trip of a lifetime

Jan 19th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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trip of a lifetime

My husband & I are planning a trip of a life time in NZ. We feel we have 2 options - 1 hire a motor caravan & use camp sites or 2 hire a car & use b&b's or budget hotels - we are not keen on fancy big hotels Has anyone any advice on either options? I have found campsites but am not sure where to look for b&b or hotel options so any websites would be appreciated
patti4 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 04:11 PM
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I would not rent a motor home. On the south island there are a lot of beautiful , narrow mountain roads. I was nervous in a small car, never mind trying to navigate a motor home.

I would go for B&B's. Also , don't rule out hostels. I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not talking about the huge dorm type hostels, but the small ones that belong to the BBH association. They are individually owned and many are very similar to B&B's. Of course, you don't get breakfast included, but they have a full kitchen to use.

I had never stayed in hostels, and they were great. I loved the small ones, that were not much different than a B&B. The prices were good.
DO a search of BBH and have a look at some of the hostels and prices.

Good luck.
kodi is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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The website is

They were very family oriented and were always very friendly and very clean.
kodi is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Personally, I'd travel by car and stay in B&Bs, motels, etc.

There are alot of interesting lodging options in NZ. Lots of restored buildings that have been turned into cottages, quaint B&Bs, etc. Motels in NZ are not like motels in the US (assuming that's where you're from). They're comfortable and well equipped and a inexpensive lodging option.

Here are some sites that I've used in the past and have found helpful:
Melnq8 is online now  
Jan 19th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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I agree with posters that say go for the b&bs and motels. Also try, the New Zealand Auto club site. They have a booklet you can probably find at Auckland Airport for free at the info center. I found it especially helpful for last minute itinerary changes.

I used the BNB website, and also the Info Centers in town, for B&B's. Don't shy away from the homestay type B&B's. They tend to be less expensive than the boutique style. Also, the standard of housekeeping is very high, even for the budget motels. Motels almost always have a laundry and fully equipped kitchens, they are really more like small apartments. Invest in a cheap icechest and you will be able to save money on meals by staying in motels and hostels.
mlgb is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 02:01 AM
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Thanks everyone - lots of excellent info. Think we will like the bnb's & the hostels
patti4 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 04:14 AM
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When I travelled in the South island with a car we stayed in all the hostels. A double room for NZ40-50, usually sharing a bathroom (sometimes not).

You get some good and some nto so good. But often they are situated in beautiful places.

Blur Spur Lodge in Hokitika is so great. You do have to go outside to get to the showers and toilet. But what a view on the way.

Motels are a NZ thing. Usually about NZ100-120 for a studio apartment. They often have cooking facilities and are set up for people driving around. You can drive around look for vacancy signs.

Except Queenstown - book ahead. Everything is more expensive there.
wilees is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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YOu've received some grrat replies! I just wanted to add, that if you do consider the hostels, you don't have to stay in a dorm as you might think. We always had a twin room, but did have to share a bathroom. Never was it a problem. and always very clean.
We found the small hostels to be quite a bit cheaper than motels.
at one point, my friend a I split up for a few days while she hiked the Milford Sound. I got a single room in the hostels and was very happy.
And I'm not a spring chicken!!

Good luck..
kodi is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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Mr. Pickle and I stayed in three hostels on our trip, and were very pleased with each one. Two (The Missing Leg near Egmont Village and Kiwi Paka YHA in Waitomo) had ensuite bathrooms, and one (Lloyd's Lodge in Whakatane) had a private bathroom next door to our room.

As Kodi said, the BBH hostels are smaller and more intimate; it was a fun way to get to know other travelers and save some money on meals as well. If you're looking for a non-touristy way to experience a bit of Maori culture, Hare at Lloyd's Lodge does a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony for his guests, and I believe he and Pam do a hangi at least once a week.

