Kia Ora! Airbnb reveals the most hospitable towns in New Zealand

Kiwis are renowned for being some of the happiest, friendliest and most welcoming people in the world. In fact, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2020 World Happiness Report, New Zealand is ranked as the 9th happiest place on Earth.

And if you’re after a hearty dose of Kiwi hospitality, then look no further than beautiful Opua in the Bay of Islands, named Airbnb’s most hospitable destination in New Zealand after achieving the highest percentage of 5 star Airbnb reviews in the country. 

Airbnb has released its 2020 Hospitality Index, unveiling the most hospitable places across New Zealand, based on the number of 5 star reviews in locations with over 400 trips taken in the 12 months to June this year. 

Katikati, in the Bay of Plenty and Rolleston in the Canterbury region were ranked second and third, while Darfield, also in the Canterbury region and Matamata near the Kaimai Range Mountains on New Zealand’s North Island, round out the top five. Interestingly, Matamata is near where the Hobbiton Movie Set was created for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. 

Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s Country Manager for New Zealand and Australia, said during a time when Kiwis have really answered the call to discover their own backyards, she’s not surprised regional areas have dominated the list.

“From Pukenui in the north, to Invercargill in the south, every corner of Aotearoa has so much to offer, but when it comes to providing a truly memorable and authentic experience for guests, it’s the hospitality of our Kiwi hosts that’s truly world-class. Hosts on Airbnb make the best ambassadors for their towns as they’re often local experts. So whether that’s suggesting the best restaurants and coffee shops or highlighting the most picturesque walking trails and parks, our hosts are passionate about not only ensuring their guests have a wonderful stay, but also supporting local businesses in their communities.”

As New Zealanders continue to embrace domestic travel, every dollar spent on accommodation, food and sightseeing ensures valuable tourism dollars flow to local businesses across hard-hit communities. A recent Oxford Economic report commissioned by Airbnb revealed that in 2019, guests on Airbnb spent a total of $2.5 billion in New Zealand, with domestic guests on Airbnb spending almost $830 million. 

Airbnb’s Most Hospitable Destinations in New Zealand:

*Based on % of 5 star reviews in locations with over 400 trips taken in the 12 months to June, 2020

  1. Opua, Northland
  2. Katikati, Bay of Plenty
  3. Rolleston, Canterbury
  4. Darfield, Canterbury
  5. Matamata, Auckland
  6. Ashburton, Canterbury
  7. Gore, Southland
  8. Dargaville, Northland
  9. Cambridge, Waikato
  10. Haruru, Northland