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Thread: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

  1. #1

    Default New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Hi,

    My family intends to go for a holiday in NZ for about 2 weeks in November. We would want to try out various types of lodging such as boutique hotel, service apartments, home stay and farm stay if possible. We are thinking of spreading out our travel to Auckland, Lake Taupo, Christchurch and Queenstown. We may also consider putting up at Lake Tecapo or one of those famous bays around Auckland if there are enough attractions. Typically we will stay 2~4 nights at each of those places depending on the attraction and logistics.

    Essentially, our idea is to spend more time at some quality and attractive places instead of covering all corners at one go. This way we believe we could enjoy and relax more.

    Hope some of you could share your experiences as well as suggest some good places to stay.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    We were in NZ last year at the very same places you mentioned. Found that the most economical way was to get an apartment or house. Great if you have about 5-6 adults in your group. A 3 bedroom house is typically about $150-$300 per night, depending on location and amenities, quite affordable if you split the cost amongst the group. And you often get cooking facilities which help save on food costs too. Most of these are available through booking portals, some are bookable directly. A quick google search will turn up plenty of lobangs.

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    Arrow Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    When I was travelling in NZ, many families were staying at the YHA hostel as it is convenient and clean. There are rooms for families.

    HTH.

  4. #4

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Terence, your recommendation of apartments sounds tempting. I am surfing the Net for the lobangs. Could you remember the names of the places that you stayed in? It may help me for comparison purpose.
    Last edited by hotmilo; 23rd September 2006 at 12:33 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Hi frenz,

    OT a bit... But I wish to go there too and I'm trying to get opinions about the driving conditions there (South island only).

    For those who have gone to NZ, is it difficult to drive there? As in is the traffic busy, the terrains, hilly areas, 1-lane roads, night driving etc, are they dangerous?

    Also, is it easy to find your way around there?

    TIA!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Quote Originally Posted by hotmilo
    Hi,

    My family intends to go for a holiday in NZ for about 2 weeks in November. We would want to try out various types of lodging such as boutique hotel, service apartments, home stay and farm stay if possible. We are thinking of spreading out our travel to Auckland, Lake Taupo, Christchurch and Queenstown. We may also consider putting up at Lake Tecapo or one of those famous bays around Auckland if there are enough attractions. Typically we will stay 2~4 nights at each of those places depending on the attraction and logistics.

    Essentially, our idea is to spend more time at some quality and attractive places instead of covering all corners at one go. This way we believe we could enjoy and relax more.

    Hope some of you could share your experiences as well as suggest some good places to stay.

    Thanks.
    If you want quality time in NZ, 2 weeks can be spent either in the North Island or in the South Island.

    If you do North Island only, you can either
    Auckland Hamilton, Rotoroua, Lake Taupo, Napier, then back to Auckland and maybe the Northern part like 90 miles beach.

    South Island, you start at Christchurch
    Christchurch, fox glacier, Hasst, Queenstown, Wanaka, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Omaru, Christchurch.

    Remember travelling time as well

    Go do some research on it.

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    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Quote Originally Posted by Priscilia
    OT a bit... But I wish to go there too and I'm trying to get opinions about the driving conditions there (South island only).

    For those who have gone to NZ, is it difficult to drive there? As in is the traffic busy, the terrains, hilly areas, 1-lane roads, night driving etc, are they dangerous?

    Also, is it easy to find your way around there?
    The south island is rather sparsely populated, traffic is hardly busy. Driving is really easy but just keep in mind not to go over the speed limit, the cops are extremely non-forgiving over there. In fact we got a speeding ticket a few months after our holiday ended, sent right to my home! The NZ police accepts Singapore cheques fyi!

    The south island is definitely more rugged in terms of beauty and terrain as well. The mountain areas will have windy and narrow roads so some care is required while driving on these. Generally, road conditions are good and well maintained, signage is plentiful and NZ drivers are considerate. I think it makes for a pleasurable driving holiday.

    I took 2 weeks to meander my way from Christchurch to Queenstown... that made for a very leisurely pace and I could spend 2-3 nights at the more interesting stops on the way down to Christchurch. Milford Sound is a good 3-4 day stop if you are into overnight hikes. We dropped the MPV off at Queenstown and hopped on a plance back to Christchurch, saves you driving all the way back north!

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    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    I've personally been to NZ a couple of times. I would recommend you to stay in those Motor Camps or Holiday Parks if you are on a lower budget. As you are going with your family, if there are kids and all, it'll be good if you stayed in Self Contained Units/ Holiday Flats/ Cabins.

