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Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!  

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Napier & Hawkes Bay: 5 Winery Lunch stops not to be missed!


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 This was certainly a hard task to undertake...Seek out some fabulous spots for lunching in Napier and the Hawke’s Bay Region. We certainly didn’t need to be asked twice!

Before the boss could blink; bags were packed, wine maps were downloaded and we were heading to one of the most beautiful places on earth – The Bay.

Being the oldest and second largest wine region in New Zealand you know you’re in for a quality wine experience when visiting Hawke’s Bay. For lovers of Merlot Cabernet blends, Syrah and Chardonnay, you’ll struggle to find many better, and those more partial to the other varietals there is certainly an abundance on offer. But alas, this task was to share some of our top lunch spots - so it’s not all swirl and spit I promise!

Whilst we were spoilt for choice, with 72 wineries in the region, as the title states we identified five that really stood out to us.  We were looking for: beautiful presentation, quality local and fresh produce & foods, gorgeous taste combinations, and fabulous locations. Here’s what we came up with:
 

Mission Estate

We had to start with the winner of the Hospitality Awards Hawke's Bay 2016 Outstanding Winery Restaurant, Mission Estate. Located in the Taradale hills, the views over Napier city and beyond will blow your mind. The building, its location and the overall feel are pretty hard to beat and so was the food.

Eating lunch on the outdoor dining terrace was one of the highlights of our trip with the waiting staff all trained to provide the best wine match option for each dish on the menu, it really is a winery sent from heaven.

                    Mission Estate


Elephant Hill

Needing to be wowed? Then Elephant Hill is just the winery to do it. With a setting amongst the vines on the Te Awanga coast, the views of the Pacific Ocean and the Kidnapper Cliffs will quite simply take your breath away.  Think fine dining with a truly inspired menu, Elephant Hill will not disappoint if you are looking for something really special.


Black Barn 

Lunch was casual, relaxed and eaten out on the courtyard under a canopy of grapes.  The menu, as promised was light, fresh and delicious, using locally sourced food and produce. Black Barn stole our hearts, so much so we really didn’t want to leave. There’s something here for everyone including those stopping for coffee or nibbling from the small bites menu.


Te Awa

With a nod towards Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours, lunch at Te Awa is all about the experience.  Sharing dishes (allowing you just the right amount of many delicious options) is the perfect way to enjoy a long Sunday lunch with friends and family, with small plates, large plates, garden plates and charcuterie boards on offer. Te Awa was a memorable occasion and seated outdoors it is a great option if dining with kids.


Craggy Range

The fact each dish from entrée through to dessert came with a suggested wine match, we knew we’d found the right place.  Making the most of their kitchen garden and potager, the food was fresh, honest and tasted divine. I can confidently suggest the fish was the best I’ve ever eaten.

The ideal spot for accommodation while checking out the Hawke’s Bay wineries is in Napier. With the restaurants, cafes, shopping, and art deco right on your doorstep. It makes it all so easy.


                  Hawkes Bay Wineries


Bella Vista Motel Napier is a great Napier accommodation option, conveniently located on Hastings Street, which runs parallel to Marine Parade. They have plenty of safe parking, so you can leave your car and cycle or wine taxi around the vineyards.   It’s time to get out there and experience all that the Hawke’s Bay wineries have to offer – we did and we loved it! Thanks Bella Vista Napier for hosting us.


New Zealand Glaciers - Up Close and Personal


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We are lucky enough in New Zealand to have some pretty amazing places to visit, one absolute highlight is located on the West Coast of the South Island, and is aptly named ‘Glacier Country’.

The undeniable heroes of this region are Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, commonly referred to as the most accessible rivers of ice in the world.
 

Franz Josef Glacier

At 10 km long, beginning at an elevation of about 3,500 metres (11,500 feet) at the tops of the Southern Alps, and descends into rainforest close to sea level.  This glacier offers the rare opportunity to experience a dynamic glacier in a temperate (moderate) environment, located within easy driving and walking distance from the main highway.


