The bach (pronounced "batch") is a New Zealand phenomenon. There are more than 3000 of them available for rent, scattered across the country and they are a great alternative to a hotel room.
A bach is a small holiday house and comes in all shapes, sizes and prices and can be booked online. Before Internet technology stepped in, people didn't know what they were going to get until they arrived, but now you can really check them out.
Tutukaka: Beach House
Jason checked out this bach. It's a sunny two-bedroom beach house, sleeping up to six people, just 20 minutes north of Whangarei, the main city in the Northland region.
It's a laid-back, no-frills bach in a safe little bay, perfect for families with small children as there are no waves. Surfers just need to wander 10 minutes down the road for good breaks. The bach has absolute beachfront, its own dinghy and Peter Pan Island is a paddle away. Lifejackets are in the hall cupboard. A lawn stretches to the water and there's a great deck for taking in the action.
If you don't fancy barbecuing, there's a restaurant and milk bar close by and Schnapper Rock at Tutukaka Marina is famous in the area for its fantastic food.
Tokaanu: The Old Post Office
Jules had a look at this bach, 30 minutes from Taupo on the North Island. It's in a peaceful thermal village and was once the town's post office. Now it's a funky place with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and room for up to 10 friends to party. Tokaanu also lends itself to a '70s theme party.
There's a spacious lounge and dining area, bricked courtyard and plenty of parking for vehicles and boats. Most rooms are thermally heated.
There are thermal pools across the road, a thermal walk, rafting and kayaking base and you're just 35 minutes away from Whakapapa ski field. You can tramp in Tongariro National Park, go mountain biking and just 4km away is some excellent trout fishing.
Queenstown: Riverview Retreat
With room for eight guests in four bedrooms, each with television, and with two bathrooms, this is a stunning, contemporary holiday home overlooking the Shotover River and Coronet Peak. Recently renovated, it has two living areas, large gas schist fireplaces and a cook's kitchen opening onto a deck. The property has a great garden, barbecue and spa and Kelly was tempted to stay!
The town centre is a four-minute drive and the Coronet Peak ski field turnoff is five minutes away.
So, there are three examples of good bach accommodation. Now you can log on and sift through more than 3000 to find something just right for you.
Great affordable places to stay across New Zealand.
Bach rental prices vary so log on to their website and find one to suit your budget and location.
Air New Zealand has flights to Rotorua, Queenstown and Auckland.
One-way fares to Rotorua from:
- Sydney $239
- Melbourne $295
- Brisbane $253
One-way fares to Queenstown from:
- Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane $329
One-way fares to Auckland from:
- Melbourne $230
- Sydney $239
- Brisbane $289
Fares are one way and conditions apply.
Prices correct at June 17, 2010.
For further information
Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476
Book a Bach
Tutukaka Beach House bach No. 957
From $150 a night
Tokaanu Post Office bach No. 691
From $150 a night
Queenstown Riverview Retreat bach No. 8564
From $550 a night
Visas: Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter New Zealand.
Electricity: 230V at 50Hz using the same plugs as in Australia.
Time zone: GMT +12.
Currency: The New Zealand dollar.
Telephone code: +64.