    They are generally one class loswer than Motels(which cost a bomb), but is nearly as good. They usually do not cost more than NZ$100 per night but they might charge for extra heads and also for linen if you do not have. They are really clean, but request and enquire those with a toilet in it. They usually have an attached toilet too. They are well equipped and they even provide electric heaters in them. (Might want to double check or request for one when you book)

    Mostly I stay in the chains of Top 10. They have plenty of places covered all over NZ so you will have no worries of unable to get any accomodation. I would also like to recommend you to get their membership card, especially for Kiwi group. For i think NZ$30 you can get discounts on every night u stay. So if u stay long enough, it is realli worth the money for the card. It last for a year though.

    One thing good about staying in Top 10 Chains is that u can get the map of where they are located all over NZ from their office. Then u can just ask the reception u stay on the first night in any Top 10 (say Auckland City) to help you book the next night's accommodation in another Top 10. A credit card is needed to just "hold" the room. You can even tell them your expected time of arrival if you think you will arrive wait so they'll keep the room for you till then. It's realli nice and all.

    Another thing is that you can drop by Nez Zealand Tourism Board (i think) at Ngee Ann City. It's in one of the office towers there. Might be able to get some brochures and also maybe if they have this realli thick Accommodation Guide of New Zealand. It has like practically the entire listings of all the available places to stay from hostels to high class hotels for every single area and city. That's really very good and you will never be afriad of no place to stay.

    Well regarding driving in NZ, its realli very safe. Speed limits in major highways are 100. If not in cities about 50-60. Just keep a look out on the signs. Roads are well maintained and signs are clearly seen. You can easily navigate your way round easily too if you have a map. Getting a Driving map of NZ at the airport may be a good option if you plan to return again next time. It shouldn't cost more than $20. Alternatively, ask for a street directory with your car rental. Its much more detailed and complicated, so a Driving map might be better. It is something like a book with all the major roads and highways of NZ with detailed maps of major cities.

    The best way to admire NZ is never rush. Plan where you want to go ahead so that u can get ur timing well. Also, always drop by the Tourist Information Center. There will bound to be one in most towns. They are easily identified with the famous "i". They have signs on the road directing you to it and all. It's quite visible. These information centers are filled with brouchures and some even hsitory of the town and all. Just speak to the people there. They are really nice people that are really helpful. Ask them on where to go, what to do. Some even give you a free local map. So you can even ask them for directions to places if you dont know where they are.

    They can also help you book accommodation, tours and all. Those local guides that are usually free might be good as well. You can find discount coupons for attractions and shopping in them too. Lastly i personally recommend you to drop by Weekend Markets. Each major city of bigger towns should have one held on weekends. They sell everything from food, to local produce, to homemade stuff and even cars. Art and crafts are also available. They are quite cheap at times and you can really get stuff that aren't available here or in supermarkets.

    On a last note, have a great trip ahead. You can drop me a PM if you have any more questions? Hehehx.

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    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    [QUOTE=hotmiloTerence, your recommendation of apartments sounds tempting. I am surfing the Net for the lobangs. Could you remember the names of the places that you stayed in? It may help me for comparison purpose.[/QUOTE]

    Most city apartments are up to 2 bedrooms, with the option for extra beds or a sofa bed. A typical site would be...

    http://www.city-apartments.co.nz/

    They tend to get bigger outside the city and in the smaller townships further south. A couple of examples...

    Apartment 1

    Apartment 2

    Apartment 3

    Last minute accommodation deals can be found on the cheap at...

    www.wotif.com

    goodluck!

  10. #10

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  11. #11

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Appreciate the input from all of you - especially Terence and DodoAngel. Your information has been most insightful and helpful.

    We will fly in to and out of Auckland. We intend to spend the first and last 2 nights in Auckland.

    Has anyone put up in a farmstay before in the vicinity of Christchurch? The majority of our time (about 8 days) will be spent at the South. We are thinking of splitting the stay over at Queenstown and Christchurch. By the way, anyone tried the train rides before? I heard the sceneries are spectacular.

    Also, is there any direct flight between Auckland and Queenstown? We may want to make Christchurch the first stop and Queenstown our last stop in the south. If there is, this may save us the hassle of returning to Christchurch from Queenstown to board the return flight to Auckland.

    Also, I understand that Queenstown is by the lake. In that case, I am wondering if it is worthwhile to visit Lake Taupo as well? Or, should I use the time to visit some of the famous bays in the North instead?

    Really appreciate your time and effort, folks. Your information does supplement my other research information very well.

  12. #12

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Quote Originally Posted by hotmilo View Post
    Appreciate the input from all of you - especially Terence and DodoAngel. Your information has been most insightful and helpful.

