In anticipation of a travel bubble announcement in April, savvy Aussie holidaymakers have been booking up New Zealand accommodations in order to “beat the rush ahead of the peak season”.

Holiday homeowners have reported a sharp surge in business recently, according to new data.

Findings from rental platform Bachcare, New Zealand’s largest holiday home management firm, show an increase in speculative bookings of 117 per cent in just the last month.

Bachcare spokesperson Zaina Razzaq says interestingly, the destinations Aussies are honing in on aren’t what you’d typically see prior to the pandemic.

“What is coming through in our research this year is a surprising lack of bookings around New Zealand ski fields such as Queenstown and Ohakune.

“At this time of year, we would typically be seeing an influx of Australians booking their accommodation for a midwinter ski holiday. 

“Instead, the bookings are concentrated around beaches and vineyards, and feedback we are getting is that a lot of people want to spend time reconnecting with family members living in New Zealand — many of which have been unable to see for over a year now.”

That’s not to say ski-centric accommodations won’t get snapped up in a breath, she cautions.

“What we believe the data is showing us is that Australian’s looking to travel here for skiing in a specific seasonal time frame are waiting for confirmation of the bubble to open before they book. 

“Conversely, travellers who are more flexible in their travel time frames are making bookings in regions either well known for their wine production such as Waiheke, Marlborough and Martinborough or coastal areas such as Raglan, Tauranga, Mt Maunganui, Akaroa and Whangamata.”

With the Trans-Tasman bubble agreement expected to be announced any day now, we’ve rounded up some spectacular family-friendly holiday rentals to help you get a head-start on the Aussie invasion — and all under $200.