Where to Stay in New Zealand

During our ten weeks of exploration, relaxation, adventure, and sightseeing on the North and South Islands, we gathered a collection of accommodation recommendations for vacationers, travelers, and independent explorers wondering where to stay in New Zealand. From bed and breakfasts to humble (but tasteful!) hotels, from home rentals to pure luxury, enjoy our favorites from the islands…


NIKAU CAVE & CAFE | NORTH ISLAND
Waikaretu, New Zealand (About an hour south of Auckland)
http://nikaucave.co.nz/accommodation/
info@nikaucave.co.nz

wpid13903-Nikau-Cave-and-Cafe-Waitkaretu-New-Zealand-2.jpg

Wifi: Access vouchers available for purchase (oh, New Zealand! Someday you will learn to love free wifi for all…).
Breakfast: Home-grown veggies, home-baked goodies, and award winning espresso available at the cafe.
Our Favorite Amenities: Genuinely loveable hosts, delicious food, beautiful surroundings, and some of the very best coffee we’ve enjoyed anywhere in the world.
Setting: South of Auckland, tucked away in the rolling hills of New Zealand’s green North Island; surrounded by (surprise!) sheep.
Blog Mention of Nikau Cave and Cafe: Untethered in New Zealand


TIDESONG B&B | NORTH ISLAND
Whangearei, New Zealand (About two hours north of Auckland)
http://www.tidesong.co.nz/

Wifi: Available and complimentary. Suitable for a few quick searches; perhaps wait to browse/upload/download until you’re in a spot with a faster connection.
Breakfast: Something delightful whipped up in a charming kitchen.
Our Favorite Amenities: Hugh and Ros made us feel right at home, and our visit corresponding with the spring “super-tide” meant even more fun in the kayak.
Setting: Just a short drive from Whangarei Heads and a short walk down to the mangroves on the estuary…


HAHEI BUNGALOW | NORTH ISLAND
Hahei, New Zealand (About two hours east of Auckland, Near Cathedral Cover and Hot Water Beach)
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/142461

Wifi: Included.
Breakfast: A cute little kitchen and a “help-yourself to the stash” visitors’ fridge.
Our Favorite Amenities: Kym, our hostess, gave great tips for exploring nearby Coromandel treasures: a less-than-five minute traipse to the bright, beautiful beach. A one-hour hike from the front door to Cathedral Cove. A jaunt down the road to Purangi Winery and Shakespeare Cliff. A passenger ferry to Whitianga. A tip for packing woodfired pizza and brew to nearby Hot Water Beach…
Setting: The peaceful little town of Hahei on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Little wonder crews for Narnia and the like chose nearby beaches to represent mythical other-lands in their fantasy films…


GRAND HOTEL | NORTH ISLAND
Wanganui, New Zealand (About two and a half hours northwest of Wellington)
http://thegrandhotel.co.nz/

Wifi: Yep.
Breakfast: Available for purchase…but why not skip the downstairs pub and head out to the cute little streets of the city?
Our Favorite Amenities: The bright bathroom’s large soaking tub. Perfect for relaxing away many a road-trip kilometer.
Setting: College town meets artsy enclaves…historical buildings, chain stores, holes-in-the-wall, art museums, beaches, riverbanks, tall towers (okay, one tall tower), and a cute little movie theater just for kicks.


WYATT HOUSE B&B + ANNEX | NORTH ISLAND
12 Main St, Greytown 5712 (About an hour northeast of Wellington)
Greytown, New Zealand

Wifi: Yes, but signal strength varies depending on locations between the B&B and the Annex.
Breakfast: Semi-self-catered in the Annex (though the hosts provide a lovely selection of fresh baked local bread, preserves, yogurts, and a well-stocked pantry of essentials); fully catered breakfast included at the B&B and available by arrangement in the Annex.
Our Favorite Amenities: Picture-perfect furnishings, pillows, throws, and magazines artfully arranged by the owner, a professional interior designer. Plush beds. Gorgeous garden grounds.
Setting: Just a quick hour’s drive from Wellington, a stone’s throw from the wineries and tasting rooms scattered in every direction…


MUSEUM ART HOTEL | NORTH ISLAND
Wellington, New Zealand
http://www.museumhotel.co.nz/

Wifi: Daily vouchers provided.
Breakfast: Room service available from the Hippopotamus Restaurant & Bar; terrific cafes and diners just out the door and down the windy Wellington streets…
Our Favorite Amenities: Dazzling art displays in the lobby and halls.
Setting: Just down and around the corner from the Embassy Theater and right-across-the-street from Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand).


JOHN GLENDALL’S FISHING LODGE | SOUTH ISLAND
St. Arnaud, New Zealand (An hour+ from the Picton Ferry terminal)
http://www.johngendallflyfishing.com/

Wifi: Nope, but that’s okay.
Breakfast: Hearty, start-of-the-day full-meal-deal available at the main house. Kettle and counter space for use in the one-room-schoolhouse turned freestanding-cabin.
Our Favorite Amenities: The ultimate reason to stay here is John’s professional fly fishing guide services; he’s the real deal, and he showed us the finest in back country fishing and rural living.
Setting: Just down the road from the little north-of-the-South-Island town of St. Arnaud.


TE WANAKA LODGE | SOUTH ISLAND
Wanaka, New Zealand (A five hour road trip from Christchurch; one hour north of Queenstown)
http://tewanaka.co.nz/

Wifi: Daily vouchers provided.
Breakfast: Cold cereals, yogurts, and hot breakfast in the main dining room.
Our Favorite Amenities: Roses blooming in the courtyard, a cedar hot tub/spa for soaking under the stars, and a comfortable living room in the main lodge perfect for reading by the fire and relaxing after a long day of exploring beautiful Central Otago.
Setting: An easy couple blocks’ walk to the Wanaka lakefront shops and scenes.
{Full Feature and Photo Series of Te Wanaka Lodge Coming Soon…}


THE ARROW | SOUTH ISLAND
Arrowtown, New Zealand (Twenty minutes from Queenstown)
http://www.thearrow.co.nz/

Wifi: The best, the fastest, the most generous and consistent that we found in the whole of New Zealand. Like drinking endless gallons of clean, pure water after trekking across the Sahara with a near-empty bottle.
Breakfast: Magic: delivered to each private unit via the “secret door” – scrumptious.
Our Favorite Amenities: Oh, where to start? The bottles of welcome wine and plates of cheese and goodies shared with hosts Tim and Colette upon arrival? The walk down the lane past lupines and cottonwoods to the peaceful outpost of Arrowtown? The aforementioned near-miraculous wifi? Style, luxury, attention to detail… Every comfort. Worth the splurge.
Setting: A walk down the lane to Arrowtown and all its charm: close enough to Queenstown to be near world-famous winter sports and summer beauty, far enough from the buzzing throngs of tourists to be a world unto itself.
{Full Feature and Photo Series of The Arrow Coming Soon…}


This feature is part of our Where to Stay Around the World series featuring quintessential and offbeat experiences, one-of-a-kind accommodations and beautiful B&Bs, traditional hotels and resorts, and a few surprises in between. As always, all opinions, photos, and stories are our own; many thanks to our kind hosts and partners along the way.