I'm planning to go to New Zealand with Magic in August/September. Can anyone tell me what is the best thing to do with accomodation? Use their accommodation pass? Find your own places to stay? If I did find my own places, how much roughly would I pay per night, and how much per night would it be just to use an accomodation pass? I'm looking for the cheapest option possible, so not bothered about how good the accomodation is.
I would recommend NOT getting the magic accomodation as it restricts you to staying in only YHA places. There are many places available in each of the towns on Magic's route, & some of them are more appealing and possibly cheaper than the YHA places. On arrival in NZ pick up a free copy of the BBH guide (www.bbh.co.nz)... it's full of cool places to stay and has a good ratings system for each place.
On the other hand, you pay for your Magic accomodation vouchers before you set off so you don't have to worry about spending your cash on accom when you get there, leaving all your £$£$ to be spent on other stuff.
I would also recommend that if the Magic bus is busy, try and book your own accomodation, if you let the driver do it and your requested hostel is full then normally they will just book you into whatever hostel has place.
As for price, i think between NZ$15 to $20 for a multishare bed. The cities are more expensive.
I will be in New Zealand for about 5 weeks, and the longest Magic trip is minimum 23 days I think.
Which places would you recommend staying in for longer, bearing in mind that I will have almost 2 weeks extra.