where to stay for 3 nights in Auckland?
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Nov 22, 2012 10:35 PM Last Post By: westwood
Nov 10, 2012 7:27 AM
where to stay for 3 nights in Auckland?Hi! It's my first posting on this site although we have used Thorntree for all our other trips and had loads of useful advice and tips.
We are mature (70s), love travel and fortunately still have good health and enough money to do it. We usually do 2 month trips to avoid the UK winter (part thereof). This year it's NZ. We have booked flights in and out of Auckland between 19 Jan and 23 March. We intend to rent a campervan and just go.
First Question (I'm sure there will be many more)
On arrival we would like to stay in Auckland for 3 nights to get over the flight, settle in etc., before picking up the van. We've got an AA road map and I've looked in 3 Guide Books. There is SO much accommodation on offer I don't where to start.
We'd like somewhere central. Not too noisy. Not interested in night clubs/night life. Love our food. Good walkers. Can we get somewhere around or below £50 (I think that's about $NZ100 a night)? Did the really hard up/backpacking stuff 50 years ago and can afford something a bit more comfortable now, if it's available. Most of our other travel has been in Africa and realise this trip will be more expensive.
Just a pointer as to which district of Auckland might be good would be useful.
Here's hoping....and thanks.
Nov 10, 2012 11:30 AM
1if you don't mind a hostel - many of the NZ ones are very comfortable and great places to stay - try City Garden lodge. It is possibly the best hostel in Auckland and is not a rowdy party place. Also great location in Parnell.
my usual caveat - weather is not guaranteed in NZ, you might well prefer a car plus the quieter hostels; stay well away from anywhere with an on site bar. Look at www.bbh.co.nz for ideas, prices and reviews.
Nov 10, 2012 2:53 PM
2Jan to March isnt the middle of winter and ideal weather for being in a campervan, you'll just be one in hundreds on the roads.
For somewhere to stay in Auckland, maybe consider the YHA. Also have a look at wotif.com to see whats available though it might be a bit far out still.
Nov 10, 2012 5:13 PM
3The first couple of weeks will also be the last of the school holidays so campsites are likely to be quite full. Petrol here isn't super cheap either. (unfortunately). The combination of a smaller car (easier to manage on narrow roads) and the motel network may be worth investigating.
Parnells a handy area to be in.
Nov 10, 2012 5:27 PM
Nov 10, 2012 6:45 PM
5There is another hostel just 100m down the street from City Garden Lodge. It's pretty new and as far as i know they offer free WiFi (still not common in NZ hostels).
Stay away from the hostel at Churton St; they charge about the same as every other hostel in town but the place is pretty run down with mold in the showers, couches smell like someone died on them etc.
Nov 11, 2012 12:43 AM
6Thanks everyone. That sounds great. We actually prefer hostels, much better being around 'younger' people than a Saga group! I'll take a look at Parnell, it's a really useful suggestion. Is there a name for the other hostel mentioned near City Garden? As our flight doesn't get in until evening I may try and book somewhere before we arrive. Any suggestions about transport options from the Airport to Parnell?
I think we'll be fine with an on-site bar, in fact need one occasionally. The wine is one of the NZ attractions, and my husband is a Rugby enthusiast, played until he was 60, so beer goes without saying. It's just that we have had some bad city experiences, picking a place to sleep that looks fine during the day, to find that we are over an all night disco or lap dancing club.
That's why we like the idea of a camper van, so we can have a bit of flexibility over where we pitch up. We also thought a camper van might be a better bet than a tent because of the unpredictability of the weather. We tented for 2 months in Southern Africa and got wet lots of times but dried out ++ every day when the sun came up, apart from Lesotho, but that's another story!
We thought we might buy a small tent as well as the camper van, certainly don't fancy sleeping in a sardine can if it's hot. Any recommendations about where to get one? We bought one in SA with an inner and a fly and when it was over 35C in Namibia we just didn't bother with the fly and it worked well, better than a room with dodgy AC.
We like the idea of the DOC sites, but will only get the smallest campervan so will need toilet facilities, long drop no problem, used one for a year in Tanzania and Nigeria. Any recommendations?
Thanks everyone. Thorn tree continues to be a good place for good information.
