New Zealand South Island Holiday: 4 Baches you’ll Love!

If you’re looking for an authentic New Zealand South Island holiday then don’t miss a stay in one of New Zealand’s unique baches.

You may also hear them called cribs in Otago. This is how the locals spend their holidays in low-key style accommodation, surrounded by South Island’s spectacular wilderness. A bach holiday means turning off your technology and relaxing. Play scrabble, read a book, take a long walk, enjoy the tranquility or head out for adventure and wildlife spotting. Read on for inspiration with these four unique baches from VRBO/Bookabach….

1. Gunado – Cosy Kiwi Bach in Golden Bay – Collingwood

Best for: Near the Beach, Kayaks, Wading Birds, Garden, Affordable. 2 bedrooms for up to 4 people, $


At the top of the South Island, Gunado Bach sits in a unique position between a rich estuary and a sheltered beach. This is beautiful territory in the footsteps of the Kahurangi National Park and Farewell Spit Nature Reserve.

Sheltered by great Totara trees, home to many native birds, the bach is a popular spot to relax on the deck, take out the kayaks or collect shellfish.

Good to Know:

  • In the high summer season, a minimum 2-night stay is required
  • The first bedroom has a queen-size bed, the second bedroom has two single beds
  • The kitchen is well-equipped
  • Fireplace (and wood) for the cooler months.
  • Children welcome
  • Enjoy a coffee at the Mad Cafe in Collingwood
  • Explore Golden Bay and swim at the beautiful beaches
  • Washing machine and dryer


Gunado Bach is an affordable and fun kiwi stay in ravishing Golden Bay.

Popular Places to Eat in Collingwood: Mussel Inn Pub and Restaurant, The Old School Cafe, The Courthouse Cafe (most popular on Trip Advisor), Mad Cafe Golden Bay, and Collingwood Tavern.

2. Woodpecker Bay Bach – Life on the Edge of a River – West Coast

Best for: Wild Location, Privacy, Marine Life, Paparoa National Park, Couples, Up to 3 Guests $


Kick back at this retro New Zealand bach on the wild West Coast just 15 minutes north of Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. At high tide the sea laps at Woodpecker Bay Bach, but it’s stood the test of time.

Built in the 1940’s the loo (toilet) is a dash down the garden just like the old days! This is the Department of Conservation land with seals and penguins as your neighbours.

Good to Know:

  • Minimum 2-night stay
  • 1 bedroom with a queen-size bed and a sofa bed
  • Bring food – the nearest supermarket is 30 minutes away at Westport
  • Not suitable for small children
  • WIFI but no phone reception so phone in bach is free for local calls
  • A portion of each booking goes to the West Coast Penguin Trust


Why not experience true retro ‘baching’ on the wild West Coast at Woodpecker Bay Bach!

Travel Resources:

3. Surfinn Eco Cottage, Snorkelling and Surfing in The Catlins

Surfinn Eco Cottage Homeaway
Best for: Wildlife, Penguins, Sea lions, Surfing, Snorkelling. Couples, Friends, Families, Groups, 2 Bedrooms for up to 4 Guests, $$


The Catlins is one of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets! In the southeast of the South Island, you’ll discover ancient rainforests, waterfalls, stunning coastline, rare marine life, and plenty of adventure. Surfinn Cottage is a great spot to base yourself for all your activities and relaxation.

The cottage is two-storied with two bedrooms and is set in the quaint village of Papatowai near Lake Wilkie and Cathedral Caves. With incredible views over the estuary, surrounding hills, and Tahakopa Bay it’s just you and nature.

Good to Know:

  • King bed in one room and queen bed in the other
  • Heat pump – keeps you warm in winter, and cool in summer
  • New Kitchen
  • Bathroom and combined laundry
  • Open plan living
  • Space for a boat outdoors


For adventurers and wildlife lovers, Surfinn is the ideal spot in the spectacular Catlins.

4. Wildside Lodge – Romantic Off-Grid Cabin for Two – West Coast

Best for: Country, Off Grid, Outdoor Bath, Organic Produce, Campfire, Couple, 2 Guests, $


Switch off in this tiny off-grid house for two in Hari Hari Village – halfway between Hokitika and Franz Josef Glacier. This handcrafted idyllic bach is set on an organic homesteading property so you can wander around and enjoy the country lifestyle. In the evening soak away your worries in the outdoor bath under the stars.

Good to Know:

  • Queen bed with french doors and amazing view
  • Well equipped kitchen
  • Potbelly stove (also warms the water)
  • Shower big enough for two (with candles)
  • Covered deck, campfire, and BBQ
  • Hari Hari Coastal Walkway nearby
  • 10 minute drive to secret local hot springs
  • Organic eggs and milk available from you friendly hosts


You’ll have to drag yourself away from this peaceful retreat on the West Coast!

Things to Do in the South Island:

Viator offers free cancellation on tours, so why not marvel at the the beauty of the South Island with their range of tours: sky diving, heli-skiing, boat trips, hiking, scenic flights…

More Unique South Island Stays:

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