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Australia & New Zealand Accommodation: Hotels, Holiday Homes, & More

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Australia and New Zealand are bucket list destinations for many travelers. If you’re coming from North America, or Europe, going down under requires flying clear to the other side of the world. Whether you’re headed to the Oceania for just a few weeks’ holiday, or you’ve managed to negotiate a longer stay, there are seemingly endless options for New Zealand and Australia accommodations and adventure.

Australia is a country of wide open spaces with cosmopolitan cities strategically positioned around the fringe. I’d encourage you to find the balance between exploring the culture, food, and arts scene of the urban centers and finding adventure in the Outback, diving the spectacular reefs, and exploring the idyllic wine regions of this beautiful country.

New Zealand is a nation formed from two major islands. The North Island is home to the big city of Auckland and the capital, Wellington, as well as dozens of idyllic little towns that beg to be slow traveled. Don’t miss lake Taupo or the geo-thermal activity around Rotarua. The highlights of both islands can be zipped through in a couple of weeks by train and the very economical buses, but it’s better explored slowly and off the beaten track. Rent a car, or a camper van, and take your time.

Where should you stay? There are tons of options across both Australia and New Zealand. Take a chance and book something different than a run of the mill hotel this trip.

Table of Contents


Australia accommodations

Resorts

Aussie and Kiwi resorts are famous worldwide for having a unique ecological and natural element, often incorporating local wildlife and scenery into your stay. They have all the basics you find in your average resort: sparkling pools, spa facilities, 5-star restaurants, impeccable design, unique locations, and high to middling price tags on a nightly stay.

In New Zealand

Lodges of NZ: Stay at a luxury lodge instead of a resort. A comprehensive list of New Zealand’s best lodges

Oceanside Resort & Twin Towers: Luxurious Mount Maunganui hotel and apartment accommodation at the foot of the famous Mount

Five Star Alliance: Lists the 26 best luxury hotels in New Zealand

Kiwi Collection: A list of the best NZ luxury hotels

Wharekauhau Lodge & Country Estate: Situated in the middle of a 5,000-acre farm in southern Wairarapa and built along the lines of an Edwardian country manor

Hotel Debrett, Auckland: Mod boutique hotel in an updated Art Deco building in Auckland’s hip downtown

Apuku Lodge & Tree Houses: Take to the treetops at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses hotel in Kaikoura, NZ, where canopy-level rooms offer views of mountains, sea and deer

In Australia

Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania: A luxury lodge resort located in Tasmania

One & Only Hayman Island, Queensland: One of Australia’s most acclaimed luxury hotels

Anchorage, Port Stephens: Nestled on the sandy beach of Port Stephens, this luxury resort is known for its location and fine dining

Capella Lodge: Lord Howe Island’s premium boutique accommodation, commanding stunning ocean and mountain views

Peppers Salt Resort and spa: Luxury Kingscliff accommodation on the Tweed Coast with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments overlooking white sandy beaches

Mercure Gold Coast Resort: Located 30 minutes from the Gold Coast Airport and just minutes away from the beautiful Gold Coast beaches

Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander Bay: Situated near the beach, this luxury aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Salamander Bay

Chifley Alice Springs Resort: On the banks of the Todd River, the Chifley Resort has modern rooms with free Wi-Fi, just a 5-minute walk from the center of Alice Springs; not overly luxurious, but more than your average hotel

The Bryon at Bryon: Five star resort set within a 45 acre rainforest offering spa treatments, rainforest walks and yoga classes

Arkaba Walk: Outback Walking in Style; the Arkaba Walk is redefining the classic Aussie ‘bush walk’, adding luxury touches to a four-day private hike in the Flinders Ranges

Saffire Freycinet: Some of the best accommodation in Tasmania

Southern Ocean Lodge: Australia’s first super lodge, offering an exclusive luxury travel experience and luxury accommodation on Kangaroo Island

Thala Beach: Located on a private headland offering deluxe eco-retreat accommodation

Qualia on Hamilton Island: A world-class luxury resort on Hamilton Island

Australia accommodations

Hotels Under $150

Australia and New Zealand have (rather unfairly) earned a reputation for being hard on the wallet. Many tourists opt to head for nearby Southeast Asian countries instead, hoping to save a buck (see our Ultimate Guides to Transportation, and Accommodation in Southeast Asia). It’s true that Australia can make traveling on the cheap a little more complicated than it might be in Thailand or Vietnam, but don’t write off your trip down under just yet. Do your research, and you’ll find that keeping your travel affordable is very doable.