Nov 11, 2012 1:03 AM
Nov 11, 2012 2:33 AM
8be aware that if there is an on-site bar you WILL be spending the night over an all-night disco. and the hostel will be full of the type of young people who scream and slam doors all night. Don't do it if you want to sleep. You can bring your own wine to the hostel or go out for a drink.
with no toilet in your van you cannot park where you like, so it must be a DoC site at least. www.doc.govt.nz
Nov 11, 2012 4:53 AM
9You could try the Jucy Hotel in Emily Place, Central Auckland. I have an apartment in the building next door so I know the area is quiet and the hotel is is just a quick walk to the waterfront, Britomart transport, restaurants, cafes etc. You can get a double room with ensuite for under $100 a night.
Nov 11, 2012 3:37 PM
10I will preface this by saying we haven't stayed here yet, but my husband and I (also mature, late 50's) have booked an ensuite room at The City Lodge, 150 Vincent St., near city centre. The price was right, and it looks (hopefully) to be on the quiet side. You might want to take a look at it. There is an airport bus, the Airbus Express, that runs every 15 minutes or so into the city centre, and this hotel is a few minutes walk from the first stop. The bus ticket is $16 NZ, which sounds like a great deal.
We will only be staying in Auckland one night, and this looked like a good place for us to stay. We did look at the Mercure Hotel, which is very close to the ferry terminal where we need to be the next morning, but the room price was quite a bit more for a refundable room. I wanted to be able to cancel the reservation if we needed to, so we chose City Lodge instead. Good luck to you, and I hope you have a wonderful trip. We leave Chicago for New Zealand on 22 November, and I can't wait!
Nov 11, 2012 5:51 PM
11You would also likely meet like minded folk doing the same thing.
totally agree with this. and I don't think you'll have problems sleeping in a van in summer...
All DoC campsites (well, virtually all) have toilet facilities - usually a composting loo or a long drop (have a look at doc.govt.nz for a list of campsites, and when you get here you can pick up leaflets with all listed). Like someone else said though, if you have a campervan that is not fully self-contained, then you won't be able to stop at the 'free camping' sites - depending on the price difference, I'd be reconsidering this. If you don't have a self-contained van, then you're restricted to staying in commercial, DoC, or regional council campgrounds. This could well end up being more expensive than having a car and staying in motel or campground units.
In Auckland, nice areas that are reasonably close to the city centre with accommodation are Parnell and Ponsonby. IMO Ponsonby is better on the food front than Parnell - but is less targeted at tourists. Mt Eden is nice but a bit marginal on the walking side - you'd probably really need to get a bus into town. The city centre (Queen Street, K Rd area) has loads of accommodation but I would check carefully about noise in these areas - if someone here has recommended it though then ok. It would be nice to be close to the viaduct harbour area I think if you're there for a few days over summer - lots to do down there, and makes it easy to catch ferries to places like Devonport and Waihake island.
Nov 12, 2012 6:39 AM
12Thank you again, everyone who is still responding to this thread.
I'll take a look at your suggestions. I did find out the name of the hostel close to City Garden, it's Lantana and the deal for a double room looks very good. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has stayed there.
Campervan-still haven't convinced ourselves about this. We are tent people. We actually prefer a tent to a cabin or a motel.The attraction of the campervan is that on our other long trips we start off equipping ourselves very simply, rent car, buy tent, 2 sleeping mats, 2 sleeping bags, 2 plates etc., then over a couple of months add stuff in dribs and drabs, like a washing up bowl, and it all adds up, whereas with the campervan we get everything included. The exception was SA where all the campites came with braai (BBQ) and wood provided, and most had a covered cooking and wash-up area. Looking at the NZ campsites we would choose to stay on, NOT luxury 'holiday parks', I don't think we'll find the same facilities. We had been looking at a small campervan, but the point about the included toilet for the more remote DoC sites is a good one.
Planning is part of the fun!
Nov 12, 2012 11:53 AM
13Looking at the NZ campsites we would choose to stay on, NOT luxury 'holiday parks', I don't think we'll find the same facilities
disagree. most commercial NZ campsites have a little kitchen/ablutions block. I'm struggling to think of a single one I've stayed at that hasn't, with the exception of a DoC or regional council park. Even quite a few of the DoC or regional council campsites have fire pits, or bbq facilities that you can use if you buy wood. Obviously I've not stayed in every single campsite in NZ, but I think you'll find it very common that they will have facilities like this.
I would check the DoC sites and see if you really would want to visit any of the ones that don't have toilet facilities - there really aren't very many at all. In fact there may not be any, now, I'd have to look. The need to have toilet facilities/self-contained certification is more if you wanted to stop at the free camping spots around NZ.
Nov 12, 2012 4:59 PM
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