Archive | June 9, 2009

youth hostels in NZ are GREAT, but not all ‘backpackers’ are YHA!

Ok you know I am prejudiced and love youth hostelling all over the world and am a life member of YHANZ  (hosteling international NZ) that being so,  here are two New Zealand YHA hostels to consider.

NOTE: A ‘backpacker hostel’ is not a ‘youth hostel”  – they are a world wide chain started ( I  think I remember correctly ) in Switzerland in the 1920s, while  backpacker hostels are usually commercial enterprises. when I travel given the choice I always choose the hostelling International chain/organisation as I know their standards and community involvement

YHA Rotorua Treks
Rotorua’s finest lodge, YHA Rotorua Treks offers budget backpacker accommodation right beside Kuirau Park, Rotorua’s free geothermal attraction, and only two minutes walk from shops, cafes, restaurants and beautiful Lake Rotorua.

There is a wide range of backpacker accommodation to choose from at YHA Rotorua Treks Backpackers: 4 bed share rooms, 6 bed bunk rooms, triple room, standard double rooms, twin/double ensuite rooms. This Rotorua hostel has a choice of indoor or outdoor dining at this Rotorua hostel with a spacious modern kitchen as well a large outdoor deck and BBQ. Communal backpacker facilities include a comfortable separate lounge and TV room with lots of DVDs to watch and a coin operated laundry.

Top 3 activities to do while backpacking in Rotorua:

  • Rotorua is famous for geothermal activity: visit boiling mud pools, see towering geysers and soak in the hot mineral spas.
  • Experience the unique aspects of Maori culture – their traditions, music, arts and craft and delicious hangi (traditional feast).
  • Experience the beauty of Rotorua’s unique bush and lake environments: go hiking, lake kayaking, horse-riding, wild-life viewing, bush walking or mountain-biking.

YHA Springfield (South Island)
The YHA Springfield hostel is one of Springfield’s oldest homes starting its history back in the 1870s as a guesthouse for the Bullock trains passing through. Set on just over one acre of grounds it offers plenty of space for rest and enjoyment and been extensively renovated with all modern backpacking facilities. Backpacker accommodation at YHA Springfield, Smylies Accommodation consists of twins, doubles and multi-share rooms, studio motel and a two bedroom family unit. YHA Springfield backpacker hostel has full recycling facilities to minimize our carbon footprint.

There is an extensive collection of English and Japanese books to be found on the bookshelves and in the TV lounge we have a good collection of videos and DVDs as well as broadband internet. Winter favourites at the YHA Springfield hostel include Japanese bath and kotatsu and skiers love the ski tune up room and drying room. YHA Springfield, Smylies Accommodation also has a popular Japanese restaurant on site.

If skiing at Porters ski field, travel in comfort in one of YHA Springfield’s certified 4wd vehicles.

Top 3 activities to do while backpacking in Springfield:

  • Skiiing: many of the South Island’s best ski fields are close to Springfield including Mt Hutt and Porters.
  • Catch the Tranz Alpine train from Springfield to Arthur’s Pass and back again for a brilliant day’s excursion for some glorious New Zealand alpine views.
  • Castle Hill Reserve basin is famous for its limestone rock formations and bouldering / rock-climbing.

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