Sacrifice luxury for practicality, and take a look at local and chain hotels. Visiting during the off season can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of your trip. Opting to sleep away from city centers will also help you keep it affordable. Hotel rooms generally cost more than hostels, or camping, but provide reliable comfort and cleanliness, and often come with breakfast included.

In New Zealand

QT Hotels: An eclectic mix of design and art, lifestyle and luxury with a touch of quirk

com: The ultimate guide to hotels (and other accommodation options) in New Zealand

Accor Hotels: This chain can be found throughout major locations in New Zealand and Australia

Hilton: Stay in comfort throughout New Zealand and Australia, just like you would at home

Hyatt: Hyatt hotels can be found only at primary locations such as Sydney or Auckland, but offer consistent quality

Rydges: Catering to New Zealand, Australia, and the UK alone, this hotel chain upholds high quality standards of cleanliness and economic pricing

InterContinental: With luxury hotels and cheap rooms alike, Intercontinental is a chain hotel that caters to all budgets

Hotels Combined: Lists hundreds of hotels across New Zealand and Australia, making it easy to find one that perfectly suits your personal needs

Cheap Sleeps: Find affordable, budget friendly accommodation in New Zealand

Agoda: Lists accommodation in all price ranges around the world; easily book from the Agoda website

NZ Hotel Deals: Dedicated to helping you find the best hotel deals in New Zealand

Wotif: Find cheap hotels in New Zealand and Australia on Wotif and save on hotel booking

Hipmunk : Searches hundreds of websites to locate affordable accommodations worldwide

In Australia

Quick Beds: An Aussie-based accommodations website, locating affordable hotel stays across Australia

Student Universe: Provides cheap accommodations for students in New Zealand and Australia

Ibis Budget Hotels: Locates and compares hotels around the world, within your budget

Arra Hotels: Provides cheap hotels accommodation (Budget Motels, Orbit Inns, and Paragon Hotels) to travelers across Australia

Metro Hotels: Hundreds of chain hotels across Australia

Wotif : Save on Australian hotels using Wotif to find great deals and special discounts
 
Australia accommodations

Boutique Hotels & Lodges

Boutique hotels are generally small, privately owned hotels. Most revolve around a particular niche, whether it’s art deco, eco-friendly architecture and development, or indigenous cultures. Be sure to check out some of the incredible lodges in Australia’s Outback.

In New Zealand

Boutique Hotels: Luxury collection of boutique hotels, lodges and villas, classified as boutique by virtue of their intimate size, experienced friendly hosts and individual style

New Zealand Boutique and Lodge: Search for the ideal New Zealand boutique hotel here

Heritage Hotels: A hand-picked collection of the best rated NZ boutique hotels

Northland NZ: Another comprehensive list of the top NZ boutique hotels, with reviews

In Australia

Mr & Mrs Smith: The ultimate review site for boutique hotels worldwide

i Escape: A hand-picked portfolio of the best boutique hotels around the world, with a special section on Australia

Great Small Hotels: Check out the best “tiny” hotels in Australia

Luxury Lodges of Australia: Australia is famous for its lodges as well as its boutique hotels

Beautiful Accommodation: Choose from hundreds of properties, from luxury escapes, beach houses, romantic getaways and eco escapes to city hotels, day spas and budget boutique

Tablet Hotels: Find an unusual boutique hotel in Australia. Perhaps you’ll stay at Ovolo Woolloomooloo!

Green Getaways Australia: Australia’s best luxury cottages. Stylish, contemporary, romantic and self contained
 
Australia accommodations

Vacation Rentals

Want to see a new country, but don’t want to move around too much? Do you miss the comforts of home while traveling, and wish sometimes that you were able to cook your own meals to save money for other experiences? Vacation rentals could be the option you’ve been looking for.

A vacation rental allows you to live in a fully furnished home away from home, experiencing life like a local, for as long as you like. Villas, houses, and apartments are all popular vacation rentals in New Zealand and Australia. Most have a minimum stay limit of a few days to a few weeks, and you don’t necessarily need to be a home owner yourself to rent part time!

