New Zealand accommodation
As the country is famous with backpackers and travellers on a budget, the company BBHNZ or Budget Backpackers Hostels NZ have set up a network of hostels throughout the country (over 275 at the last count) and ranging from £10-£48 a night, there's bound to be a room to fit your budget. Motels and hotels of a variety of standards and luxury can be found on the approaches to most New Zealand towns if you prefer the home comforts that they can provide, but these are more expensive.
How can I travel around New Zealand?
Even though it's a relatively small country, domestic flights in New Zealand are often cheaper than driving or taking the train, especially if you need to cross between North and South islands. Use Air New Zealand's fun Grabaseat site for cheap and last-minute deals on flight tickets.
Although cycling is a great, cheap way of seeing the sights, be aware of the geography of the areas you are visiting. There are often very few cycle lanes on routes between towns, and only limited shoulder space on the roads, so kit yourself out with safety gear. Other than this, cycling should be relatively easy - the government are developing a network of cycleways around New Zealand with safe and beautiful routes. For the best cycling routes - visit Nelson, which enjoys some of the best weather in the country.
An easy and affordable alternative is the bus - if you book far enough in advance, you can get some great deals. However services between major towns and cities are usually only once a day.
Seeing most of New Zealand's most popular tourist spots is easy by car. Volume of traffic is usually low and the behaviour of drivers is similar to England.
Auckland and Wellington both have commuter rail services, and most inter-city rail services are run throughout major cities. Tourist-specific trains pass through beautiful scenery and have a running commentary, large panoramic windows and an open-air viewing carriage.
Where is the best place to eat?
Eating out New Zealand isn't an everyday occurrence, and is used for more special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or a romantic date. Social gatherings tend to be held at more casual restaurants, cafes and bistros, with a wide range of food available. Cafes often offer full meals instead of the usual cake and coffee that we can expect here in the UK, which is really handy for backpackers and budget travellers as you can often find a decent meal for under the equivalent of £3!
If you fancy experimenting whilst you're away - after all, that's what travelling is all about, right? - try sampling some of New Zealand's traditional cuisine:
What can I do on a budget?
Queenstown is a stunning town on the South Island, and the action capital of the country. There are plenty of things to see and do whilst you're here, and because of the number of companies in competition, prices are often competitively cheap.
Bungee-jumping and sky-diving are particularly popular amongst travellers, especially when the backdrop of the scenery in Queenstown is so naturally beautiful - towering mountains and mirroring lakes mean that plenty of people fall in love with it. The Nevis Bungee-Jump drops for 143 metres, 8.5 seconds of free-fall, between giant stone valley walls, and is a must for any adrenaline junkie with a bigger amount to spend on the ultimate experience. At £130, it's bound to be a thrilling experience you don't easily forget
Tongariro Crossing is essential for any big Lord of the Rings fan. The setting for those incredible shots of Mordor offers tours and treks from £49, which could take a portion of your budget. However, this 1-day alpine trek is likely to mean you see some of the most diverse and impressive scenery in the world, and you could also be treading the path of cinema greats such as Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Martin Freeman.
An obscure traveller's favourite, Wellington is well worth exploring. Although many people assume that Auckland is the capital of this beautiful country, Wellington is actually the cultural and political hub. The coast-side city has an overwhelming amount of character that comes across through it's architecture, nightlife and eclectic vibe. The harbour is especially beautiful if you're looking for somewhere to sit and have lunch, and the capital also plays host to a number of great galleries and museums if you're looking for that cultural edge to your trip.
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