The North Island of NZ is attractive for beach loving visitors, with a slightly warmer climate than the South Island. There are rocky shores fringed with lush forests and brilliant stretches of white sand with crystal clear waters. Even on a budget, you can afford an amazing beach escape in NZ- you just have to know where to look.
Cathedral Cove at Sunrise. Credit: Dmitry Pichugin
Fly into Auckland and you can easily drive to most places in the North Island within one to two days. Be aware that NZ’s roads don’t have a lot of traffic but can be technically challenging to drive. You can get Insurance Air New Zealand to make sure you’re covered for every eventuality.
Here, we look at the top 10 budget hotels to stay in when you visit the beaches of North Island.
- Duke of Marlborough, Russell
Everyone who has been to New Zealand’s North Island will agree the Bay of Islands is possibly the hottest tourist spot in the area. Spending time in the Bay of Islands allows you to see the diverse marine life (particularly the dolphins), stretches of pristine white beaches and beautiful islands. If you happen to find yourself in the area, the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in the historical town of Russell will provide the perfect accommodation for your budget. The Duke of Marlborough hotel is quite old and still has period charm and original 20th century furniture.
- The Old Church Cottage, Devonport
Formerly a Salvation Army Sunday School, The Old Church Cottage was built in 1909 and is now a boutique hotel. The historic property is located close to the beach, is just a short stroll to the ferry and a 10 minute ride to the central business district.
- The Crown Hotel, Hawke’s Bay
In addition to the wide beaches and lush rolling hills, Hawke’s Bay is also known for its large number of vineyards. With this combination, you will never get bored! In the art deco town of Napier, the centrepiece town of Hawke’s Bay, you will find The Crown Hotel. This is a beautiful yet budget 42 room hotel that caters to the independent traveller. The Crown Hotel provides all the relevant amenities including parking, DIY laundry and room services. Request a room with a view of the sea.
If you are into art deco, and you are in Napier, the Masonic Hotel will provide you with delightful accommodation with an amazing history. This old fashioned hotel has retained its historic exterior, and has 42 cheerful rooms, 20 of them with balconies. The hotel also has two bars, any of which you can get a drink and mingle with the locals.
- The Stonehouse, Northland
The Stonehouse in Northland is quaint little hotel located close to a quiet lagoon with a range of different accommodation choices to guests. Staying at the Stonehouse, you can walk on the beach, swim in the sea or explore the lagoon by kayak. Take a walk through the amazing hotel garden that features just about every fruit and flower you can think of.
- Otama Beach Hideaway, Coromandel Peninsula
For affordable accommodation close to the Coromandel Peninsula, the Otama Beach Hideaway is ideal. The white sand of the beaches in this area are one of the most impressive features of the area. Otama Beach hotel is hidden, well covered by the coastal bush with no close neighbours. This is an isolated, quiet and devastatingly beautiful spot.
- The Flying Fox, Whanganui
The Flying Fox offers a range of accommodation options and has a unique focus on the Maori culture. The Flying Fox can be accessed only by boat or aerial cable car and offers everything from comfortable camping in the open, to cottages guaranteed to suit your budget. The cottages are made from natural materials sourced locally, with emphasis on organic principles. Whether you are looking for simple accommodation as a single guest or something for a romantic holiday, The Flying Fox will meet the need perfectly.
- Bethells Beach Cottage, Auckland
Drive some few minutes out of Auckland and you will find quiet stretches of beach. One of these beaches is Bethells Beach. This beach has rolling hills, dark sands and the crashing waves of the sea. You can stay at one of the three cottages that make up Bethells Beach Cottage. This unpretentious rustic hotel is located in beautiful surroundings.
- The Lighthouse, Wellington
The Lighthouse in Wellington is the ultimate beach accommodation on Island Bay. Barely 15 minutes from Wellington city center, this converted lighthouse provides budget self-contained accommodation for independent travelers looking for an unusual place to stay.