As a rugby fan, you are probably looking forward to one of the biggest times of your life as you prepare for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. If you are lucky enough to be one of the thousands of supporters who will be descending on New Zealand for the event – or if you are still making up your mind about the journey south – then this is the accommodation guide is for you. It examines the wide variety of accommodation options in New Zealand and looks at the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Variety of choices
The little country has a huge range of accommodation options – from high-end luxurious hotels and exclusive five-star lodges in pristine locations to well situated camping grounds – and everything in between. This article will examine the choices available depending on your budget, the type of experience you want and the places you are planning to visit.
Hotels and motels
In the main centres (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin) there is an extensive range of hotels to choose from, though at this stage (just over three months from the opening) it may be difficult to find availability – especially around match weekends. If you are planning to spend just a few nights in each city, then a hotel or motel could be a good option for you. The disadvantage would be that it can be a pricey choice, and while you may be in the centre of the city you can still be quite far from the stadiums (especially in Auckland).
Private homes/rooms for rent
New Zealanders are world-famous for their hospitality and this is becoming a popular option as the Rugby World Cup gets closer. There are several purpose-built websites set up over the past 12-18 months which aim to bring householders and visitors together. Those Kiwis who aren’t into rugby (yes there are a few of them) are planning to leave the country during the tournament, which starts on September 9 and concludes with the final at Eden Park on October 23. Others have spare rooms available, or are renting out their second house or a holiday home. The advantages are location (as there are houses and rooms available within walking distance of the big stadiums) and the convenience of having a furnished home or room at your disposal. Many Kiwis are also offering extras like airport pick-ups, meals and social outings. What you will pay can vary greatly, but often the daily rate is significantly less that hotels or motels, especially for couples or groups. If you are planning to go to several different cities this would take some planning, as some householders insist on a minimum stay.
New Zealand has a well established network of camping grounds at every possible location around the country. While they are not usually in the centre of cities or close to stadiums, New Zealand’s size means that you will never be more than a pleasant drive away. In terms of transport, there are limited inter-city train options but a perfectly adequate bus services to most parts of the country. Perhaps your best option though would be to hire a car or camper van. Renting a vehicle in New Zealand is cheap and hassle free; there is plenty of competition that keeps prices down and a well-maintained network of roads makes driving safe and sound.