Where to stay New Zealand
New Zealand offers an abundance of fabulous accommodation options ranging from high-end boutique hotels and guesthouses, remote and exclusive mountain lodges, friendly B&Bs, resort motels, excellent campsites and working farms. If you mix and match you can please all ages and budgets. Generally in the North Island, our itineraries are based on a rental car so you can choose what type of accommodation best suits you and your holiday plans. In the South Island, if you are using a campervan, then there are numerous superbly located campsites to choose from. Alternatively, treat yourself to a night off and splurge on a luxurious lodge.
What is the accommodation like in New Zealand
One of our favourite family-friendly places is the Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses, just outside the well-known whale watching town of Kaikoura on the South Island. After a fabulous day at sea watching these incredible beasts, perhaps followed by swimming with an amusing pod of dolphins or kayaking with the sea lions, you can retire to this wonderful country hotel, located on a deer breeding farm at the base of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range.
The treehouses are nested 10m high in the canopy with breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean. Parents can ‘hang out’ in the upper branches whilst children can enjoy separate accommodation in the lower zone. And everyone can snuggle in front of the fire, drinking in the views of mountains one side and ocean the other. Walk or bike from beach to bush directly from the hotel, harvest olives – or even antlers – in season, surf the local waves or just chill out by the pool. A really magical spot to enjoy on your trip.
Sticking with the South Island, another place popular with families is the Bay of Many Coves, set in the heart of Marlborough Sounds. How exciting to arrive at your hotel by water taxi from Picton and immerse yourself in the pristine natural setting, where the bush runs down to the beach in the hotel’s private cove. Families will love exploring the tranquil waters of the coastline by kayak or SUP. Visit Motuara Island, a breeding ground for Little Blue Penguins. Take a wildlife cruise to spot the many pods of whales in the region, with the chance of swimming with bottle-nose dolphins an added attraction. Or hike through the bush to join the famous Queen Charlotte Track which follows the stunning coastline of the Queen Charlotte Sound. With no road access, this is New Zealand coastal life at its best.
For a superb one-night adventure, highly recommended is an overnight cruise in Fiordland National Park on either Milford or Doubtful Sound. From Te Anau you will head deep into the heart of this dramatic terrain to board your vessel so your family can enjoy the mountains, waterfalls, rainforests and wildlife from the water. Kayak beneath sheer cliffs soaring directly above you and enjoy fascinating commentaries from your on-board naturalist experts. There is no need for electronic distractions as you encounter seals and penguins and enjoy the amusing antics of pods of dolphins frolicking in the ship’s wake. At night, you will drop anchor in a secluded cove and experience the ultimate in remote wilderness with the fantastically clear night skies above you.
Of course, if you are using a campervan, this will become home from home to you. Models range from basic to 6 berth ‘beasts’, all self-contained plus add-on options such as mountain bike hire. You will be able to enjoy a fantastic array of campsites of the standard type you would find in most countries, offering their own food stores, pools, play areas and bars, often centrally located in the main towns.
However, there are some which offer that little bit more in rather special locations. One of the best we think is Camp Glenorchy. Located at the ‘end of the road’, where civilisation hits the rugged landscapes of Mount Aspiring National Park, this eco-retreat offers excellent on site facilities for campervan travellers including access to the spacious Homestead Building with lounge, library and dining area offering superb views out over the mountains. Camp Glenorchy can arrange transfers to/from the trailheads for such famous treks as the Routeburn or Greenstone/Caples Tracks.
Easier options include bike hire or lagoon walks, riding horses along the shores of Lake Wakatipu or enjoying a quiet kayak paddle. Retreat to the camp at the end of each day and toast marshmallows around the fire beneath the glacier-tipped mountains. And you just have to love a site where you can stock up from Mrs. Woolly’s General Store.
We will always select accommodation that will suit your family and fit your budget. Do ring us, or email to find out more about where to stay in New Zealand and we can put together an itinerary for you that is tailored to your family’s needs.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
New Zealand in pictures
Talk with our friendly team about your family travel needs.