Top tips for travelling around New Zealand’s South Island


From the towering mountains, glacial valleys and historic towns the profoundly stunning Southern Island of New Zealand is a perfect journey holiday spot for both domestic and international visitors. Travelling to this area of the world offers a range of adrenaline packed activities such a skydiving, relaxing tours around vineyards and some fantastic adventures! Make the most of your trip to the South Island by not missing the top stop of Dunedin and the surrounding area of Otago where you can take a tour of the spectacular botanical gardens, Otago museum and Cadbury world!

Before you head off on your adventure make sure you have the essentials covered!

First matters first:

1. Pre-departure important checklist

One of the most secure ways of staying out of trouble throughout your trip is having an essentials tick list. Use this tick list to make sure you aren’t stuck in a sticky state of affairs:
• Verify your passport information• Prepare your visa• Know your flight information• Secure airport transfers• Prepare journey insurance• Set up emergency contacts• Organise local currency and backup financials.

2. How to get around

So how are you going to get around the South Island of NZ? There are several options to choose from but self drive is a popular and affordable option. If you are going to self-drive though make sure you have your updated drivers licence and have your documentation available at all times. It also helps to know the NZ specific rules, regulations and speed limits.

3. The itinerary

Time is really one of the greatest limiting elements in any adventure. In order to get the most out of your time in NZ a travel itinerary is quite vital. With that you may prepare points of interest and activities to conveniently fit within your time-frame. Here are top-five rated destinations and activities in The South Island of New Zealand
Destinations• Dunedin• Christchurch• Queenstown• Nelson• Wanaka
Activities• Excursion on the mountain peaks and waterfalls of Milford sound• Experience the Otago Peninsula seashores and shoreline• Visit the Kaikoura Coast• Abel Tasman country wide Park and Golden Bay experience• Marlborough Sounds experience

4. Accommodation

After a long day sightseeing you want nothing more than to come back to a comfortable, clean room where you can relax. Given the increasing numbers of travellers to Dunedin and the entire South Island it is recommended that you make your reservations in advance.

538 Great King Motel is our fantastic four- star accessible accommodation in Dunedin. Our rooms range from comfortable studios to larger family units. Our city center location gives travellers great access to the best Dunedin has to offer. Visit our website at to book our fantastic self contained accommodation.

Exploring the Greater Wellington Region


There are a lot of things to explore in the greater Wellington region. That’s why a lot of Wellington backpackers prefer going to this place whenever they want to explore the beauty New Zealand has to offer. Not only are there a lot of places to see, they also have some of the best family accommodation Wellington packages that would definitely fit with anyone’s budget.

That said, here’s what you can do upon visiting this region.

1. Have a Taste Around the City

It has been said that the greater Wellington region has the most restaurants and bars per capita that New York City. No doubt about that, because it’s rich with farmland and there’s a nearby ocean located at the south. That means, the food being served at the restaurants are always fresh and exceptionally good. Not just that, it’s also known as the craft beer capital, and the coffee they serve is nothing but legendary.

2. Enjoy Wellington’s National Museum at Te Papa

The National Museum of New Zealand is located in Wellington and it’s known as “Te Papa”. This museum is very fascinating in nature and it grabs the curiosity of visitors of any age. The exhibits are quite unique, innovative, and interactive. Here, the biological, geological, cultural, and social history of New Zealand are some of its main focus. Best of all, the general admission to this museum is free.

3. Wellington Cable Car

One of the most popular icons of Wellington would be the cable car. This cable car runs from Lambton Quay going to the Kelbum– where the Space Place at Carter Observatory and Cable Car Museum are located. Here, you can enjoy interactive displays, and there’s even a state of the art digital planetarium that would give you a virtual voyage to the stores. Then, as you come back down to earn, you can proceed to visiting the botanical garden.

4. Enjoy the World Famous Movie Making Magic

If you have always been wondering where the Lord of the Rings movie was shot, then you should definitely visit the Weta Cave mini-museum. Here, you’ll get the behind-the-scene glimpse of the fantasy film, together with the special effects they used during the filming process.

5. Take a Walk Around Oriental Bay

The waterfront in Wellington is definitely a beautiful place for Wellington backpackers to explore as it’s filled with bars, cafes, parks, sculptures, and many more. Here, you are free to join hundreds of people jogging, walking, crocodile biking, and cycling. During the weekends, you can also stop by at one of their famous weekend markets and get the best deals.

6. Walk Down Cuba Street

Last, but definitely not least, would be exploring Cuba street. This is the home of those who love vintage, artists, and hipsters, because Cuba Street serves as the bohemian haven for these people. It also has some of the most colorful shops, bars, and cafes for you to enjoy.

