New Zealand Accommodation Guide - NZ Holiday Planner

Beautiful accommodation set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu

New Zealand has a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets and requirements. From backpacker accommodation, motels, apartments, hotels, luxury lodges and even the occasional hobbit house. We have it all! We carefully select our properties to ensure they meet our high standards and we monitor the quality by visiting the properties and listening to feedback from guests.

Types of accommodation available in New Zealand


Below are explanations of the different types of accommodation available in New Zealand. This will hopefully give you an indication of what to expect. Remember we can mix and match any style of accommodations for you. For example, if you are out and about all day, a simple motel may be all you need whereas if you are in a beautiful location or want a little down time a luxury lodge may provide a memorable experience.

Luxury lodges & hotels

The high-end accommodation in New Zealand ranges from five-star hotels to purpose built lodges. Both offer the finest standards of accommodation. New Zealand lodges are often located in unforgettable settings, offering an exclusive experience to a small numbers of guests so why not mark a special occasion or just indulge yourself in one of New Zealand’s luxury lodges or hotels. Accommodation packages will often include breakfast and dinner. Lodges will also organise activities such as guided fishing, hunting, hiking, helicopter tours, spa treatments and much more.

Boutique lodges & hotels

Our guests often describe New Zealand’s boutique lodges and hotels as some of the best they have experienced. Boutique lodges and hotels are usually privately owned and can be found in desirable location, in and around cities and towns in New Zealand. You might find yourself in a unique purpose-built property or a historic home that has been renovated to accommodate discerning guests in quality surroundings. These premier small hotels and lodges provide an intimate experience including handcrafted breakfasts. All the properties we recommend have private bathroom facilities and comfortable bedrooms. Boutique lodges are usually hosted by enthusiastic owners who want to share their knowledge of the region and provide their guests with an excellent experience.



A classic boutique lodges in New Zealand


Like motels apartments are self-contained accommodation with full kitchen facilities, larger living areas and access to laundry facilities. These are perfect for people wanting to prepare their own meals and have a level of independence. The apartments vary in size from one to three bedrooms making them ideal for families and large groups.

Luxury Apartments

Luxury apartments offer the same range of facilities as apartments, but with an extra level of luxury and often in premier locations. Extra facilities might also include a swimming pool, restaurant or even a golf course.

Bed & Breakfast

Bed & breakfast properties in New Zealand are often quoted by our guests as some of the best experiences they have had. They are typically a far cry from a simple room in some one’s house. Your hosts are likely to be enthusiastic kiwi ambassadors, making a dedicated effort to share their little piece of New Zealand with you, while providing modern hospitality and comfort. All the properties we recommend have comfortable, private bedroom and bathrooms facilities.

Premium Bed & Breakfast

Premium bed & breakfast properties offer an extra level of luxury. Properties can be purpose built, historic buildings and unique homes, converted to accommodate guests in premium quality surroundings.


New Zealand bed and breakfasts

Hotel 4-star

The range of 4-star hotels is immense with hotels selected and recommended for their location and facilities. Many of the hotels in this category have a range of rooms from standard to deluxe, superior, lake view, mountain view depending on their location. They may also offer two and three bedroom suites, great value for larger families or group travelling together. Generally, 4-star hotels have a swimming pool, gyms and a choice of restaurants. In most instances they are closer to town centres or in premium locations.

Hotel 3-star

New Zealand has some fantastic 3-star hotels. Sometimes the room type can vary, but we ensure your room meets your specific requirements. The star rating for these hotels refers to the facilities and services they offer. All our 3-star hotels have restaurant facilities and we can include pre-booked meals in your tour cost, if preferred.

Some destinations in New Zealand such as Coromandel, Kaikoura, Akaroa may not offer hotel style accommodation. However, an appropriate alternative style of accommodation will be recommended.

Remember: all tours can be customised to include the accommodation of your choice.

