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Bella Vista's Blog

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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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'

 


Calling David Bowie fans!


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Come to Ashburton, stay at Bella Vista Ashburton and see ‘Ultimate’ which showcases one of the world’s greatest music legends, David Bowie. If you are a David Bowie fan, an incredible night awaits you on August 18, 2016. 

The legacy he left his New Zealand fans is a superb catalogue of music from a stellar 40+ year career and the memories of his many visits to these shores for concerts that have gone down in folklore as some of the biggest ever staged on Kiwi soil.

Ultimate Bowie

 

 

 

 

 

In an authentic celebration and salute to David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke, Showcase Entertainment Group and Pacific Entertainment are pleased to present the UK's No. 1 David Bowie tribute show ULTIMATE BOWIE starring Ed Blaney as David Bowie to transport you across the 40 years of Bowie, from Spaceboy to Superstar.

Ed not only possesses Bowie's awe-inspiring vocal prowess but is also the definitive look-alike, commanding the stage and faithfully bringing alive the many sides of Bowie's chameleon personality with precise detail, supported by a seven-piece band.

Ed Blaney's ULTIMATE BOWIE delivers a stunning two-hour show of Bowie classics, from "Space Oddity" to "Let's Dance" to David's latest massive hit "Blackstar".

The Ashburton Trust Event Centre is located a convenient 1.7km away from Bella Vista Ashburton and this one night only showing of ‘Ultimate’ is already a popular hit and selling out fast! Tickets for this event can be purchased from ticketdirect.co.nz

Ashburton has a lot to offer visitors and we encourage you to explore more. For more information about upcoming events, activities and must do attractions in Ashburton please give Michelle, Paul and the team at Bella Vista Ashburton for more information. Bella Vista Ashburton still has a few rooms available for the ‘Ultimate’ performance, giving you the opportunity to plan a night or a well-deserved long weekend away from home. Contact stay@bellavistaashburton.co.nz or 03 307 7505 today for more information.


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!


Bella Vista Queenstown - Our Top 10


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As part of a new regular series, the team at Bella Vista have decided to share ten of their favourite things, from local eateries to adventure activities. These updates will give you an idea of some great things to do right around New Zealand, both the top tourist attractions and few ideas which are a little more off the beaten track.

Our top 10 things to do and see in and around Queenstown

Queenstown is often described as the jewel in the crown of New Zealand’s tourist destinations and it is certainly a spectacularly impressive location. Nestled on the shores of the immense Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the Southern Alps and The Remarkables, Queenstown is not only an amazing destination in its own right, but acts as a gateway to the many delights and must-see attractions around the region. Bella Vista Motel Queenstown is a great place to base yourself being only a couple minutes from the town centre, offering a great range of room options.

1. Walter Peak cruise on the TSS Earnslaw

Where else in the world can you undertake a lake cruise on a 100 year old steam boat? This marvellous trip is a credit to Real Journeys who allow you to step back in time with friends or family and enjoy a cruise across the lake, a BBQ lunch at the historic Walter Peak homestead and a shearing demonstration typical of many New Zealand farms. Enjoy an old-fashioned sing along around the on-board piano on your return journey.

2. The historic gold mining Arrowtown settlement

Enjoy a wander around the Lakes District Museum or the Chinese Goldminers settlement, gaining an insight as to how hard life once was for the thousands who participated in the gold rush of the 1860s. Or simply relax in the small village atmosphere, enjoy a walk by the river or visit one of the many excellent eateries for a bite and a drink.

                          Arrowtown


3. Shotover Jet

Queenstown has a reputation for thrill-seekers and the Shotover Jet ticks most of the boxes. Recently celebrating 50 years of operation, the iconic red jet boats have been powering through the Shotover River canyons at high speed giving every passenger a brilliant, fast and fun, white knuckle ride.