Final Words

If you’re one of those who’s interested in exploring the greater Wellington area, then we do advise that you also look for the best place where you can stay, such as the Moana Lodge. Here, they offer the best services you can think of, and to know more about their accommodation, please visit

Travel Tips for a Holiday in The Greater Wellington Area


Although Auckland has a larger urban population, Wellington is the official capital city of New Zealand. Wellington and its surrounding region has much to offer visitors: from stunning scenery and historical buildings to museums, cafes and an eclectic variety of shops. Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure take advantage of the wildlife and natural landscapes, national parks, cable cars and harbour life that Wellington has to offer. Everything is easily accessible by car, coach or train and many sights are within easy walking distance of the Wellington town centre.

Getting There

You can fly direct into Wellington’s international airport or connect via Auckland or other regional airports. Be warned: flights can experience turbulence as Wellington isn’t called ‘Windy Wellington‘ for no reason! Air New Zealand is the national carrier and you may find cheaper seats through Checking out their deals at least a month ahead of time will ensure that you don’t miss out. You can also travel down to Wellington from Auckland on the train on the Northern Explorer route. For more information visit

If travelling over from the South Island consider a trip on the Interislander Ferry across the Cook Strait. The ferry route takes you through the scenic Marlborough Sounds from Picton to Wellington, with regular sailings for cars and foot passengers – visit for schedules, bookings and information.

Things To Do

The Wellington City Pass is a great value ticket and enables you to save money by visiting more attractions depending on the length of your stay. A Wellington City pass costs $37.50 for adults and $15 for children aged 5 to 16 years old. The pass includes a return trip on the Wellington Cable Car which takes you up to the Botanic Gardens for a great view.

You can then choose two of the following three attractions to get in to for free: Wellington Zoo, Zealandia or the Space Observatory. In addition, the pass entitles to you discounts at the Te Papa Museum stores and the Wellington Museum shop. Discounts are also available at the City Gallery and the Nairn Street Cottage. Passes can be bought at either of the three main attractions or at the Wellington Visitor Information centre on the corner of Victoria and Wakefield streets.

The Information Centre can help provide information and advice on everything there is to see and do in the region. Places to stay and transport can also be arranged from here. If museums are your interest there are a few to choose from and Te Papa is the largest and is free to enter.

Wellington Budget Accommodation

Pay for a either a budget bed in one of the many Wellington hostels and backpackers or choose 5 star luxury; it is up to you to decide how far your budget will stretch. You can choose to stay in central Wellington or explore a little further up the coast, using the bus and train links to get into Wellington if you are without a car or camper-van.

Moana Lodge is a 5 star backpackers in the Greater Wellington region and provides excellent accommodation in Porirua, only 20 minutes from Wellington City. It is surrounded by facilities and places to visit and has a proven record of satisfied guests enjoying the peace and quiet of the suburbs without sacrificing the convenience of the city. Before you book your Wellington trip you should check to see availability at the Moana Lodge at Peak times are December though to February during the summer, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Holidays in The Greater Wellington Area


The Greater Wellington area is one of the most beautiful populated areas of New Zealand. The area provides locals and visitors alike with spectacular harbour views and character buildings scattered throughout this capital city’s modern setting.

From the world’s most scenic views, exceptional coffee and top bars to being the most accessible city in New Zealand, Wellington is the place to visit in 2016. There are tons of great attractions in the Greater Wellington area which can take anything from a couple of hours to a full day to see.

Places to Visit & Things to Do

If you want to spend an amazing holiday in the Greater Wellington area, here are some places you should definitely visit:

– Te Papa Museum of New Zealand: with a multitude of intricate carvings, art galleries and other amazingly interactive displays, this is the right place to come with the whole family for a day of learning and exploration.

– The Great War Exhibition at Te Papa: Featuring some of the best war exhibits in the world, you don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the level of detail that went into creating this exhibit.

– Mount Victoria: Take in Wellington City, the harbour and the ocean views from high above at the peak of Mount Victoria. Walking tracks will take hikers to the top and there is also a road for quick access. In the evenings the harbour road along the coast my have penguins coming in from the sea to nest. They are best seen at dusk between May and June and again in August to November.

– Weta Workshop: J.R.R. Tolkien’s most famous trilogy was brought to life in New Zealand in more ways than one. Take a look behind the scenes of the studio that created the visuals for The Lord of the Rings films, from the armour of the Uruk-hai to the life-like airbrushed models. This is a trip that will impress the older family members as much as the young. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.

– Staglands Wildlife Reserve: winner of a TripAdvisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence, this magnificent location helps you to dive deep into the animal world and enjoy the attention of both native and domesticated animals.