Fox Glacier

The Fox Glacier is 12km long and travels down the Fox Valley from the peaks of the Southern Alps through temperate rainforest, turning a corner before terminating 250 metres above sea level. Fox Glacier is the longer and the faster moving of the two famous West Coast glaciers.


The great news is exploring these glaciers can be done easily and in a number of different ways.  From guided walks through to glacier heli hikes and ice climbs. Depending on your choice, you have the ability to do what very few people get to do, reaching the terminal face, climbing through crevices and exploring ice caves. A glacier encounter is a highlight for all of those lucky enough to experience it, and one we can’t recommend highly enough.

There has been a lot of talk over recent times of climate change and how this will have a direct effect on glaciers worldwide. Therefore there is no better time to get out there and see for yourself a very spectacular part of our country.

Aside from the glaciers, Glacier Country is home to a raft of activities and sights. Lake Matheson (the mirror lake), kayaking, boat cruises, a kiwi incubation unit, Glacier Hot pools, plus lots more – so ensure you allow enough time to soak up all you can.

If you haven’t been yet, get down to Glacier Country and tick it off your bucket list.  Bella Vista Motels have two fabulous properties for people looking for Franz Josef accommodation or Fox Glacier accommodation options.
 

                          


Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier

Located in the heart of Franz Josef Village, offers quality, warm and comfortable accommodation with the shops, restaurants and bars right on your doorstep. Adam and his team will look after you and help with any questions or assistance you need for getting out to the glaciers.


Bella Vista Motel Fox Glacier

Centrally located in the quiet main street of Fox Glacier Village. Enjoy all the amenities in close proximity plus the onsite spa and BBQ facilities are much appreciated after a day exploring the glaciers. Bill and Jill are extremely helpful and provide a warm and welcoming environment for all their guests.

With the West Coast of New Zealand having so many gems, we couldn’t fit everything we wanted into one blog post. Check back in in the coming months for information on the other areas you can explore with Bella Vista Motels.

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Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier is currently running a terrific Easter package. Head to the Bella Vista deals page for more information.

 

 


Destination Hamilton. A popular choice!


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With a handy location of only 1 hr 35 minutes from downtown Auckland, and a short 80 minutes from Auckland Airport and Rotorua, it’s obvious to see why a growing number of visitors are adding Hamilton as a stopover to their journey, or spending a weekend away.

Hamilton is not just a convenient stopover, it can more than hold it’s own with the big boys when it comes to things to see and do.  It’s a city rich in history, with the heart and soul being the mighty Waikato River flowing through the central city.

For those with a little more time on their hands, Hamilton will not disappoint. With an abundance of museums, recreational parks and sports grounds, there’s always something going on.  Team this up with the friendly Hamiltonians and you’re well on your way to a great stay.

During a recent visit we got talking to a couple of locals – they gave us the run down on some great places to visit if you have a bit of time to explore:

  • Hamilton Gardens: With a multitude of awards under its belt, Hamilton Gardens offers something pretty special. A conceptual garden Hamilton Gardens explores the context, history and meaning of gardens through time, and from around the world. The gardens are internationally recognised for their unique concept and is the Waikato’s most visited tourist destination. From Indian Char Bagh, Italian Renaissance, Modernist to Tudor – there are over 20 gardens to view and you’ll be mesmerized by what you see.

          Hamilton Gardens
 

  • Waikato River Explorer: When in Hamilton the river is not to be missed! Enjoy a relaxing scenic boat cruise with spectacular views of Hamilton City. A river cruise allows you to sit back and take in the wonderful natural attraction that flows through the Waikato region.  Whether it is a wine tasting trip, lunch at a country cafe or just Hamilton from a different perspective, this is a fabulous choice.

