A visit to New Zealand is an absolute must for people from all over the world, and while DriveNow can sort out all your transport needs with a New Zealand car hire or campervan rental, you’ll still need somewhere to stay!
The North Island has two major cities, Auckland and Wellington (one at each end), and there is a wide range of accommodation options in these cities and in between, no matter your budget, time restraints or preferences.
Backpackers & Hostels
Staying in a hostel, or backpackers, is a budget-friendly way to rest your head, meet fellow travellers and experience the culture of a city up close. While there are usually private rooms available in hostels, staying in one usually means a bit of interaction with others from around the world, shared bathroom facilities and breakfasts.
A good way to save time and money on your trip is to book a hostel with breakfast included. You’ll usually get a decent meal of toast or cereals, coffee or tea, yoghurt and fruit. This will save you cafe breakfast prices and will let you get on the road sooner.
Both K Road City Travellers and Silverfern Backpackers offer breakfasts in Auckland, while Nomads Capital and Trek Global include breakfasts in Wellington.
Another feature to look for here is free Wi-Fi services. This is included in most hostels these days so it shouldn’t be hard to find. Wi-Fi is great for those all-important emails to those back home, saving you the hassle of finding an internet cafe and paying for a computer by an hourly rate.
If you’ve set yourself up with a Wellington or Auckland campervan hire, you’ll need to find somewhere to park. Due to New Zealand’s reputation as a tourist magnet and the tendency for visitors to hire a campervan for a tour of the country – there is absolutely no shortage of this type of accommodation.
The trick is to figure out how far you want to travel every day and book ahead. If you don’t want to book in case you decide not to stop in that area or get held up, at least have a list of parks in the general area where you’re headed so you don’t get caught out.
Wellington has a couple of options right in the city centre so you can park and stay close enough to the vibrant hub of the capital to walk right into town. You’ll find the Wellington Waterfront Motorhome Park on Waterloo Quay, and the Capital Gateway Motor Inn just minutes away from the city centre.
Auckland is a little harder to find central accommodation, but there is the Takapuna Beach Holiday Park, which is a 15 minute drive, or a 10 minute ferry ride, into the city. The Manukau Top 10 Holiday Park is also reasonably close to town, at just 20 minutes’ drive away, and is conveniently close to the Rainbow’s End theme park.
Throughout the middle of the North Island there are plenty more options, such as the Great Lake Taupo Holiday Park, or the Beachaven Kiwi Holiday Park on Waihi Beach.
Motels & hotels
If you’re after a more luxurious place to rest on your New Zealand holiday, there is always the option of a hotel or motel.
Not only will you be assured of a quiet, good night’s sleep in a private and comfortable room, there are often parking spaces available for your car hire.
There are literally hundreds of options throughout the North Island. You will likely need to book in advance if you’re looking to stay during a weekend, on a holiday, or while there is a special event on in the area.
Depending on what you want out of your trip, you’ll be able to find a suitable accommodation option, such as the family-friendly Mercure in Auckland or the Riverstone Cottage in Wellington that will let you get in touch with nature.
Many travellers will also have heard of couch surfing- some will have even tried it. It is the equivalent of staying with a friend or relative on your travels – with the exception that you found the available couch or spare bed online.
Many people find this a great way to meet new people, try new experiences, and get to know what the home-life is like for everyday Kiwis.
While you will have to check out the options in the area you are headed to, have enough communication with them prior to your visit to help ensure that it will be a safe and comfortable experience for you. Couch surfing is a good way to travel on next-to-no budget at all.