Why Come to Wellington?

If you haven’t decided to visit the Greater Wellington area, here are 3 reasons to do it in 2016:

1. Home of the Lord of the Rings

Almost everyone has seen the trilogy, and many people consider them the best films ever made. When you walk around the Greater Wellington Region you will have the opportunity to visit the set location for the elven settlement of Rivendell. You can also enjoy private horse riding tours, walking tours or hire a private guide to show you around.

2. Strong Coffee Culture

The coffee culture in this area dates back to the 19th century. Kiwis are really experienced at making great tasting coffee, and the multitude of coffee shops in this area prove it. You won’t find coffee as delicious as the ones you find in Wellington in any other place in the world.

Because Wellington is a very relaxed city, unlike other capitals in the world, you will be able to sit down and enjoy the best coffee in the world without feeling pressed to finish and leave the establishment. Soak in the atmosphere and take your time making plans for the rest of the day.

Coffee isn’t the only love of Wellingtonians: there are plenty of tea shops offering exotic tisanes and creative blends. Try before you buy – it’s free!

3. Plenty of Quality Wellington Accommodation Options 

After each day of exploring the Greater Wellington Region, you will want to return to accommodation that is clean, quiet and comfortable. If you are looking for quality, affordable accommodation within 20 minutes’ drive of Wellington City, look for Moana Lodge in Porirua.

Moana Lodge is 5-star accredited accommodation in Porirua that offers the best services for backpackers and budget travellers who want to visit Wellington. It has already accumulated impressive reviews and offers immaculate accommodation services plus a wide range of extras to help you enjoy the experience of your life.

Contact us at to learn more about our services and to book your accommodation.

Moana Lodge – Backpackers’ Best Accommodation


Moana Lodge is a great choice for travellers looking for a backpackers in Plimmerton, part of the Porirua catchment area. Our lodge is one of only a few 5 star rated hostels in Wellington (NZ) New Zealand. Moana Lodge boasts sea views from many of its rooms, plus everyone can enjoy the views of Plimmerton Bay from the lounge area. If you are looking for stunning beachfront accommodation in Plimmerton; you should consider our facilities and room options to see if they meet your needs. We can cater for single travellers, couples, groups or families with 36 beds spread across our 13 rooms.

Facilities include a full kitchen, lounge and a roomy dining area, shared bathrooms and toilets, a courtyard area with BBQ, laundry and Internet access. Information for travellers is free and your host is very knowledgeable about the Plimmerton area, Wellington and New Zealand in general. Plimmerton is just 20 minutes north of Wellington so well positioned for exploring the Greater Wellington Region.


Single travellers can book a single room or a bed in a 4 single bed share room for a cheaper option (bunk beds). We have double rooms for couples and twin rooms for friends sharing. Families are accommodated in our family room with a double bed and 2 single beds. Most rooms are situated upstairs, please enquire for disabled access availability before booking.

Quality bedding, linen and towels, electric blankets (for Winter) and comfortable beds all provided to ensure your stay at Moana Lodge is comfortable. Treat yourself to one of our rooms with fabulous sea views across Plimmerton Bay.


We ensure our Lodge is kept clean and tidy with all facilities fully operational.

Facilities include:

  • farmhouse kitchen; fully equipped with commercial stove, dishwasher, microwave, plates, cutlery etc and includes free tea, coffee and sugar
  • guest dining room with multiple tables
  • guest lounge
  • 3 shared bathrooms
  • 3 separate toilets
  • sunny outdoor courtyard with BBQ
  • laundry
  • FREE Wi-Fi
  • free travellers information
  • free use of board games and books
  • 2 on-site computers with Internet access
  • no hostel carpark but there is nearby street parking


Moana Lodge was originally built in 1926 as a guest house. Maintenance over the years has been sensitive to the original design and the lodge has retained much of its original character.

Stay Long-term

It is possible to negotiate rates for longer stays during off-peak times. A weekly rate is available as well as longer term but only between 1st May and 1st September when it is winter in New Zealand. Discount may be up to 30% of published room/bed rates.


All our rooms and the hostel is smoke free. Smoking is permitted outside in the courtyard only, for the safety and comfort of all guests.

Arrival and Departure

Office hours are between 9am and 8pm. Arrivals after 9pm must be discussed before booking and check out on departure day is 10am.

Lonely Planet

“…this exceptional backpackers right on the beach is immaculate and inviting…”

Moana Lodge is a great option for budget accommodation in Plimmerton whether you plan to stay for one night or longer by arrangement (winter only). Check out the gallery, room rates and book online at for a 5 star Plimmerton backpackers experience.