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         Waikato River Explorer

  • Hamilton Zoo: Fun for all ages, Hamilton Zoo is home to over 600 native and exotic animals and set amidst 25 hectares of lush surroundings. Take a stroll around New Zealand’s largest walk-in aviary dedicated to native birds and plants - it truly is something special.  While you’re there visit giraffes, zebras, chimpanzees, red pandas, lemurs and Sumatran tigers.
                                                   Hamilton Zoo
  • Zealong Tea: New Zealand's only tea plantation provides a variety of activities, including guided tours, a teahouse, and visitor centre. Located only 10 minutes north of Hamilton, it’s a great option for tea and non-drinkers alike. Don’t forget to try their signature high tea!
     
  • Finally, some options for those who want to venture further afield. The surrounding area of Hamilton and the wider Waikato region offers some pretty special places: Hobbiton, Raglan Beach, Waitomo Caves and Lake Karipiro, to name a few. These are all easily accessible and will surely add something extra special to your stay.

When it comes to finding your Hamilton accommodation, Bella Vista Motel Hamilton is your ideal choice. Its central location is only minutes by foot to the city centre, Waikato Stadium and Claudelands Events Centre and it offers ample secure onsite parking.  With 18 superior self contained units there’s one with your name on it. New operators Li & Rowena look forward to seeing you and will ensure you have a wonderful stay!

 


Bella Vista Motel Taupo - A Great Green Initiative


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"Soap suds make cash for trees" called out the Taupo Times headline on page 12 of the September 2 edition.

Murray and Laurelle Hodge from Bella Vista motel Taupo got some great press coverage last week when they found themselves enlightening the Taupo readership about a new and unique scheme they have introduced at their Taupo accommodation complex.

"We weren't seeking the attention we received" explained Laurelle, "but it is good to get the green message out all the same." "Why not show everyone that we're doing our bit for the environment and hopefully inspire them to think of ways they can contribute." she said.
 

Taupo Bella Vista's Green Initiative - How it Works.

The scheme is quite simple really and generates fundraising for a great local cause. Laurelle and Murray had noticed that guests were washing very few items using a significant amount of electricity, water and washing powder. To combat this inefficient use, the cost of a machine wash was upped from $1 to $3 per load. Still costing less than an average wash at a commercial retail laundry outlet, a charge of $3 got guest's to think twice about running small loads.

More importantly, rather than pocketing the increased revenue, Bella Vista Taupo will now be donating all the money they collect from laundry washes to Greening Taupo. Described as an 'organisation that provides an opportunity for Taupo residents and businesses to participate in a community conservation initiative' it seemed a perfect match. Keeping the donations local ensured a direct kick-back to the Taupo environment.  After all, it is Taupo and its pristine environment that brings the motels guest's to their doorstep.

Laurelle and Murray hope that more Taupo motels do the same. "If we could get even half a dozen more onboard with what we're doing that would be hugely positive"  To read the full article, see an image of the newspaper below.
 

Bella Vista Motel Taupo green intiative

This article first appeared in the Taupo Times on Friday, 2nd September 2016 and was written by Robert Steven. 


Visit Hokitika; A special West Coast town.


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Haere Mai Hokitika! Described as a ‘cool little town’, Hokitika serves a great place to stay, a gateway to the West Coast, and a pretty cool destination in its own right – not least as the celebrated host of the annual Wild Food Festival. Hokitika can also uniquely lay claim to both the Tasman Sea and Mt Cook as the scenic backdrop to its picturesque setting.

There is so much on offer in the town; Enjoy exploring the vibrant arts scene, delve into eclectic mix of independent stores, soak up the pioneer spirit at the Hokitika museum, seek out your very own personal Pounamu, or simply relax at some of the many fantastic eateries including Ocean View Restaurant and enjoy some true West Coast hospitality.

Hokitika Beach

Situated right on the beach, Hokitika is compact and easy to explore by foot. On fair weather days, be sure to take a late afternoon walk to the aptly named Sunset Point as you’re guaranteed a spectacular West Coast sundowners. 

Beyond the town itself, you have the option to take a daytrip to the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier to the south, or Punakaiki Pancake Rocks to the north. Closer at hand, however, are a couple of scenic gems which are a little off the beaten track.

