Accommodation in NZ
Just about every town or suburb in New Zealand with a population of at least a few hundred people has cheap motel accommodation which you could stay at. The quality of the New Zealand motels are generally very good, but if you’re roughing it and have a smaller budget, staying at a New Zealand Backpacker accommodation would be a better option.
Travellers should note that a motel in New Zealand almost always means that you get a separate bedroom, a kitchen equipped with fridge, oven, pots, pans, dishes etc. and a living/dining room. If you want to stay in good, relatively inexpensive accommodation ($60-120/night for two people generally), I think these are your best bet. The only thing that can beat them for price are backpacker’s hostels which can be a lot of fun – in nice surroundings – and are often only $18/night/person for a twin or double room, $12-15/night/person to stay in a bunkroom. These hostels have cooking facilities and are often really comfortable common rooms, with TV/video, open fire, etc.
Motels are good value for money but for those people who don’t want to pay those sort of prices it’s really worthwhile staying at the “tourist flats” or cabins they have at camping grounds. If you take your own sleeping bag and towel then everything else you might need (pots, cutlery, dishes) are supplied in a tourist flat. For cabins – there are varying prices. If you have your own cooking & eating utensils then you can always cook in the communal kitchen (this is the major difference between camping in NZ and camping in Canada, UK or USA). Of course the same goes for tenting, but it can be a bit cold in winter for a tent. A tent site for 2 people & a car is usually about NZ$15, a cabin would be $25-$35, and a nice self contained tourist flat with private bathroom, TV, fridge, stove, etc, probably $40-$50.