4. Amisfield Winery

If you’re looking to get a flavour of some of the impressive wines the region offers, head to Amisfield winery. Overlooking the idyllic Lake Hayes, you can sample some of Amisfield’s finest Pinot Noir or aromatic white wines. There is a sumptuous bistro onsite - the menu is sure to get your taste buds buzzing.

5. Hydro Attack!

A favourite of the Bella Vista Queenstown team, the latest and greatest adventure activity to join some illustrious forbearers is the Lake Wakatipu based Hydro Attack, “the ultimate blend of shark and machine”. Queenstown is the only place in the world to offer the experience of your life in this submersible watercraft that accelerates to 80kph in under 4 seconds and leaps from the lake up to 5.5 metres. Strap in and hold on!

                                   Hydro Attack Queenstown


6. Gondola and luge 

For a slightly more sedate experience, take a trip up the Queenstown gondola to the Skyline building perched atop Bob’s Peak. The view from the top is simply breath-taking as you survey a huge swath of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown town, all set against The Remarkables rising to over 2,300 metres as a back-drop. Look out for the identifiable terracotta roof which marks out Bella Vista Queenstown down below.  A range of refreshments are available at the top, as is the popular luge track where, apparently, one ride is never enough.

7. Kelvin Heights

Another option for a slightly easier pace is to take the water taxi from the town basin out to the Kawarau Falls and take a walk along the Kelvin Heights path. Nestled on the southern shores of the Frankton Arm, the walkway offers beautiful lakeside views and as you round the peninsula, some impressive public art displays.

8. Take a day trip to Glenorchy

Located roughly an hour north of Queenstown, this small town is popular for day-trippers who enjoy the journey there as much as the destination. An outdoor enthusiasts paradise, there is plenty of activities on offer including the chance to visit the surrounding region which was used as a base for many of the Lord of the Rings film locations. Continue further north to Paradise or around the head of lake to Kinloch which are both worth a visit. (Please make sure your vehicle is insured for gravel roads).

9. Eating out

There are so many great restaurants in Queenstown it is hard to pick a favourite but dinner at the lakeside Botswana Butchery is highly recommended and will not disappoint. 

10. Milford Sound - last but certainly not least!

The day trip to Milford Sound is a long outing but so breathtakingly worth it. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world, Milford Sound is a must see. Enjoy the journey through the Fiordland National Park as well as the cruise on the fiord - which will take you out to the Tasman Sea. If you’re seeking a quick return home which doubles up as another spectacular sightseeing opportunity, catch a flight back to Queenstown airport which traverses the Southern Alps and then a transfer home to Queenstown Bella Vista. 

                                 Milford Sound


Bella Vista Whangarei - Our Top 10


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As part of a new regular series, the team at Bella Vista have decided to share ten of their favourite things, from local eateries to adventure activities. These updates will give you an idea of some great things to do right around New Zealand, both the top tourist attractions and few ideas which are a little more off the beaten track.   

Our Top 10 things to do and see in and around Whangarei

‚ÄčWhangarei Bella Vista is a terrific place to base yourself for business and leisure. With plenty to see and do in and around the city, a stay here also offers the perfect gateway for attractions and activities in northland, or the brilliant Tutukaka Coast.

1. Whangarei Falls 

At 26 metres high, this waterfall is a local landmark and a must see. It is like stepping back in time -  picturesque and tranquil.
 

                                   Whangarei Falls


2. AH Reed Memorial Park

Featuring a stunning canopy walkway, stroll amongst New Zealand's largest and most famous trees. Five hundred year old Kauri trees stand proud within this lovely pocket of ancient forest. Delightful.

3. Town Basin and Art Trail

This is the heart of Whangarei town. Enjoy a bite to eat, view visiting international yachts, a spot of shopping, or a riverside stroll. An ever changing landscape by tide and season, this is a great location.

4.  Whangarei Quarry Gardens and Café 

A 16 year ongoing community project, volunteers are creating a lush haven within a former quarry. Results to date are spectacular.  A sub tropical oasis.

