Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand for the Win

On our trip to Australia and New Zealand last month, we used miles and points for our flights and some of our accommodations. The one big exception was our vacation home rental in New Zealand. Even though we shelled out quite a bit of cash for this one-week rental, I have no regrets!

Why We Picked a Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

When my kids were younger, we squeezed into a single hotel room as a family of five. Some hotels had the extra sofa bed, and some allowed us to bring our own inflatable mattress for our “extra” kid. Staying in a single hotel room worked for us those first several years.

Fast forward to this summer when my kids are 8, 11 and 15 years old. None of the kids want to share a bed. My husband and I prefer not to share a bed with kids, either.

Since I knew we’d be spending two weeks together on this challenging trip, I really wanted to pick accommodations that wouldn’t drive us crazy. We needed at least two hotel rooms or a condo/house rental.

So, when it came time to pick a place for a week stay near Rotorua or Taupo, I started looking at vrbo and Airbnb for a vacation home rental. I found many two- to three-bedroom places that would fit my family in a wide variety of price ranges, starting at under $100 a night. But once I saw this house on a farm, I knew we found our place.

Location and Back Yard

Woodstock farm is located 8 miles south of Rotorua. While it was a short drive to the town and the surrounding points of interest, it felt very secluded.

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

The house sits on a 750-acre cattle and sheep farm amid rolling hills. The property backs up to beautiful Green Lake.

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

When we first made the winding drive up the hill to the house, the cows from every pasture ran after our car to greet us at the fence next to the house. They were very curious. My kids visited them every day.

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

The sheep had a few favorite spots on the farm.

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

We even saw some deer on the property.

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

My kids enjoyed practicing gymnastics on these bars and playing paddle tetherball outside.

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

We really booked the house for the view. Everything about it just screamed New Zealand. We never got tired of this view, and we looked forward to returning to the house every day.

New Zealand House Rental

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

Inside the House

The house had three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Every room in the house had a great view of the backyard.

The master bedroom and bathroom:

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand

The kids’ room with two twin beds:

New Zealand House Rental

The other room with queen bed:

New Zealand House Rental

Kids’ bathroom:

New Zealand House Rental

The bathroom floor tiles were heated, so the floors felt really good on our feet in the winter (temperatures dipped into the 30s at night).

My kids enjoyed watching Netflix in the living room at night.

New Zealand House Rental

The table had room for eight people:

New Zealand House Rental

The kitchen was fully stocked with pots, pans, utensils and spices. We went grocery shopping and ate at least two meals at the house every day.

New Zealand House Rental

The house had a laundry room with a full-size washer and dryer. Staying here in the middle of our trip enabled us to pack fewer clothes. I did laundry twice during our trip.

New Zealand House Rental

Overall, the inside of the house was ideal because we had space for all of us to sleep and spread out after our daytime adventures.

How Miles and Points Helped

This vacation home rental cost over $200 USD a night, so it wasn’t dirt cheap. While we didn’t use any miles or points to book the house, using miles and points for other portions of our trip helped free up our budget to afford this splurge. If we had to buy our plane tickets, we’d likely have picked a cheaper condo rental without as much space and without this gorgeous view.

When we head to Russia or Europe in the coming years, I will be focusing on rental houses for sure. With a large family, it’s a great way to go.

Have you used a vacation home rental or apartment rental on an international trip? Or ,do you prefer to stay at hotels? What factors sway your decision?

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Author: Nancy

Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.

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9 thoughts on “Vacation Home Rental in New Zealand for the Win

  1. Actually, $200 per night is a bargain for this place! I thought it would be at least $400 or more. No points redemption could ever come close, especially for that many people. Just beautiful, my husband would totally love this place. He is a loner, though does tolerate cows. 🙂

    • @Leana We met the nearest neighbor on our first day. She showed us her house in the distance–it was probably at least a mile away. We are city folk (or suburb folk), so being on a farm for a week was a neat experience for us.

  2. Outside of the few bigger cities in NZ, it’s difficult to book places to stay with points. We did a couple 3 week trips to the south island and only managed a few nights in chain hotels (we rarely do more than overnight stays in cities – usually a transfer situation). Otherwise it was all BnBs. Stayed in some $$$$$ properties and some $$$ properties. Think NZ is probably wasted on younger kids – it’s more of an adult adventurer’s fantasy land, especially the south island

    • @Ron 3 weeks to the South Island? Sounds fabulous! In Rotorua we had the option of a Holiday Inn or Best Western, but neither looked spectacular. I’m glad we did the rental home. For my kids, I don’t think NZ was wasted on them. But, I do think my husband and I enjoyed NZ more.

  3. While I admit I’m biased because my husband works for VRBO, I really enjoy staying in rentals now more than hotels. On our recent trip to Yellowstone the deciding factor wound up being price. We could stay inside the park in a hotel room with two beds for approx $300 per night or we could stay a little ways outside the park and have a whole house with kitchen and laundry for the same price. The rental cabin we picked on the west side of Yellowstone was amazing. It made the long drive into the park each day completely worth it. Later on in the trip, we ended up staying at another location in a hotel room, and it felt so cramped being all together. Plus my kids hate hearing my husband snore. Ha! There are definitely times when a hotel room is the right choice due to cost or location, but when we can, a rental house is definitely my first choice.

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