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Places to stay in the South Island

Need a hotel for your South Island road trip? Check out these options.

Taking New Zealand campervan rental or car hire around the country is an all-time favourite of visitors from around the world, yet while DriveNow can look after your hire needs to get you from A to B, you’ll need to look at booking your accommodation or caravan parkĀ in advance as well.

The South Island is geographically larger than the North, but has fewer people and more open areas. The main cities you might be likely to visit would be Christchurch and Queenstown, both of which have plenty of places to stay.

Backpackers & Hostels

This is probably the most common and traditional option for travellers as they are an affordable way to meet people and experience a city while offering a place to sleep. You’ll usually get a choice between shared rooms of four to ten beds, or private rooms at a slightly higher nightly rate if you’re after some privacy.

If you can, book in a stay at a backpackers or hostel that offers a breakfast included in the room fee. This will save you money on a pricy breakfast at a cafe and will give you a chance to sit down with fellow travellers to discuss your day ahead!

Also keep an eye out for options that offer free wi-fi. Most places will have it included, but when it’s not there it makes sending those emails home a bit of a hassle by having to head out to find an internet cafe or you’ll need to pay for it at the hostel.

In Christchurch, Kiwi Basecamp on Bealey Ave or Point Break backpackers in New Brighton offer both of these services as part of the room rate.

In Queenstown you can head to Base Queenstown on Shotover Street or Melbourne House on Melbourne Street to ensure you get both of these facilities.

Caravan Parks

A Queenstown or Christchurch campervan rental will mean you’ll need to find a place to park it for the nights! Fortunately, New Zealand is well established as a campervan friendly destination and is adequately set up for plenty of visitors from in this kind of transport.

Booking a place at a caravan park is important, and will help you to map out your Kiwi road adventure. If you’re not sure where you’re going to end up at the end of the driving day, write down several options so that you’ll know where to find one instead of driving around in the dark once you get there.

For a central facility in Christchurch, check out the Spencer Beach Holiday Park which is just 500m from the beach and 20 minutes away from the city centre.

If you’re after a picturesque place to park in Queenstown, book in to the Shotover Top 10 Holiday Park, which is a family owned and central place to meet fellow travellers and enjoy the southern scenery.

Motels & hotels

For something a bit more upmarket, consider checking in to one of New Zealand’s great motels or hotels.

They offer a little more peace a quiet, and there are usually parking spaces for your car rental.

There are hundreds of options throughout the South 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 – just to ensure you get a room.

One such place in Christchurch is Chateau on the Park, a centrally located hotel and restaurant that is across the road from Christchurch’s Hagley Park.

As the tourism capital of New Zealand, Queenstown has an abundance of hotels and motels – many of which are overflowing during peak season times in summer and winter, so be sure to book ahead. For a sweet suite, try the boutique St Moritz Hotel.

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