YHA NZ: Queenstown, Wanaka and Taupo

Sometimes when you are tired of sleeping in a van, you will want to spend some money on a proper bed hahaha. I did a month’s roadtrip in a humble campervan, slept in campgrounds, weird places like a museum’s carpark (Story for another time) and it could get a little hard at times especially during winter. Hence, staying in hostels will be a great break from the camping life, where you get to be under a duvet, springy mattress, hot shower, and a full fledged kitchen to cook your meals.

I always liked staying in hostels under Hosteling International, as I do not have to worry about the cleanliness, noise, and rowdy people as every hostel under them has a certain quality to meet. Most of my trips I’ve always booked under them even when I’m not sponsored, and one of the best hostels for me was in Utretch and Paris during my Europe trip last year.

YHA Lakefront Queenstown

In Queenstown, there are two hostels, one in town and YHA Lakefront which is a 10 minutes walk to town center.

I stayed in a 4 person mixed dorm, and it has plenty of space, a huge locker for your belongings, and a personal usb port at every bed. There’s no ensuite bathroom in dorms, but the common bathroom was huge, clean and complete with hairdryers. 🙂

On the second floor, you get a huge kitchen, with plenty of dining spaces, and also a bar top to look at the lake while you feed yourself. There are also complimentary spices like salt, pepper, herbs and chili flakes!

And on the other side, it’s a common lounge with plenty of couches and tables and plug points, and I saw many people around especially at night. Made a hugeeeee mistake of not taking photos of the lounge hahaha. Only found those 2 above. 😞😞😞

The good
Many offsite (free!) parking
Fully equipped kitchen and huge dining area
Lakeview all day, everyday

The not so good
Not in the middle of town
No ensuite bathrooms for most of the dorms

Price starts from NZD34 | More info here

YHA Queenstown Central

The name of the hostel really reflects its location, located between Shotover Street and Lakefront, and surrounded by liquor store, and bars (ahem), cafes, restaurants, shops like Kathmandu, UGG and many more. It’s good because it’s near to everything, but it’s bad if you are in a budget hahaha cause you will definitely want to spend (I think I have a tiny shopaholic syndrome in me) some money like me.

Every room here comes with ensuite bathroom, TV, wardrobe a small coffee table and dressing table. I was given a 4 person dorm room, and although the interior is a little bit old as it was refurbished from an old hotel, it is still well maintained.

Because it’s such a huge hostel with many rooms, the kitchen, lounge and dining area is all in one space, overlooking the lake. I was a little sad because of the size of the common area, but it’s adequate. The kitchen is fully equipped, it has long tables to dine on, and comfortable couches with a TV and boardgames.

The good
Right in the middle of town
Only 2 minute walk to the famous Fergburger
Every room comes with ensuite and TV
Convenient for backpackers with no car
Gorgeous Queenstown town view from the kitchen

The not so good
Small common lounge, hence might be hard to meet new people
Feels like huge apartment with many rooms in one alley
No onsite parking

Price starts from NZD40 | More info here

YHA Wanaka: Purple Cow

Ah, how do I even began. I love this place so much it almost felt like home. Not sure if it’s because I spent the most time here, but I felt really comfortable and really enjoyed my stay.

Room was spacious with ensuite and central heating, a huge locker for your belongings, with plenty of room to walk and put your stuff. There are also additional blankets available in the room for the cold, winter months.

The kitchen is huge with adequate cooking hobs, fully equipped with the things you need (Even a toastie maker) and you can get free vegetables and fresh herbs outside.

However, what I liked most about this hostel is the common lounge, where you are greeted with Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. The lounge is opened whole day, with the fireplace constantly going on, perfect for the cold winter days heh.

The good
Close to New World Supermarket
Gorgeous view from its lounge and dining area
Warm fireplace
Fully equipped kitchen and herb garden
Movie night every day at 8pm with a large projector
On site parking

The not so good
Am I being biased here? I think it doesn’t have a bad for me.

Price starts from NZD31 | More info here

YHA Taupo: Finlay Jack’s

The logo made me like the hostel the moment I saw it haha. They even gave me a sticker for my laptop. #gotbribed Located near town center, the hostel carries a pastel blue color throughout the building, interior and even the tables.

Finlay Jack’s has a huge outdoorsy area, with pretty picnic tables, grass and hammocks for you to laze around. The weather was perfect when I was there and you get to see Lake Taupo if you’re on the second floor. YHA’s kitchen are always fully equipped and Finlay Jack’s is no exception. I didn’t manage to see the lounge but it has a public toilet (So you don’t have to run back to your room), DVDs, XBox and books!

The 4 person dorm has a bean bag and built in wardrobe (DID I MENTION BEAN BAG?) with a coffee table in the middle and ensuite bathroom. The duvets and pillow sheets were really pretty as well, fitting Finlay Jack’s theme. 😍😍

The good
Close to town, Pak’ n’ Save and Warehouse
On site parking
Huge kitchen and BBQ facilities
Quaint little lounge with Netflix, DVD, books, XBox
Fun and colorful environment

The not so good
Might be hard to drag heavy luggages up if you’re on the second floor
Could be noisy if you have rowdy neighbours 🙁

Price starts from NZD23 | More info here

Was a pity that I didn’t snap enough photos of YHA Nelson that I’ve stayed for a night, but looking forward to head back to New Zealand in the next few years! 🙂 Tongariro Crossing, wait for me!


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