Hello! Am heading off for six weeks (Hawaii, New Zealand, Cook Islands) and am planning to drift to what I find interesting. I have the bulk of my time in NZ, but don't want to plan too much (part of the joy of travelling solo is not having to care what's next as long as the sun rises and you can put one foot in front of the other).
I will be there mid-Nov to Dec 18 - how busy does it really get in the hostels and will I need to reserve more than a day or two in advance?
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 16, 2006 12:18 AM by Zoë NZ ]
On the South Island, at least in December (and the more the further you get into December), you'll definitely have to book a week in advance for the smaller more popular destinations (Lake Tekapo, Mt. Cook, Te Anau, the glaciers) - you might squeeze in up to four days in advance but that'll be hit and miss (forget about it for the more popular hostels). For the larger destinations you'll almost always be able to find something two days in advance, but it'll still be a bit of a search.
The good thing about hostel bookings is that you can cancel it without any charge up to 24 hours in advance (at least when you call; booking over the internet might have different constraints). So I'd say plan a rough itinerary and book hostels for that quite a bit in advance, and then if/when you hit a spot where you want to stay much longer than you'd planned on, you still have the freedom to adjust your bookings and throw away your previous plans.
The simple answer: it's a good idea to book in advance. It's a sure way of having a place to sleep while in popular spots.
yip it would be much better to book in advance, but you don't have to do it too far in advance. Just if you have a particulur hostel you want to stay in then 2-3 days before hand will be fine and like mentioned before if your heading to a small tourist destination then book a good few days in advance. Enjoy NZ
Thanks all - very helpful - I will probably land somewhere between booking well in advance and showing up expecting a room!