places to stay
The welcome mat is always out in New Zealand’s largest city with a diverse range of accommodation to suit every visitor.
It is wise to book ahead for the summer peak period of December to February. At other times you are usually free to pick and choose. In the winter months make a point of asking for seasonal discounts.
Auckland Airport does not have hotels on site but there are some just 5 km away in Mangere with a free shuttle service. Door-to-door shuttles operate into the city hotels, taking around 30 minutes. There is easy access to all Auckland’s visitor attractions from both city and suburban accommodation places.
Hotels are clustered around the city centre and inner suburbs, most within walking distance of Queen Street and the Downtown area. Modern high rise hotels offer double rooms starting at NZ$200 per night and several older restored buildings have standard rooms and more basic facilities for around $100 per night. Upmarket self-contained apartments are also conveniently located in the central city area and are priced at a similar level to the top class business hotels.
Motels number over one hundred, spread liberally though the suburbs, with major groupings in Parnell, Remuera, Epsom and Mangere as well as Takapuna and Birkenhead on the North Shore. There is usually a range of sizes available. Studio units at around $80 for two people are the cheapest option, providing only tea and coffee making facilities and having limited space. Two and three bedroom units are generally priced from $90 to $180 for two people, and large self-contained suites are top of the range, exceeding $200. New Zealand motels often have provision for preparing meals so request a kitchen unit if you want that independence.
Guesthouses and Bed and Breakfast places are extremely popular in New Zealand providing a more intimate and friendly atmosphere with all the comforts of home. The owners are frequently well-travelled and enjoy meeting visitors from all parts of the globe and provide exceptional hospitality, which includes breakfast in the rate and often the option of superb home cooked meals using local fresh produce and quality wines. Guesthouses are widely distributed through the inner suburbs, usually in grand old villas painstakingly restored to preserve their old-world charm and character. Standard double rates range from $80 to $180 with the more prestigious locations exceeding $200.
Hostels are well placed in the city centre and inner suburbs like Ponsonby, Parnell and Mt Eden. The city hostels have high capacity dorms with very good kitchen, dining and lounge areas, laundries, bag storage and even full travel agencies. Suburban hostels are usually well supplied with car parking and offer a friendly, peaceful atmosphere. Bunk prices start around $18 per person and twin rooms are priced between $30 and $50.
Campgrounds are found further out in the suburbs of Remuera, Manukau, Avondale, Henderson and Takapuna. Tent sites are economical at $15 to $30 for two people and cabins represent good value at $40 to $50. Several camps also offer motel flats from $60 and motels from $80.