiting the local Duntroon area and especially if you are on an Alps 2 Ocean Cycling Holiday.

Recommended by Susan Gan from Thrifty after 50.

Larnach castle and Gardens- Dunedin

 

LOCATION: Dunedin

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Larnach Castle and Gardens

PRICE RANGE: Luxury to Budget

 

While New Zealand is full of different and quirky places, there is nothing quite like the town of Dunedin on the South Island. Rich with Scottish heritage and grand old-world architecture the town even has its own castle!

 

Perched high on the Otago Peninsula with spectacular panoramic views, the castle and gardens themselves are worth the visit. They offer three different accommodation experiences from a luxurious stay in the Camp Estate, the Lodge Rooms through to the budget range in the Larnach Castle Stables, which is where we chose to stay.

The 140-year-old stables at the rear of the castle are now six bedrooms with shared bathroom facilities. Retaining the original wooden beams overhead, the rooms are cosy and comfortable. Downstairs one of the stables remains intact as a display, while the cobblestoned floor is set with tables for guests to enjoy their included buffet and cooked breakfast.

Accommodation on the property includes access to the castle and ground outside of the public visiting hours. Given it is one of the primary tourist attractions of the region, it's nice to wander the area without the crowds, especially in summer when the light stretches until 10 pm.

It is also worth booking dinner served in the Castle dining room, an exceptional three-course meal featuring the best local produce. Space is limited so booking is essential.

Recommended by Holly from Globeblogging

 

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Lakefront, Queenstown

LOCATION: Queenstown

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Lakefront

PRICE RANGE: Mid range
 

Located near the shores of the picturesque Lake Wakatipu is the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Lakefront in Queenstown. It is a lovely 4-star property that offers you luxury at an affordable price.

Most of the rooms offer stunning mountain and lake views. Some rooms also have an attached balcony and a courtyard for you to experience the magic of the New Zealand outdoors. The hotel has The 'Impressions Cocktail Bar' and 'The Impressions Restaurant' on the 6th floor from where you can enjoy magnificent views of "The Remarkables" mountain range and the Wakatipu river. The hotel also has two spa pools for you to relax after you've done your share of traveling for the day.

I personally recommend the hotel as it provides you with comfortable rooms, the best in-room facilities, and offers you the ultimate vantage point to connect with Queenstown's natural beauty. Also, the staff at the hotel are warm and friendly. They make you feel at home and help you with all kinds of bookings - be it any of the Queenstown adventure sports activities, a day trip, or even fetching a taxi/cab.

The location of the hotel also makes it one of the top accommodation choices in Queenstown. It takes a mere 5-minute walk to reach the Queenstown city center. Also, if you take a walk down the street that's next to the hotel,  you can sit by the riverside and enjoy one of the most alluring sunset views in New Zealand.

Recommended by Vaibhav Mehta from The Wandering Vegetable 

hilton hotel, queenstown

 

LOCATION:  Queenstown, NZ

ACCOMMODATION NAME:  Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

PRICE RANGE:  $250 and up (Luxury 5-star)

The Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa (not to be confused with the nearby ‘DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Queenstown’) is a fantastic 5-start hotel with an unbeatable location overlooking Lake Wakatipu.

With fantastic views, an indoor pool and spa, it’s the best hotel to come back to after a day of activities.

Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand and with good reason. An adventure holiday overseas is more than just fitness and fun. You meet new people and build memories that last a lifetime.

And coming back to a luxury 5-star hotel each day after mountain biking, water skiing, and hiking was pure heaven. It certainly added to the whole experience.

The hotel also has a small fitness center with basic equipment, is near to public transport and Queenstown Airport is just a 7-minute drive away. So if you’re traveling to Queenstown, NZ for fun and adventure, I’d highly recommend the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa.

Recommended by Matt Adams from Fittness.com.au

SOUTHERN VIEWS FROM PANORAMA , QUEENSTOWN

 

LOCATION: Queenstown

ACCOMMODATION NAME: Southern Views from Panorama

PRICE RANGE:: Mid-Range

 

If you’re keen to try non-hotel stays in Queenstown and don’t mind a little splurge, this charming little Airbnb studio is worth a look. This single bedroom unit has plenty of space for the solo traveller or couple, and its no understatement to say the views over Lake Wakatipu are up there with the best Queenstown has to offer. Take the time to sit on the balcony and take advantage of both the sunrise and the sunset over the lake.

Due to local regulations, the studio isn’t equipped with a full kitchen, but it has an adequate kitchenette and a full-size fridge, perfect for the warmer months when you won’t be wanting hot food anyway. With the food options available in town just two kilometres away, the lack of kitchen doesn’t really pose a problem. Uber is also easily accessible if you want a night out in town.

The host was easily contactable and not intrusive.  There are heaps of things to do in Queenstown and this cosy little studio offers an ideal base.

Recommended by Holly from Globeblogging

MIlford sound lodge

 

LOCATION: Milford Sound
ACCOMMODATION NAME: Milford Sound Lodge
PRICE RANGE: Mid-Range- It varies from camper van sites to chalets. 


Staying in Milford Sound is an experience like no other, and Milford Sound Lodge is the only way to do it! The accommodation options range from camper van sites amongst the trees to luxurious riverside and mountain view chalets. 

Milford Sound is one of the highlights of any South Island itinerary  It’s often busy throughout the day as day-trippers come from Te Anau or even Queenstown to take a cruise through the Sound itself, but why make a hurried trip when you can stay and take your time exploring and enjoying the magnificent scenery in the local area, before relaxing in a room that’s every bit as beautiful as the views around it. 


The onsite restaurant, Pio Pio, is also a wonderful experience and showcases some of the best of New Zealand produce. There’s also a guest lounge and kitchen available for use too. 

Staying at Milford Sound Lodge really is a once in a lifetime experience. Just make sure you book ahead!

 

Recommended by Sonja from Migrating Miss  

Sunny alpine retreat above arrowtown

 

LOCATION: Arrowtown

ACCOMMODATION NAME: "Sunny Alpine Retreat" - AirBNB https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/29014882

PRICE RANGE: Mid-range (approx $170pn)

 

I'm a true convert to the genius of AirBNB and this is one of the best. Located just up the Crown Range Road above Arrowtown, staggering views stretch across the horizon from the front deck of this architecturally designed, plywood lined, private petite bungalow. Views extend down the Lower Shotover Valley to Lake Wakatipu and beyond.

 

The Scandinavian interior is beautiful, but it’s the incredible mountain ranges that keep your attention. It’s difficult not to park yourself on the sofa, mouth agape, at the eye-boggling beauty that is the Southern Alps.

 

Quiet and remote but easily connected to gorgeous Arrowtown or the rather busier Queenstown and it’s just a short trip in the other direction to the vineyards of Central Otago around Cromwell.

The photos can’t do the place justice, the gorgeous woodburner and breakfast provisions just add to its charm. Take a look at the avalanche of 5-star reviews and then book as soon as possible. We loved it.

Recommended by: Mark from www.mountadventureclub.com

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