YHA properties are well kept, but bigger and perhaps a little more institutional-feeling. The one in Waitomo has chalets which are quite nice and inexpensive.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Thanks to you all for your replies. I am sure we shall be using the backpackers as it will mean we can stay longer having had such reasonable accom. costs. Feel really excited about it all now & much more informed
patti4 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Great! Let us know what your itinerary will be and perhaps I can suggest some of our favourite hostels. Elendilpickle had good experiences too.
Hi LeeAnn! It all seems so long ago now, but what great memories I have of NZ. It's great to be able to hlep someone else.

Oh, if you go to Devonport, follow Elendilpickles' advice and eat a really great inexpensive meal at the Cod Place. Yummy!
kodi is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 07:56 AM
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nothing definate yet but here are some ideas bay of islands, lake taupo, napier, wellington,marlborough sound, abel tasmin, dunedin,doubtful, franz joseph, arthurs pass, queenstown, christchurch, lakes tekapo& pukaki. So any favorites in those areas would be great & any other places off the beaten track. you may be able to answer my other question - do they provide bedlinen & towels at the backpackers
patti4 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 08:15 PM
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>>Hi LeeAnn! It all seems so long ago now, but what great memories I have of NZ. It's great to be able to hlep someone else.<<

Hi Kodi! Isn't it fun! Almost as fun as going back to New Zealand.

Many hostels provide linen and towels, but not all of them do. Check with each property before you book a room; most of them have email.

Wellington is one of the nicest cities I've ever visited. It reminds me a lot of San Francisco, if you've ever been there.

You can easily spend a whole day at Te Papa Museum; we found it fascinating, especially their treatment of the Maori/Pakeha conflicts through the years. If your food budget is tight, there is a yummy food court at the Wellington Market nearby.

The Wellington YHA is right downtown near the waterfront and Te Papa. We didn't stay there, but we went in to ask a couple of questions. The staff is friendly, they have private double rooms, and there is a New World supermarket right across the street. Lots of cafes and nightlife in Wellington, too - I wish we had had more time there.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Correction! The place to eat in Devonport is The Cod Piece, not the Cod Place. SOrry Lee Ann. It was a great little place.

Bed linen was always provided. We never used our sleeping bags. I'm sure you read on your other post, most hostels do not allow you to bring your own bedding.
Thinking about it, we did take our own camping towel.

I preferred the smaller hostels, and didn't really care for the big high rise ones that reminded me of college dorms. But , still, they were ok when we did stay in them.
We stayed in the big one in Wellington and Elendilpickle is right. There is a great big huge grocery store nearby. And it's withing walking distance to the wonderful museum, Te Papa. Definately worth seeing, even if you aren't a museum person.

Some of our favourite hostels.....
In Auckland we stayed at Bamber House. This was my first hostel, and it was a nice introduction.

In Rotorua, we stayed at Treks Backpackers and loved it. It was right in the centre of town , fairly new, and had a great big kitchen.
It was one of the few that wasn't on the BBH website, but the tourist office suggested it and it was great.

In Picton when we got off the ferry, we stayed at Wedgewood hostel. We laughed becasue we had our own 'wing' in the hostel. It was a seperate section, and we shared the bathroom and kitchen with only one other couple. When we got up in the morning, they were gone, without a sound and we had our 'wing' to ourselves.

Some of the Top Ten camp grounds have cabins to rent. In Franz Josef we rented a cabin and it was great. we payed $69 and had our own kitchen and the room was really cute. We just had to walk next door to the bathroom. Literally 1 metre away. WE had a little front porch and really enjoyed our stay there.

But we learned that if you stay at other Top Ten camp grounds in a cabin without your own kitchen, the communal kitchen does not have all the dishes and pots and pans like a hostel does. However, if you want to eat out, the cabins are a good alternative.

On the north island in Paihia, I stayed at my favourite hostel, Peppertree Lodge. My friend had gone home by this time and I had a single room with my own bathroom. It's a fairly new place and very nice.

I hope this helps.
Good luck with your planning.
kodi is offline  

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