5.  Kiwi North Whangarei Museum

A museum, kiwi house and heritage park. It is great for any age and just a short drive from Whangarei town centre. Passionate knowledgeable staff make it special.

6.  Tutukaka Coast

Rocky shores and gorgeous white sand beaches, beautiful coastal bush walks and the stunning Poor Knights Island Marine reserve. A must see and do.

                                    Tutukaka Coast

7.  Try the Marina Pizzeria

One of our favourites, located at the Tutukaka Marina. Enjoy the covered outdoor decks for a coffee and cake or pizza watching the boats go in and out. Casual and relaxed.

8.  Mt Manaia 

Impressive rock formations out at Whangarei Heads. Enjoy a vigorous walk and steady climb to the peak to enjoy much celebrated views. At 403 metres above sea level, it will take you approximately 1.5 hours to climb. 

9.  The Cove Café, Waipu

Half an hour south of Whangarei, this eatery is a wee gem. Located just across the road from the beach. Great food, service and location. It ticks all the boxes.

10.  Helena Bay Gallery and Café

Another brilliant destination. Set within beautiful subtropical gardens, the gallery specialises in Maori and Pacific art. Drive half an hour north from Whangarei and enjoy this contemporary gallery, gardens and café with panoramic views.
 

                                    Helena Bay Gallery and Cafe


South Island Top 10 Things To Do


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In the first of a new regular series, the team at Bella Vista have decided to share ten of their favourite things, from local eateries to adventure activities. These updates will give you an idea of some great things to do right around New Zealand, both the top tourist attractions and few ideas which are a little more off the beaten track.   

My Top 10 New Zealand Sites and Activities by Natalie Evans

Natalie is Director of Bella Vista Management and lives in Oamaru, in New Zealand's South Island.


  1. Blue cod and kumara chips from Coast, Kakanui North Otago - speaks for itself plus awesome view to boot.
     
  2. Picnic at Elephant rocks, Duntroon, North Otago - picturesque and provides a challenging climbing experience!
     
  3. Nosh Cafe on State Highway One, Waimate - their food display is a feast for the eyes.

                 
     
  4. Stroll from Friendly Bay around the harbour, Oamaru. Easy, picturesque and adjacent to the Steampunk playground which is a playground of old providing ages 6 plus with challenges. (Also not far from Bella Vista Oamaru!)
     
  5. Walk from St Kilda Beach to St Clair, Dunedin - coffee and cake, brunch or lunch at any one of the fabulous cafes and walk back along the seaside track and over the playing fields ending up at St Kilda playground - another must for those with families.
     
  6. Riverstone Cafe, just north of Oamaru. Home grown produce, terrific menu, gardens, castle, shops and playground. Just perfect.
     
  7. Bill Blair, Coppice Crafts Oamaru working from a red shed at the end of the harbour railway line at the Harbour Oamaru. Watch Bill in action making his crafts. Take home a very well built trug complete with copper nails to use to collect your fresh produce from your garden. 

                                              
     
  8. Turn right at Otematata and view Lake Benmore Dam. The largest earth dam in the Southern Hemisphere. Whilst there walk from the top of the dam on the circular walk where on a good day you will view Mt Cook in all its glory and the full length of Lake Benmore - a truly magnificent sight and and great walk.
     
  9. Visit The Vines Restaurant in Waimate. Friendly hosts and a view over Waimate. Stroll around Waimate for a town streetscape straight out of a bygone era.
     
  10. Finally, my recent find - Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson. A ride on the Marahau/Abel Tasman water taxis is a must. Make sure you land at Marahau so that you can experience riding on the boat trailers direct from the beach being pulled by tractors. Walk all or part of the Abel Tasman. It's a gem because you can walk it and return daily to civilisation via water taxi if that's your preference. Nature and clean sheets - bliss (check out Bella Vista Nelson for just that!). 

                                              

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!