Hokitika Gorge is a must-do, an incredibly impressive natural formation set within lush native bush. Make sure you take time to stop at Lake Kaniere on the way. The calm tranquility of Lake Mahinapoua is also well worth a visit as is a loop drive that includes Goldsborough, an historic gold-mining town. For those wanting to get a little more adventurous, try the excellent West Coast Tree Top Walk or get up in the air with Wilderness Wings and take a scenic flight over the Southern Alsp and see Mount Cook up close.

Hokitika can be easily reached. Direct flights arrive frequently to Hokitika airport courtesy of Air New Zealand or jump in a car for a breathtakingly scenic three hour journey from Christchurch via Arthur’s Pass.

If you are set for a visit, we would definitely recommend you find a copy of  Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize novel ‘The  Luminaries’. It’s a great way to introduce you to the old port town of Hokitika and what life was like in the mid-1860s gold-rush times. It’s an absorbing read full of interesting characters. Many of the locations described in the book can still be found as you wander around town.

And finally, before we forget, you’ll need some accommodation in Hokitika. Motel accommodation is possibly your best choice with Bella Vista Hokitika offering everything you need and only a stone’s throw from the town centre. If you do stay at Bella Vista Motel Hokitika you are in great company - Eleanor Catton stayed in Room 16 whilst promoting her book in March 2014.

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Fancy a free trip to Hokitika? Well here's an amazing opportunity. Visit the Bella Vista Facebook page Make sure you click LIKE  and leave a comment as to why you want to visit Hokitika and you’re in the draw to win a two night stay with some fabulous inclusions. Refer to www.bellavista.co.nz for full details. Competition closes 4pm, 2nd September 2016. Good Luck! 


Bella Vista's '27 Club'; An Exclusive Membership


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Founded in 1998, the Bella Vista Accommodation Network quickly spread across the country creating a comprehensive motel chain of 27 quality motels from Bella Vista Invercargill in the scenic south to Bella Vista Whangarei in the winter-less north.

Over the following 18 years, tens of thousands of guest nights and a good number of hearty breakfasts delivered, Bella Vista motels have welcomed visitors from right across New Zealand and the world. Whilst Bella Vista has been open for business, it has forged a strong reputation for convenience and quality becoming a preferred choice enabling tourists to visit New Zealand’s beautiful scenic locations, facilitating business travellers a convenient place to stay when criss-crossing the country for work and in all cases, a trusted overnight stop.

Whilst the Bella Vista story continues to unfold, a question was recently asked which stopped us dead in our tracks; “Has anyone stayed at all 27 Bella Vista motels?” A quick delve into our records was unable to offer any conclusive results. Even a poll amongst the Bella Vista team came up short. The record for the most Bella Vista motels stayed in by any one individual was 24. Only 24, that can’t be right!! As you can imagine, we’re now on the hunt for anyone who can claim to be part of what we imagine is a very exclusive group. Have you stayed at all 27 Bella Vista’s?

The geographic spread of the Bella Vista chain ensures that not only do most major New Zealand towns and cities feature properties, such as Bella Vista Christchurch or Bella Vista Dunedin, but so do popular tourist destinations such as Bella Vista Franz Josef and Bella Vista Queenstown. Do you travel for work and have decided to use our chain to cater for your accommodation? Perhaps you’ve decided to undertake a New Zealand road-trip similar to these itineraries and whilst touring, you have used our motel accommodation network? Possibly a mixture of both work and pleasure at different times?

What is certain is if you have stayed at every 27 or even just a small handful - whether it is Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Queenstown or Bella Vista Fox Glacier to name just three, you are going to experience a four star Qualmark endorsed level of comfort and be entertained by some of New Zealand’s very best hosts.

So tell us, how many Bella Vista motels have you stayed at? With 27 in the network it takes a certain type of loyalty and commitment to tick them all off.  

If you have stayed at all 27, we want to hear from you!

Bella Vista '27 Club'

 


Fantastic Franz Josef


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Last week, Bella Vista Motels ran a facebook promotion giving our facebook fans a chance to win an amazing winter break to Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier.

