Best Hostels In Wellington, New Zealand

City Travel, Hostels, New Zealand — By on January 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

by Mattie Schuler

Welcome to Wellington, New Zealand’s Windy City

As the next biggest city on the North Island, Wellington has a very different feel from Auckland. There are cafes galore, beautiful parks and gardens, and plenty of beaches for hanging out by the water. A handful of hostels are located in the city, but two of the larger ones are right downtown, just minutes to everything you’ll want to see.

YHA Wellington

The welcome area at YHA Wellington is comparable to a hotel reception, complete with a small and nicely priced café to get your morning pick-me-up. The rooms are clean, the beds are comfy and the showers are hot, but the best things about this YHA are the perks. Each night there is a different dinner specials for guests, from $6 fish and chips on Fridays (you’d normally pay three times that) to $9 Indian curry, $11 pizza on Sundays, and $2 bagels and cream cheese every morning. There is complimentary tea and coffee in double or twin rooms, plus the free hot drink per night that is available for double or twin room guests from the café (go for the hot Chai).  The hostel has bikes for hire, over 150 DVDs to watch, luggage storage, laundry, computers, parking passes to buy (which you’ll need if you have a car in the city), and a convenient drop-off area to unload your gear upon arrival.

This YHA, across the street from the supermarket, has a large movie viewing room, a quiet reading room with games and massage chairs, plenty of dining space and fridge/freezer space, recycling and ideas of what to do in and around Wellington plastering the walls. The kitchen area could be larger, so expect a delay if making food during the normal hours of dinnertime.

The staff can be seen mingling around with guests and are always there to offer ideas of where to eat and what to see. Take the short walk through the city to the cable car, which takes you up to the botanical gardens, or head down the street to hike up Mount Victoria and then continue on the Hobbit Trail where scenes from Lord of the Rings were filmed.

Rates range from $33 for a shared room to $135 for an ensuite queen.

Nomads Wellington 

Located across from the library and near the funky Cuba Street, Nomads is another hostel full of perks. Each night, guests receive a free meal ticket for the adjacent bar, Blend — the meal isn’t huge, but a free meal is a free meal (you can get a larger helping for $2). The hostel is a dry hostel, but drinks at Blend are only $5 for guests of Nomads. There is free tea, coffee and milk at reception, and double rooms have a flat screen TV with two movie channels.

The hostel has tight security — guest have to use their key to get to the stairs and the elevator that lead up to rooms — and is very eco-conscious — electricity in the rooms can’t be used (or wasted) unless the room card is clicked into the slot. There is a large TV viewing area, a small-ish kitchen, laundry, computers and an outdoor patio. The large and clean rooms are decorated with stylish comforters and the en suite bathrooms are spacious and bright.

The staff has great ideas of what to do not only around Wellington but also heading to the South Island, and has daily, cheap adventures for those who want to sign up. Great for guests without cars, these trips can include a hike to Mount Victoria, a day at the beach, or a bus ride out to Red Rocks for a possible seal sighting. On a rainy day, head to the highly recommended free museum, Te Papa: Museum of New Zealand or use the free wi-fi in the library. If in town on a Sunday, it is just a short walk to the farmers market for some cheap and fresh veggies.

Rates range from $28 for a shared dorm to $105 for an ensuite double with TV.

Photo credit:  Nick Davidson

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