Looking for your budget accommodation options in New Zealand?


Whether you’re exploring New Zealand’s sprawling national parks, hitting the beaches for world-class surfing, or taking it easy at the snazzy bars and restaurants of Auckland, Wellington, or Napier, you won’t be far from a budget accommodation option.


paihia hostel

Saltwater Lodge Backpackers in Paihia is great!

When backpacking in New Zealand, you ‘ll find a wide range of hostels throughout the country’s cities, towns, and halfway places. From run-down establishments to friendly family-owned places and flashy modern hostels, you can find hostel accommodation to suit your budget.

Furthermore, every hostel in New Zealand should offer free Wi-Fi, and some a free breakfast. They usually include a lounge area, showers, laundry facilities (often pricey), and a communal kitchen. This will all help keep your budget in check.

As well as dorms, hostels often provide single, twin, or double rooms.

Motels and Budget Hotels

Instead of a private room at a hostel, you may want to consider booking into a motel or budget hotel instead.
The rooms tend to have similar prices but are of a higher quality.

However, if you’re looking for accommodation with kitchen facilities, not all motels and budget hotels offer them. Budget hotels in city centres are great if you’re planning to spend most of your days and evenings out and about.

After hitting the bars, restaurants, and casinos, all you will want your room for is sleep! Not tired after the thrill of playing roulette or slots at a brick-and-mortar casino? You can continue to enjoy playing games at a fantastic online casino like Casumo into the night.


cliffs above the sea

These cliffs are a short distance away from the camping site near Bluff in the Catlins.

The Department of Conservation runs campsites in many conservation areas throughout the country. If you’re looking to kick back in the great outdoors and soak up some of the country’s most stunning natural vistas, campsites are a fantastic budget option.

You’ll find stunning beachfront campsites like the Matauri Bay Holiday Park, northeast of the Bay of Islands, and the Poukaraka Flats Campground, which is tucked away at Whakanewha Regional Park.

Or for a truly memorable experience, check out the campsite on Urupukapuka Island, which can only be accessed by water taxies or passenger ferries.

The facilities at campsites vary a lot, so download some of these travel apps to give you the heads up on what to expect.

Holiday Parks

te aroha holiday park entrance

The Holiday Park in Te Aroha is great. I got a private caravan for $30/night (in winter)

If you want to experience the wild of New Zealand in more comfort, you have the option to stay at a holiday park. The luxurious version of campsites.

They will be a little more costly, but holiday parks still enable you to choose from a range of accommodation at different price-points. Holiday parks have tent sites for camping, as well as areas to park vehicles like campervans.

Plenty of holiday parks also offer self-contained caravans, apartments, and cabins. The other great thing about staying at holiday parks is they have more facilities than campsites.


Couchsurfing Boulder

Couchsurfing opens up other opportunities too. I volunteered in Colorado and loved it!

If you are travelling around New Zealand and you start to run out of money, consider Couchsurfing at local homes. It won’t cost you anything!

In recent years, couch surfing has become a popular way for people on a budget to travel. You will find hosts online via the Couchsurfing website. They are usually people who have travelled themselves, so they know what it’s like to be in a foreign country with little money.

Couchsurfing.com enables the hosts to meet interesting people from all countries and cultures, and you get to meet real locals. However, you’ll usually only be able to couch surf at people’s homes for a night or two.

House Sitting

nelson sunsets

The sunset from close to where I was housesitting in Nelson

You’ll need to plan this in advance, but if you are looking for a way of obtaining free accommodation for a week or more, consider house sitting.

When New Zealanders go away, many look for people to keep an eye on the house and look after their pets. You can sometimes find yourself living in luxury for free.

There are lots of websites (I recommend KiwiHouseSitters) that pair travellers with homeowners for house sitting opportunities. So, start searching now if you’re planning on exploring the wonders of New Zealand.

Does that give you a good idea of your budget accommodation options in New Zealand?

I hope so. Budget travel in NZ is possible. If you have any questions, pop a comment below or email me jub@tikitouringkiwi.com and I’ll help you out as I can 🙂