Franz Josef New Zealand, is a small township set within the beautiful West Coast, South Island. Our competition included two nights of accommodation at Bella Vista, a meal at the popular SnakeBite Brewery, a guided walk up to Franz Josef Glacier from which the town takes its name, entry to the West Coast Wildlife Centre and a Private Pools Experience at the wonderful Glacier Hot Pools and Spa. Spending two nights would also allow time for a trip to other great sites such as Okarito Lagoon, Fox Glacier, the very special Lake Matheson and possibly even a helicopter sightseeing trip to view the peaks of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.

We were overwhelmed by the number of responses we received and we thought we’d share the best reasons why everyone wants to visit Franz Josef. If you ever wondered why you should head there, don’t just take our word for it, take a read. You’ll be packing your bags straight away.
 

Franz Josef

Why Franz Josef?

 

“That picture of a lake is enough to make me want to visit. It would be like walking in a post card, looks that amazing.”

“I have not been and would so love to go with my hubby…it looks so beautiful!”

“I love Franz Josef, fascinating place full of the wonders of mother nature ..a photographers dream location”

“Franz Josef is a nice quiet place”

“I'd love to visit and take that helicopter ride”

"Franz Josef. I loved it all - the mountain walk, hot pools and yummy food I would love  to go again"

"I would love to visit. It looks so beautiful and I'm sure it would be a great place for adventures and making memories!"

"We love the West Coast and Fiordland regions"

"One of my favourite places in New Zealand and I would love to go back"

"It looks beautiful! Sometimes I wonder why we bother going overseas when there are such amazing places in NZ"

"I have never been and would love to visit we live in such a beautiful country but never get to explore!"

"Franz Josef is an incredible place…It's somewhere we always stop but haven't had any nights there and it would be magical"

"My best memory is having lunch at snakebite with my bestie in Franz Josef so would love her to be here again"

"Looks like such a beautiful place, I've never been but have been wanting to for a long time now. I would love to relax at the glacier hot pools and spa private pools"

"My husband has never been there would be great to be able to show him the wonderful sights. A great place to de stress"

"I have never been to this fabulous place. I would love to be there for a special retreat, sightseeing and soak up in hot spa."

 

Franz Josef Hot Pools

"Such a beautiful part of NZ....Would be lovely to go back and enjoy a couple of nights"

"I remember visiting Franz Josef Glacier when I was 10/11yrs and being amazed at the huge ice-rocks. Our family camped near there and we had to wear our socks and hat to bed to stay warm. It would be so cool to visit Franz Josef Glacier & see how it looks and feels. It would be awesome to share such a marvellous experience."

"Love the still morning reflections in Lake Matheson...."

"The first time we visited Franz Josef together was when his mum and sister travelled over from Canada. They were blown away by the beauty of the area."

To read more great comments about Franz Josef please visit the official Bella Vista facebook page. To book your trip to Franz Josef, head to the booking page. Rooms are available this month for as little as $85 for two people.


3 Great Places for a New Zealand Autumn Escape


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Autumn is a great time to travel New Zealand. The colder nights give way to crisp mornings leaving the famous New Zealand landscapes refreshed. At this time of year you’ll often witness a scattering of low hanging but atmospheric morning mist reaffirming why this beautiful country is called Aotearoa or “the land of the long white cloud”.  A sunny autumnal day can often be as good as any summer’s day with the added benefit that the maddening summer crowds have disappeared. Occasionally, you might even feel like you’ve got the entire country to yourself.

Here’s three ideas for your next Autumn break...

Explore Fiordland from Te Anau

Beautiful Lake Te Anau acts as the gateway to the Fiordland National Park and there is genuinely no better time to explore the brilliant wilderness of New Zealand’s southwest and the country’s largest national park. There are plenty of outstanding day excursions on offer including a visit to Te Anau glow worm caves with Real Journeys, lakeside walks or tramps, a journey to the famous Milford Sound and a cruise on the fiord, or perhaps even an overnight trip on Doubtful Sound. Each of these trips work equally as well in autumn as they do in summer and the lack of tourists makes them more personable and often more enjoyable. 

