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Auckland New Zealand and Australia (Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney)

Any suggestions for B&Bs or hotels to stay in Auckland NZ and the Australian cities listed above? Also, any special locations you wouldn't want to miss on this type of trip. About 6 Days in Auckland and 14 Days in Australia.

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I loved The Elliott Hotel in Auckland. It is more of an apartment/hotel with studio, 1 and 2 bedroom units available in a beautiful building. They don't serve breakfast, but you'd have your own kitchenette (and your own washer/dryer) to make breakfast and store items you buy for lunch, dinner or snacks. There are also a ton of restaurants, cafes and take-away places in the immediate area if you don't feel like making your own meals.

In Cairns I stayed at The Balinese. While it was well-located, clean, quiet and offers free breakfast, wi-fi and laundry facilities, it's most definitely budget lodging - so don't expect the Four Seasons at the price they charge. I only stayed in Cairns a few days as a stopover to plan out some future weeks on an extended trip throughout Australia. Personally, if you aren't locked into staying in Cairns for some specific reason, I would actually recommend skipping it completely and heading north 1 hour and staying in Port Douglas instead. In Port Douglas I would recommend The Mandalay (an apartment/hotel - beachfront and a quick 5 minute walk into the center of Port Douglas for shopping/restaurants/cafes) - don't miss standing outside on the grounds of The Mandalay around dusk and watching a large number of flying foxes swooping in to roost in the trees.

In Sydney, I've stayed at both budget and luxury hotels. Quay West Suites in The Rocks section of Sydney is more luxury - also, it's another apartment/hotel so you would have a kitchen and washer/dryer in your unit. Pay the extra for a unit that is facing the Sydney Harbour rather than the city view rooms. We had a fantastic sweeping view of the bridge, Opera House and all the ferries coming and going - and although there was no holiday going on, we also were lucky enough to catch a fireworks display. For budget, I've stayed at The Travelodge on Wentworth Street, just south of Hyde Park. Well-located, comfortable and even their basic rooms offer a little fridge and microwave oven if you want to keep something on hand for a quick breakfast or snack.

Sorry, only stopped off for a day while passing through the Brisbane area - no hotel suggestions for that part. Check reviews on as only those who actually stayed at a hotel can review a place. But traveling throughout Australia I found a lot of the brands that fall under the Accor Hotels chain to be pretty comfortable, reasonably priced if booked in advance, and convenient to sights.

If you list some of your interests, it would help so you get relevant suggestions on things you might not want to miss out on seeing or doing as you travel around.