“ Address: 292 Wakefield St. / (Cnr Cambridge Tce) / Wellington / New Zealand „
I stayed in the YHA in Wellington whilst backpacking in 2006/2007. I stayed there on a few occassions whilst using the kiwi experience bus.
I found the reception staff very friendly and helpful. They did not rush you and were happy to chat about the best places in town to visit and eat. They were also honestly interested in where else you have travelled and where you were heading, making you feel very welcome! they also happily joined us in the common room during the time off making it a very laid back atmosphere!
the kitchen in the YHA was very large, with plenty of room to store food int eh fridges and cuboards. It was also pretty cleaned and was one of the few hostels where i saw a real cleaner!!
The rooms in the hostel were also pretty clean and spacious for a hotel! you didnt feel like you were been crammed into a broom closet! The bedding was also all nice and fesh!
If you get a YHA discount card, you will also recieve money off every night you spend in a YHA hostel, its worth the investment if you are spending a lot of time in these hostels.
The hostel is within easy walking distance of the main town and it right next to the supermarket! a 10 minute walk will get you to a small beach and in the other direction will take you to the museum!
This was one of the best hostels i stayed in whilst in Wellington and i would definitley recommend this to other backpackers!
Well what was I really expecting? It is, after all, a YHA so I know I am guaranteed a clean, sterile bed for the night and yes that is exactly what I got, nothing more, nothing less. Like all YHAs I have ever stayed in, it looks like a hotel, offers hotel rooms and shoves a few dorms in to fulfil that budget perogative. It is not the cheapest dorm bed in the city (which ultimately suffers from a lack of decent backpackers', whereas the rest of New Zealand has some of the finest budget accomodation in the world!) but it is relatively pleasant, if, I say again, sterile.
However, the key feature is it's location! It's just off Courtney Place, Wellington's going-out street and very close to the beach, the shopping streets of Wellington, supermarket and all such facilities. Wellington is a wonderful City, one of my favourite in the world, and this place offers the premium location to explore all that it offers.
It also offers a decent amount of information about the city and NZ in general and the staff were pleasant and knowledgable.
I've stayed in the YHA Wellington a few times over the years, the first in 2002. I liked the hostel enough that when I decided to spend a few days in Wellington at the start of 2008, I never even considered other hotels or hostels in the city.
I booked online at www.yha.co.nz which is a very easy-to-use website and all tariffs and availably is clearly marked, though I recall getting frustrated because, looking for a single room, I was told such a thing was unavailable. However, a single room was available for two out of the six nights I was at the hostel and is a flaw in the booking system. This is/was consistent for all YHA hostel bookings, not just Wellington, so it's wise to play around with the booking form if you can't immediately get what you're looking for (or alternatively contact the hostel direct).
Wellington YHA is situated on the corner of Wakefield Street and Cambridge Terrace, I found the hostel to be ideally placed for exploration around Wellington city centre. It seemed like a fair hike from the train station (which was how I arrived, cold and wet, all those years ago), but it's only about a mile and a half and the bus route from the airport stops about ninety seconds walk away.
The hostel is close to a number of really good bars and restaurants and about five minutes walk from the main shopping area. There are also a number of good tourist attractions within a few minutes' walk of the hostel, such as Te Papa, the national museum. If you want to avoid the backpacker crowds at night, it's easy to do as a lot of backpackers tend to stay within a few minutes' walk of the hostels (there are two large hostels in the area, including the YHA). By spreading our wings just a little further, my new found chums and I were able to find a couple of bars and cafes that weren't rammed to the rafters with backpackers.
Each time I've used the hostel, I've stayed in a twin room (sometimes shared with travelling chums, sometimes on my own), which were always clean and easily big enough for two people and their bags. There weren't any storage facilities for clothes like a wardrobe or anything except for a few hooks on the door, but there was a desk-type thingy and a chair and the beds were very comfortable.
The staff members that I encountered were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and always approachable. I caught one girl just as the front desk was closing one night and asked her advice about things I was planning on doing while in the city. We were still chatting over half an hour later and ended up taking the conversation to a nearby pub so that the front desk could actually close. Both check-in and check-out were also quick, but still pleasant. The reception area was always busy with people looking for interest tokens or advice or wanting to make a travel booking and the staff seemed to deal with people efficiently, meaning I was never hanging around for too long when I needed to talk to someone.
The facilities were great and clean. The kitchen area was large, big enough for several groups of people to cook at one time without getting in each others' way and, handily, the hostel was thirty seconds walk from a large supermarket. The internet room contained about ten PCs and was always busy, though not always packed out. The showers and toilets were always spotless, as was the laundry area.
Unlike Surf n Snow hostel in Auckland, the Wellington YHA appears to be very modern in that very little around the hostel showed any signs of wear and tear. Surf n Snow, which undoubtedly clean, did show signs of being a pretty ragged around the edges.
Compared to other hostels I've stayed in over the years, one thing I've found constant about YHA Wellington is that it's easy to meet and talk to other people. There are TV rooms, game rooms, kitchens and dining areas where there are always people milling around and as long as you're not interrupting their lunch or dinner, they will happily talk to you. Why some hostels are better for meeting other people and others are poor is a mystery to me, but I've met a lot of nice people at YHA Wellington.
During the five weeks I spent in New Zealand in March 2008, the Wellington YHA was by far the best hostel I stayed in. It was clean and modern and comfortable, with the added bonus of being near most things I was interested in and the vibe around the hostel meant it was easy to meet and talk to people. Now, with the likes of Base Backpackers opening nearby (aimed more at younger travellers looking to party), the Wellington YHA is better suited to those wanting a slightly quieter life.
Room rates during the time I stayed were approximately NZ$75 per night (twin room) with exchange rate making that around £26 per night. Cheaper options are available (e.g. dorms).