The Most Budget-Friendly Hotels in Canterbury, New Zealand

Enjoy a break away at Alpine Adventure Holiday Park
Enjoy a break away at Alpine Adventure Holiday Park | Courtesy of Alpine Adventure Holiday Park / Expedia
Alexis James

Adventure needn’t come at eye-watering expense with these cheap hotels in Canterbury, New Zealand.

There’s plenty to see and do in the vibrant South Island region of Canterbury. Those travelling on a budget need not miss out on what Christchurch, Kaikoura and the Southern Alps have to offer. Here’s our guide to the region’s top value-for-money accommodation and favourite backpacker haunts.

1. Southwark Hotel and Apartments

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Apartment

Lounge area at Southwark Hotel and Apartments
Courtesy of Southwark Hotel and Apartments / Expedia

The weekly rates available at this efficient apart-hotel keep costs down for long-stay guests in Christchurch. Although minimalist in design, there’s an abundance of facilities in each studio including ensuite bathrooms with a hairdryer and toiletries, plus a kitchenette equipped with a fridge, microwave and toaster. Residents looking to rustle up something more ambitious can head to the larger communal kitchen, where you can also socialise on the outdoor terrace and courtyard.

2. All Stars Inn on Bealey


Outdoor area at All Stars Inn
Courtesy of All Stars Inn / Expedia

It’s almost worth staying here just for the guest discounts on the gut-busting meals at the next door Bealey Ale & Steak House (the headliner is the 300g rib-eye steak). As for the digs, the dorms range from four to eight beds, while double and twin options are available for those whose wallet stretches a little further. All rooms benefit from a bright, light smattering of windows, while impromptu games of Killer can be enjoyed at the first-floor pool table in this cheap hotel in Christchurch.

3. Jucy Snooze Christchurch

Hotel, Budget Hotel

Outdoor play area at Jucy Snooze Christchurch
Courtesy of Jucy Snooze Christchurch / Expedia

Housed in a glass-panelled square building right beside the airport, Jucy Snooze looks like a hostel designed for Silicon Valley. Automatic kiosks save on check-in time, and there’s something distinctly space age about the capsule pods in place of the traditional dorm rooms. The theme continues in the communal areas, where artificial turf lines the floor and purple hammocks swing from the ceiling.

4. Alpine Adventure Holiday Park

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Camping

Outdoor area of the Alpine Adventure Holiday Park
Courtesy of Alpine Adventure Holiday Park / Expedia

A short drive or scenic walk north of the geothermal magic at Hanmer Springs is this family-orientated holiday park. The jam-packed games room features arcade games, foosball, air hockey, table tennis and pool tables, while outdoor activities include a 9.5m (31ft) swimming pool and by-the-hour bike hire. Sleeping options range from roomy private chalets to a static caravan with a squeezed-in double bed.

5. Alpine Pacific Holiday Park

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Camping

Outdoor pool area at Alpine Pacific Holiday Park
Courtesy of Alpine Pacific Holiday Park / Expedia

Caravan and motorhome visitors parking on powered plots will also be granted access to the communal areas including showers, toilets, kitchen and dining room. Cooking equipment can also be hired for any travellers without pots and pans. For those arriving without their beds in tow, deluxe motels are the high-end option. The smaller corrugated units boast no lack of character, with an outside patio and picnic table with a view onto the Kaikoura Ranges.

6. Glentanner Park Centre

Hotel, Budget Hotel

Mountain backdrop of the Glentanner Park Centre
Courtesy of Glentanner Park Centre / Expedia

This remote holiday park is nuzzled into the eastern shore of Lake Pukaki, just before it narrows into the Tasman River. The view is unspoiled and epic; visitors here can’t help but be inspired to explore Aoraki Mount Cook National Park just 18km (11mi) further north. With facilities and accommodation tailored to campers, motorhomes, backpackers and families, Glentanner is the perfect base from which to become an amateur mountaineer.

7. Hanmer Backpackers

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Hostel

Outdoor dining area at Hanmer Backpackers
Courtesy of Hanmer Backpackers / Expedia

What do you get if you combine a Dutch guy, a Japanese gal, a Swiss chalet and a popular New Zealand resort town? The charming Hanmer Backpackers, that’s what. The result of a backpacking love story, Tristan and Yoko have been welcoming fellow travellers here since 2012. With the hosts keen to share tales and tips over the roaring lounge fire, their seven rooms come with plenty of quirk, such as room three’s stargazing skylight.

8. Tailor Made Tekapo Backpackers

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Hostel

Outdoor garden area at Tailor Made Tekapo Accommodation
Courtesy of Tailor Made Tekapo Accommodation / Expedia

As a former hut warden at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, owner Jovana is brimming with advice for exploring the region around Lake Tekapo. She, along with Richard, are the welcoming hosts at this favourite budget stay for backpackers and families. Electric heaters in each room keep things cosy, even at the height of winter, while summer sees good use of the tennis and football court.

9. Rangiora Lodge Motel

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Motel

Outdoor garden area at Rangiora Lodge Motel
Courtesy of Rangiora Lodge Motel / Expedia

A half-hour drive north of Christchurch, this motel is a perfect coastal stopover for those heading on towards Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura. Each unit comes with an ensuite bathroom, kitchen facilities and TV, while a children’s playground and BBQ rank among the outdoor features. For those staying longer, the town of Rangiora has a golf club, aquatic centre and selection of restaurants ready to serve up Canterbury lamb.

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