In New Zealand & Australia

Stayz: The ultimate locator for holiday home rentals, particularly in Australia

VRBO: All private house rentals; community forums and comments section provide insight on rentals

Home Away: The world leader in vacation rentals with 1+ million listings and no hidden costs

FlipKey: Charges slightly lower fees than Airbnb

Holiday Houses: Holiday homes, bachas, and apartments for rent

Airbnb: Famous database of private rooms and houses that’s taking the world by storm. I’ve used Airbnb in three different countries and loved it every time

Wimdu: Tons of rentals across the board

In New Zealand

Bach Care: Holiday homes in New Zealand, rented out by Kiwis

Roomorama: Short-term home rentals

Village Getaways: Rent luxurious villas across New Zealand

Kiwi Stays: An online accommodation directory for bed and breakfasts, farmstays and homestays, residential homes, baches, lodges, and more

Vacasa: Vacation rentals in New Zealand

In Australia:

Freemantle Western Australia: A complete accommodation guide to Freemantle, Western Australia, with a great deal of information on available vacation rentals

Rentalo: Hundreds of vacation rentals and reviews throughout Australia, with easy contact information

Bobzio: Vacation rentals, home swaps, traveler contact information. The best part? It’s free

Let Yourself: Let Yourself offers Australian holiday homes and other holiday accommodation options to rent

Collioure Holiday: Offers a range of house, cottage for rental beach vacation accommodation

Cairns Holiday Homes: Providing a range of holiday accommodation and short term rentals in the Cairns area
 
australia accommodations

Camping

Camping is definitely my favorite way to experience New Zealand and Australia. From camping near the largest known rock on the planet at Uluru, to beating around New Zealand in an older camper van, camping this part of the world can be the best travel experience of your life.

It’s a fairly common way to travel in both New Zealand and Australia, so it’s easy to find campsites, rental vans, gear, and travel guides. The likelihood of getting stranded in the bush somewhere is extremely low. It’ll feel like you’re off the beaten path much of the time, but in reality you’ll find you have access to a close-knit support group of other friendly campers and adventurers along the way. Here are a few of the best camping resources out there at the moment:

In New Zealand

Campervanning New Zealand: How To:  A comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to know. Everything. Based on personal experience with everything from negotiating private rental to licensing and regulations.

com: A local guide to camping in New Zealand which contains everything you need to know about NZ camping

Holiday Parks: Lists most (if not all) NZ holiday parks and campgrounds

org: Official information on NZ’s camping rules. These will be enforced, so be sure to read up before you hit the road

Campsites and Holiday Parks: Another comprehensive list of NZ campsites, with links to their home pages

Apollo Camper: Rent a camper van in New Zealand through this company

Escape Rentals: Another excellent camp van rental company

New Zealand Camper Van Adventures: Tips for the camper van traveler

Camper Mate: Free campsites around NZ

In Australia

Australian Campsites: Free and cheap camping locations in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia

Space Ships Rentals: Information on Australia’s national parks, camping rules, and maps

com: Find an Australian campsite here

Campin’ Australia: Find free camping with Camping Australia’s downloadable app

Go See Australia: Lists of reviewed campsites, from the most popular to the off-the-beaten-track; caters to caravaners

Turu: The ultimate guide to caravan parks and camping in Australia

All Camping Hire: Rent your camping equipment, from tents to generators and sleeping bags

Life’s an Adventure Equipment Hire: Rent gear designed specifically for bush walking in Australia

Vroom Vroom Vroom: Rent campervans in Australia

Apollo Camper: The largest camper van rental company in Australia

Hippie Camper: Budget “hippie” camper vans for rent
  
Mighty Campers: Rent cars and vans as well as camp-specific vehicles
New Zealand accommodations

Unusual Accommodations

These are the lands of hobbits, koalas, and glow worms. There are bound to be some incredibly unusual accommodations out there. Yurt villages, tree houses, underground campgrounds, reef platforms, hobbit holes, and more. These two countries combined seem to have more strange places to spend the night than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Check out the lists below to see for yourself.

In New Zealand

The Curious Kiwi: An incredible list of 126 unusual accommodation options in New Zealand, from themed BnBs to farm stays and Maori cultural accommodations

Pagoda Lodge, Kerikeri: Has a variety of unusual accommodation options including gypsy caravans, a riverside boat shed and safari tents

The Rock, Paihia: Spend 22 hours cruising through the Bay of Islands on a converted house boat

Te Hana Te Ao Marama Maori Cultural Centre: Provides marae style living in a modern architectural context

Fossil Bay Lodge, Waiheke Island: From December – April you can stay in a Lotus Belle tent at Fossil Bay Lodge

Mountainview Farmstay & Appaloosa Stud: A farm-stay for horse lovers located 10 minutes drive from Hamilton

Turoa Yurt Village: Turoa Yurt Village has self contained wooden yurt style accommodation ideally situated for skiing on Turoa

Wacky Stays: Wacky Stays has a collection of unusual accommodation options including a house truck, yurt and colonial wagon