    We will fly in to and out of Auckland. We intend to spend the first and last 2 nights in Auckland.

    Has anyone put up in a farmstay before in the vicinity of Christchurch? The majority of our time (about 8 days) will be spent at the South. We are thinking of splitting the stay over at Queenstown and Christchurch. By the way, anyone tried the train rides before? I heard the sceneries are spectacular.

    Also, is there any direct flight between Auckland and Queenstown? We may want to make Christchurch the first stop and Queenstown our last stop in the south. If there is, this may save us the hassle of returning to Christchurch from Queenstown to board the return flight to Auckland.

    Also, I understand that Queenstown is by the lake. In that case, I am wondering if it is worthwhile to visit Lake Taupo as well? Or, should I use the time to visit some of the famous bays in the North instead?

    Really appreciate your time and effort, folks. Your information does supplement my other research information very well.
    Hi.. I am also going in November. Hmm I thought Lake Taupo is near Rotorua.. in the North Island.

  13. #13

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Quote Originally Posted by stevez View Post
    Hi.. I am also going in November. Hmm I thought Lake Taupo is near Rotorua.. in the North Island.

    Hi stevez, Lake Taupo is in the north for sure. I was comparing the nature of the two places, not the geographic locations. Since both Queenstown and Lake Taupo are lake-themed, I wonder if it would be more worthwhile to visit the bays (by foregoing Taupo) or other attractions since I will definitely see a lake at Queenstown.

    Perhaps we could exchange notes before we make our trips there.

    Hope you will have a fun-tastic time come November.

  14. #14

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Actually, as mentioned by someone, if you want quality time in NZ, 2 weeks is only enough for 1 island. More so if you have children, and travelling time will tire both the adults and children! (Adults handling the children)
    Last edited by nuts; 25th September 2006 at 08:21 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Quote Originally Posted by hotmilo View Post
    Hi stevez, Lake Taupo is in the north for sure. I was comparing the nature of the two places, not the geographic locations. Since both Queenstown and Lake Taupo are lake-themed, I wonder if it would be more worthwhile to visit the bays (by foregoing Taupo) or other attractions since I will definitely see a lake at Queenstown.

    Perhaps we could exchange notes before we make our trips there.

    Hope you will have a fun-tastic time come November.
    Hotmilo,

    Couple of things you have to remember

    1. flights between islands and in the island are not cheap. Not sure you have factor that into consideration. Go check out www.airnz.co.nz

    2. You obviously want to stretch your money when you are in NZ. Trust me, there is no way to stretch that. You cannot stay 2 weeks in NZ and said you cover NZ completely. Like I said, either North or South Island.

    3. Lake Taupo is different from Queenstown. If you say a lake is a lake, then you are missing the point. Go check out how big is Lake Taupo, it is almost similar size of Singapore.

    Anyway, if you focus on North Island, you can do the wine trail. There are alot of vineyards in the North Island. So, you can do Auckland-Whangarei-Auckland-Hamilton-Lake Taupo-Rotorua-Napier-Palmerston North-then back to Auckland

    What you can do when you do this circuit
    You can go to 90 miles beach up north
    You can do the wine trials in Napier, enjoy the scenic scene while you drive.
    You can goto Whakarewrewa and look at mud pools, "smell sulphur in the air"


    South Island, assume you fnd into Christchurch, you can do
    CHC-all of west coast-then Wanaka-Queenstown-Milford sound-Balclutha-Dunedin-Timaru-Christchurch

    You have more things to do, but very little time to do it. The travel time will be very tight. At most, you can spend 1-2 nights,that it. Go go a google search on it and you can find better information. Accomodation will be very expensive in Wanaka and Queenstown.

  16. #16

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    nuts, angy, thanks for the useful information. your input sure helps a great deal in my planning.

    thanks again.

  17. #17

    Default Re: New Zealand - Please recommend decent lodging places

    Quote Originally Posted by hotmilo View Post
    nuts, angy, thanks for the useful information. your input sure helps a great deal in my planning.

    thanks again.
    Hello Hotmilo,

    Suggest you consider this option via Qantas. Reason being you can fly to Sydney then to Auckland, go for your drive and return flight from Christchurch to Sydney and then SGP. Or it could be to Christchurch then drive to Auckland and so on.No need to worry about domestic flight! The rates should be the same. Qantas are quite flexi with such itineries. Have done it many times in Australia, NZ and evenb Europe.

    Also alot of people find the South Island more beautiful then the North, so start your trip up North and work your way down South, then your trip will get better and better!

    Have fun.

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