Hotel at Mt Cook


The motels we recommend in New Zealand meet our high standard. They are generally owned and operated by locals in the area. One of the most appealing features of motels is they are self-contained units typically with cooking facilities offering you the opportunity to prepare your own meals. At a minimum, a studio unit will have a hot plate and or microwave, toaster, kettle, crockery and cutlery. Other room types may offer more comprehensive facilities such as a full kitchen. Some motels also offer a full breakfast service, sauna, spa and swimming pool. Motels have a variety of room types from studios, one bedroom, two bedroom and family units making them a very economical choice for a family or larger group.

The price varies depending on the services they offer, the location and the other accommodation offered in the town.

Camping in New Zealand


Free CampingFree camping is possible in most places in New Zealand. However, watch out for signposted areas where camping is not permitted.

Department of Conservation (DOC) Campsites: DOC is the guardian of much of New Zealand’s green areas and our national parks. They maintain over 200 vehicle access campsites. Facilities at DOC campsites vary considerably and are divided into three categories:


  • Serviced campgrounds Access is available for all vehicles with powered sites. They have ablution buildings with flushing toilets, running water and showers. Many have barbeques or fireplaces, picnic tables, shared kitchen, rubbish and laundry facilities, a shop and caravan waste disposal point.

  • Standard campsites: Access is available for all vehicles. Facilities include flushing toilets and running water. Barbecues or fireplaces, picnic tables and rubbish collection may also be provided.

  • Informal campsites: These campsites offer limited facilities. In many cases these sites will only include camp sites, a toilet and running water.

Private Campgrounds: There many privately owned camping grounds across the country. They offer a range of amenities including a full kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities. Many of these campgrounds also have a BBQ area, TV lounge, boat hire, spa pool, a shop, restaurant and adventure playgrounds.

Glamping: Glamping has become very popular in New Zealand in recent years and many of the glamping sites are in areas of stunning natural beauty. Glamping is an upmarket form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. Perfect for those seeking refuge in nature but without foregoing any of life's luxuries.

Glamping in New Zealands North Island

First Light Travels Accommodation Standards 


The criteria for choosing which accommodation providers we use are simple. We want to put you in the best accommodation available to suit your budget, whether Luxury Lodges, ‘Boutique’ styled Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels or Motor Lodges. We have compiled our preferences with the help of invaluable client feedback and from personal experience. They may have been selected for their historic & cultural significance, unique scenery and location, outstanding facilities, or simply because they have a host of true ‘Kiwi’ character. At the least, they will be of a high standard, clean, friendly and comfortable.

If you have an idea of what you would like to spend per night let me know and I will find the best accommodation around that price. An idea of accommodation prices is as follows:

  • 2-3 Star Motels, B&B’s & Hotels (NZ$90-NZ$120.00 per night)
  • 3-4 Star Hotels & B&B’s (NZ$150 – NZ$250 per night)
  • 4-5 Star Hotels, B&B’s & Luxury Lodges (NZ$250- $550 and up to and above NZ$900 per night).

The accommodation prices vary depending on the location so this is simply a rough guide.

Location: We work very hard at finding accommodation in great locations, right in the heart of cities you are wanting to experience. We understand the importance of staying close to the attractions you want to see. We will not have you staying the suburbs, even those within the city boundaries.

Value for money: Value for money is also a key consideration. The room rate of accommodation typically varies depending on the size of the town and on the amount of accommodation in that town or city. Again we shop around looking for the best deals to meet your requirements within budget.

Qualmark® is New Zealand tourism's official mark of quality.


Qualmark is New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation, providing a trusted guide to quality travel experiences. Owned by ‘Tourism New Zealand’ (a New Zealand government agency) Qualmark® provides a star rating system for accommodation providers and other tourism providers.. When you see a business displaying the Qualmark symbol you know it meets strict quality and this helps you by identifying high quality places to stay regardless of its category – For example you can have a 5 star backpackers right up to a 5 star luxury lodge.

First Light Travel Ltd has been assessed as a "Qualmark Gold".


If you have any queries regarding Qualmark or would like to visit the Official Site please go to

Qualmark Gold

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Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price