Here are a few key terms and some points to note about accommodation in Oz and NZ (Australia and New Zealand):
- Self-contained: this is one of the Australasia’s best gifts to tourism. They contain a full kitchen (what you need to cook ‘with’, ‘in’ and ‘on’: pots, utensils, stoves/fridges). You will literally have everything you need for a cozy stay (towels, linen (They call this “Manchester” here) and hopefully a ‘car-park’ (a.k.a. “parking space”). If you are traveling in a group of 3 or more and plan to save money by cooking at home–definitely search for these.
- Hostel: Can be quite similar to Italy’s hostels (Europe in general). Make sure you do your research/hostel. If it is a YHA it should be in good condition. There are a serious variety in quality, but if you look at the traveler’s comments then you should be ok. After some experiences in Vietnam, I learned that you NEVER BOOK ONLINE ACCOMMODATION without going to Trip Advisor first! Make sure there is parking and breakfast, and find out where your bathrooms will be located.
- Motel/Hotel: These are basically the same thing in Australasia. Hotels are typically more upmarket-but make sure you look at the star-rating (on a 5 star scale, just like North America) to make sure which quality you are getting. I don’t tend to prefer anything less than 3 -star for the cleanliness can decrease signficantly with each star). Usually each room will have tea and coffee making facilities.
- Caravan Parks: these are the equivalent of Canadian “car – camping” grounds. They include toilet/shower facilities, usually a kitchen/bbq area and a small shop. They often offer Cabins which can be a great deal for a double room at $45/night (but you might not get a private bathroom or linen in this price).
- Resorts: these are more up-market. If you’re going to stay in one, make sure you get all the trimmings: spa, parking, massage upgrades, free bottle of wine/champagne on arrival, and 4-5 stars. Note that only really a 5 star place is full-on luxury. 4 star can be pretty average in NZ and in Oz.
- Studio: This is an open-style apartment.
You will be cooking and sleeping in the same room. You will likely have a separate washroom area. Often these will be combined with “self-contained”.
- B & B: They serve you breakfast, included in the price. Usually each room will have tea and coffee making facilities. Sometimes the B&B will provide you with breakfast making provisions in Australia/NZ. But usually it is more traditional, where the ‘hosts’ serve you breakfast, etc. It’s great if you really want to meet the home owners, not so great if you prefer to sleep-in and be independent (which is why old-people usually frequent these places more than the young.)
If you liked this post, check out my New Zealand Top 10 Places to visit.