going to new zealand on the 16th march 05 and planning to hire a car to get around both islands. iIs it easy to find budget accomadation by just driving to a place and getting a bed on the day.Or will pay to try and book every where in advance??
Depending on the time of year, it's generally pretty easy to find hostels and the like if you are driving around. We were there in early January and it was a bit rough at times so ended up costing more than we expected as we had to move up in class a few times but it was still doable.
If you're travelling around Christmas, New Years or visiting a place when there is a big event going on (like ski season in Queenstown), it is probably wise to book something in advance at least for a few days so you know you'll have a place to stay.
Alternatively, car seats make fine 'beds' too if it's not for too many nights in a row
So long as you have a travel guide and phone. You can book accomodation in advance a day or two before you know when you are going to be somewhere.
If you have a UK phone take it with you, buy a Vodafone NZ simcard around $30 and use this. Save loads of hassle.