Jailhouse Accommodation: Addington Prison closed in 1999 and after renovation it re-opened in 2006 as Jailhouse Accommodation. Have a secure stay in the former cell block from $32pp

Apuku Lodge & Tree Houses, Kaikoura: Sleep in comfortable eco tree houses high above the ground

Underhill, Waikato: The Underhill glamping escape is a Hobbit house perfect for the Hobbit tourist

In Australia

Hatter’s Hideout, Blue Mountains: Rent a cave on 8 acres of private Blue Mountains nature reserve

Roar and Snore: Camp in safari tents in the heart of Australia’s most famous zoo (Taronga Zoo), and wake to spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge

Wanderer’s Retreat, Port Stephens: Stay in your own romantic luxury tree house, elevated amid the foliage with your own private deck with only koalas and possums as neighbors

Fantasea Reefsleep: Fantasea Reefworld is a specially designed floating adventure platform at Hardy Reef, 40 nautical miles from the mainland. Experience the Great Barrier Reef at night

Desert Cave Hotel: Experience dug-out style living within the cool sandstone surrounds beneath the opal mining capital of Coober Pedy

Bed In the Treetops: Stay perched 160 metres above sea level in the Bay of Fires with great views

Huon Bush Retreats: Stay in a deluxe tepee made from timber and canvas on the edge of natural bushland

Longitude 131 : Luxury wilderness camp at Uluru (Ayer’s Rock)

Pump House Point: Sleep in one of two refurbished pump houses in the middle of a lake in Tasmania
 
New Zealand accommodations

Hostels

The cheapest of the cheap. Most hostels here cost around $25 a bed, some go even lower as you travel to more remote locations. Expect conditions to be a lot like those typically found in European hostels. Rooms are, generally, clean, and come with bedding. Most hostels have a common room, kitchen, and bar. Some may even have laundromat services and a pool on hand.

If you don’t mind sharing a room with 4-5 strangers, hostels are the easiest way to save cash as you go. Plus, you’re sure to meet fellow travelers and make friends as you slam together a late-night meal in the kitchen or spend an evening strumming the community guitar on the common porch.

In General

Hostelbookers: Lowest price guaranteed with no booking fees

Hostelsworld: 100% booking guarantee, no booking fees, and savings on group bookings

Hostels: Very extensive listing of hostels worldwide, not just in North America; no booking fees

In New Zealand

Maraehako Bay Retreat: Located on the beach and surrounded by rocks. Activities include horse riding, fishing, bush walking, and the opportunity to meet Maori spiritual carvers. $28 per night for a dorm bed

Jugglers Rest: A small 16 bed hostel, what makes the hostel unusual is that you can arrange workshops in poi and hoop spinning (fee payable) or just have a go and get free tips from the staff; shared dorms from $26

Tombstone Backpackers: Dead tired? Head behind the coffin door and rest in peace behind double glazing at Tombstone; dorm beds from $25

the bug Backpackers: A VW themed modern backpacker hostel; from $26 per night for a dorm bed

BBH NZ: Affordable, friendly accommodation just about everywhere in New Zealand

New Zealand Backpacker’s Hostel Guide: The official guide to hosteling New Zealand

Hi Hostels NZ: Offering the cheapest rooms around, for relatively decent quality

In Australia

Komune Resort: Queensland’s first dedicated surfing accommodation designed to appeal to the backpacker youth market

YHA Australia: A great guide to backpacking Australia and a list of the best hostels along the way

Hostels Australia: Created by locals, this is one of the most reliable Australian hostel guides you’ll ever come across

Wake Up!: Really fun privately owned hostel in Central Sydney; considered a popular party destination

The Kimberly Klub: Budget Resort and backpackers accommodation in Broome

New Zealand Accommodations

Tourist Offices

Have questions? Contact the Australian and Kiwi tourist offices for up to date information on all of the accommodation options listed here, and to check for hidden local gems as well.

Tourism Australia

Tourism New Zealand

TL;DR

New Zealand and Australia are bucket list destinations for many travelers. Whether you have two weeks, or six months, a shoe string budget or are planning to stay in style, there are options that make these island nations accessible to everyone.

  • Consider camping or staying in hostels along the way
  • Rent a vacation home and spend a few weeks in one area
  • Hunt down discounted hotels, keeping in mind that prices go down during the off season
  • Explore the fantastic resorts and boutique hotels that highlight local charm
  • Stay somewhere truly unusual: a tree house, or a hobbit hole anyone?

GothPhil, Flickr, Ralph Bestic, Flickr, Rex Boggs, Flickr, Traveletto, Flickr, Header Image: Visual Hunt

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