Of course your getaway will only be complete by basing yourself at Bella Vista Te Anau where you will enjoy the warm southern hospitality. Spend a long weekend or just a few days but we guarantee you’ll return home from your trip refreshed!

Lake Te Anau


Catch the first sunrise at Gisborne

Way out east and somewhere you always thought you’d like to visit? Well, what are you waiting for! Autumn is possibly one of the best times of year to go. Bella Vista Motel Gisborne would love to host you for a long weekend break, or even a couple of nights as you pass through on your road-trip around the East Cape.

Please be aware that if you don’t stop for more than two nights, you’re doing this great city a disservice. Famous for being the first city in the world to see the sun each morning, there’s a whole lot more to experience including great food and wine, some of NZ’s best surf beaches and a deep cultural connection to early Maori settlers. And don’t forget to add a breakfast to your stay at Bella Vista Gisborne which includes the “best freshly baked croissant in Gisborne”(!)

Gisborne sun rise


Find all year summer in Nelson

Another location for a perfect autumn getaway is Nelson. Tourism New Zealand sum up the town perfectly as, “One of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, Nelson is the perfect spot to base yourself while you spend some time exploring the Abel Tasman National Park.”

There are in fact three National Parks within a 90 minute drive of the Nelson Bella Vista motel so you’re absolutely spoilt for choice if you want to get out and about. The Kahurangi National Park and Nelson Lakes National Park are an easy drive from a stay at our Nelson accommodation, but the Abel Tasman National Park is probably the more well-known park with spectacular sandy beaches, and an excellent destination for day-trips including walks and boat excursions. 

If the great outdoors doesn’t entice you, then there is plenty to do in and around the city including a strong arts and culture scene, as well as sumptuous local culinary delights. Despite the theme of this blog promoting autumn escapes, our Nelson motel owners will remind you that ‘in Nelson, it’s summer all year round!’

Nelson Lakes National Park


Wherever you decide to go to get away this autumn, Bella Vista has got 27 excellent placed motels offering plenty to see and do!


7 Great Reasons to Book at www.bellavista.co.nz


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Last spring Bella Vista launched a new website designed to ensure you, our valued customer, could experience a process that is simple and hassle-free as possible when booking your motel in New Zealand. We understood it was important to deliver comprehensive information about our NZ motels, helpful insights and tips about your destination of choice, whilst at the same time, enabling you to easily view pricing and availability before completing your booking with a minimum of fuss.

There are still further improvements to make but we’re delighted with the positive feedback we have received to date. By the way, we think the website is quite good looking as well, certainly better than most motels in New Zealand.
 

                                  bella vista website

 

Read on for seven great reasons why you should book here on our website.

1. Best Price Guarantee

This sounds good like a good deal and it really is! Yes, that is right, when booking direct we won’t be beaten on price.  Refer to our Best Price Guarantee page to find out more and how to take advantage of this offer only available at bellavista.co.nz

2. Book Now, Pay Later

Another tempting option when you book direct. The Bella Vista accommodation network is happy to allow you to make your booking and only pay when you arrive at your motel. We will simply secure your booking by taking your credit card details at the time of booking.

3. Instant Confirmation

Book online and be confident that your booking is complete and your stay is secured.

4. Deal Direct

No middle men, no extra charges, no misinformation or misinterpretation. When you book direct you’re dealing with the people who will host you when you arrive at your accommodation and that provides great peace of mind.

5. Availability Advantages

Our website is the only place on the internet where you will find our complete range of availability at all times. You thought we were sold out? We always recommended checking here first.

6. Up to date Information

Bellavista.co.nz is the only place you can be confident that you are viewing up to date and the most comprehensive overview of each of Bella Vista motels 27 locations around New Zealand.

7. Enjoy Hassle Free Bookings!


Camping? 10 Reasons to Stay in a Motel!


