The Most Budget-Friendly Hotels in Canterbury, New Zealand

Alpine Adventure Holiday Park, near Hamner Springs
Alpine Adventure Holiday Park, near Hamner Springs | Courtesy of Alpine Adventure Holiday Park / Expedia
Photo of Alexis James
16 January 2021

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.

Southwark Hotel & Apartments

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Apartment
Map View
Courtesy of Southwark Hotel & Apartments / Expedia | Courtesy of Southwark Hotel & 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.
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All Stars Inn on Bealey

Hostel
Map View
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.

Jucy Snooze Christchurch

Hotel, Budget Hotel
Map View
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.

Alpine Adventure Holiday Park

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Camping
Map View
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.
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Alpine Pacific Holiday Park

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Camping
Map View
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.
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  • Glentanner Park Centre

    Hotel, Budget Hotel
    Map View
    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.
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    Hanmer Backpackers

    Hotel, Budget Hotel, Hostel
    Map View
    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.
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    Dusky Lodge & Backpackers

    Hotel, Budget Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Dusky Lodge & Backpackers / Expedia | Courtesy of Dusky Lodge & Backpackers / Expedia
    The largest hostel in Kaikoura, Dusky Lodge has room for 140 guests in its mix of dorms, double and triple rooms. The heated outdoor pool is a rare luxury for a backpacker hub, while the three kitchens and BBQ gives plenty of scope to show off your culinary prowess. For those preferring the professional touch, the scones at Kaikoura Bakery next door are the talk of the town.

    Tailor Made Tekapo Backpackers

    Hotel, Budget Hotel, Hostel
    Map View
    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.
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    Rangiora Lodge Motel

    Hotel, Budget Hotel, Motel
    Map View
    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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    These recommendations were updated on January 16, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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