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Camping in New Zealand is something of an institution. It is considered to be a holiday of choice for many kiwi's taking an extended break over Christmas and New Year and it is even talked of as a right-of-passage for kids during their summer holidays. Dreams of hot, sunny days socialising with camp-mates well into the evening, with the opportunity to get back to nature. It sounds great, but do the number of tiny cabins and motel units now appearing in traditional campsites mean the reality is somewhat different to camping idyll, and that most people would prefer not to be under canvas? 

With this in mind, we thought we’d offer a tongue-in-cheek, one-eyed review as to why camping perhaps isn’t so great!

1. Setting Up and Packing Away.

All you wanted was a couple of nights away camping, but after a long journey, erecting your tent in 30 degree heat was not only exhausting and at times frustrating, but you lost a lovely afternoon of your holiday. You then lost the same amount of time packing everything away before another long drive. Predictably, everything is wet because it rained overnight so you’re going to have to set the tent up again to dry it out once back home. Compare that to the enjoyable Bella Vista motel check-in, check-out experience where everything is taken care of.

2. Communal Bathrooms.

It is possibly worth reminding you that EVERY Bella Vista motel studio, no matter what the location includes an ensuite bathroom which is private to you and only you. At no time have we ever had any feedback stating that someone from the room next door has walked into the bathroom waiting to share the toilet, sink or shower! Well, that’s the basic premise when you camp and at times it can become quite trying – particularly if you are following someone whose cleanliness standards fall well below your own.

3. Me Time.

You arrive at a campsite and in a blink of an eye, you are thrust into a new social community. Whether you like it or not, you are required and sometimes expected to participate fully in your new neighbourhood. Before you know it you’re helping run the kids club or cooking another dozen sausages for the communal BBQ.  You’re camping, it goes with the territory! All you wanted to do was go on holiday, take a break from the world and read your book in peace? Tough luck!

4. The Weather.

Let’s not pretend every New Zealand summer is a cracker. Your childhood memories might tell you so and you put last year’s weather-bomb to the back of your mind when your planning your trip, but can there be anything more miserable than spending hour after hour under canvas with the rain pouring down? Do we need to state the obvious and remind you that cosy motel rooms rarely flood or get blown away in high winds! 

                              Camping in the rain

5. The Wildlife.

‘Get close to nature’ they said. That phrase may seem a little too real when you return back from an outing to find the campsite goat chewing through your tent’s fly-sheet. We’re happy to state categorically that no Bella Vista keeps a pet goat.  

6. Home Comforts?

Let’s face it, modern expectations of a holiday or mini-break are often based on the hope that we will be able to enjoy all our home comforts but simply in a different location. Bella Vista accommodation offers quality freshly made bedding, your room is serviced daily, you have a kitchenette to utilise at your leisure, ensuite bathrooms, electricity is freely available, and Free WiFi is guaranteed. The remote control in never far away either. When you’re camping it’s sleeping bags, blow-up mattresses and, if you’re lucky, the showers might not be coin operated. 

7. Noise.

Screaming kids in the middle of the night. Fireworks exploding just as you drifted off to sleep. Cars with unreasonably loud sound systems. Tractors. Boats. 4x4 Bikes. Parties. The dawn chorus. Neighbour’s conversations. The list of noisy interruptions to your campsite holiday bliss goes on. When you’re in a tent, you hear the lot and there is no escaping it. 

8. Location.

Now you may be thinking that the one thing a campsite often offers is direct beach access. Well yes, there is no Bella Vista accommodation right on the beachfront, but the motels in Napier, Nelson, Wellington, New Plymouth, Oamaru and Kaikoura are all within a short walk of the sea and some good beaches. 

9. Hot Showers.

Enough said.

10. Daylight.

Long summer days and late nights round the campfire. It sounds great, but remember daylight is just around the corner and tents are simply not designed to block out the early morning sunlight. If you are like a lot of people who enjoy catching up on sleep and having a lie-in when they are on holiday, our experience says it is difficult to do that without a good set of black-out curtains (included free at a Bella Vista near you).

Enjoy your holiday accommodation, whatever it might be!