Base Backpackers is a popular hostel with various locations in and around Australia and New Zealand. During my time in New Zealand, I was lucky enough to stay in five of these. This included stays in Queenstown, Wanaka, Wellington, Taupo and Auckland.
My flight from Brisbane landed in Queenstown, and for April, it was unseasonably cold. In fact, it had snowed over night, which provided stunning views of snow-dusted mountains as we approached the runway at the airport. After spending almost six months in Australia, where the temperature often exceeded thirty degrees and sometimes hit forty, the freshness in the Queenstown air was certainly noticeable as soon as we stepped off the plane.
Base Queenstown is located along Shotover Street, which is seen by many as the main hub of everything that goes on. You’re able to book a bungy jump, skydive, quad biking, jet boat adventure and canyon swing all within a few metres of each other. There is also the famous Ferg Burger, which is definitely worth a visit with its delicious offerings, causing a lengthy queue out of the door on a regular basis. I thought immediately how ideally located the hostel was.
It was great to check into our twin room, get settled in and warmed up. I love campervan travel for many reasons, but after spending 18 days in one during my time in Australia, it was lovely to be able to sleep in a proper bed with thick blankets and plump pillows. With it being so cold outside, it was cosy to be able to snuggle up in bed with a cup of tea and watch the buzzing Queenstown visitors pass by our window.
In our twin room we had our own spacious en suite with a powerful and hot shower, and enjoyed an all-you-can eat continental breakfast each morning. There was a wide selection of cereal, toast, spreads, juice, tea and coffee to choose from; and we were able to eat as much of it as w
The hostel runs various activities and events for guests, including pool tournaments and quiz nights. This is a great way to get involved in the hostel atmosphere and meet like-minded backpackers and travellers.
About an hour’s drive north of Queenstown is the equally beautiful and small Wanaka, which is known for its huge, stunning untouched lake. The Base hostel is also very centrally positioned; literally a two minute walk to the front of the lake. I noticed how modern the place felt, it was clearly a newly renovated building. This time, we had a double room each, which was rather luxurious indeed. I made the most of the complimentary tea and coffee before venturing into the town and admiring the perfect lake views.
The first true city experience we encountered was following our ferry trip over to the capital, Wellington. Once again, the hostel was based right in the centre. This hostel was huge and much bigger than the others we had stayed in, which I guess makes sense as it is city-based. It was within a very impressive, old fashioned building which had a noticeable unique atmosphere and personality about it. We were on the 8th floor, which highlights its size!
We made the most of the happy hour at the basement bar, and were even lucky enough to get a delicious meal with our drinks (sausage casserole and rice). As a backpacker, you really appreciate that kind of food, as it doesn’t come along very often! The hostel regularly organises a bar crawl, which involves free drinks at local bars. Wonderful!
We were once again treated to an all-you-can eat breakfast, I often chose muesli accompanied with peaches and yoghurt, which was a great start to the day and gave me a lot of energy to keep exploring the wonders that New Zealand has to offer!
Our next stop was Taupo, which is home to New Zealand’s largest lake. It was created by a volcanic eruption some 26,000 years ago, and provides a stunning view of almost endless blue waters. The Base hostel overlooks the lake and we certainly had close impressive sights of it from our individual double rooms. It was great to wake up in the morning and take in the beauty as the sun rose and reflected on the still surface.
We made the most of the bar offe
Last but certainly not least, we stayed for two weeks in Auckland. As ever, the hostel had a very convenient central location, right in the hub of the CBD. This one probably proved to be the largest we stayed in, and I really couldn’t believe its size. The reception area was spacious and offered plenty of services such as a gym pass and access to Airbus tickets for those catching a flight from the nearby airport.
Just a few metres away from reception sat a large dining table and computer area, for people to sit and use their laptops. Breakfast also took place here, and we enjoyed our usual continental breakfast, and even had the o
We often cooked our own food using the impressive kitchen facilities. This area was also a good size, and all the necessary utensils were easily available. There were at least 20 cooking hobs, six sinks, microwaves, toasted sandwich makers and readily boiled water, alongside a large seating area.
Base Auckland is home to three bars, all of which have a different focus. We participated in quiz nights in one, and lively clubbing nights in another. We also got the opportunity to see a local rugby game at Eden Park; Auckland Blues vs Bulls. This was all organised by the hostel; for just $30 we received a match ticket, a drinks voucher and train transport to the stadium. It was a great night and I felt so pleased to be able to see my first live rugby game after seeing a lot of other sporting events on my travels so far.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Base Backpackers during my time in New Zealand. Each location really provided everything we needed. We always received a friendly and helpful service from the staff and enjoyed being so close to the attractions and significant sights in each place. The facilities were very impressive, and our cosy rooms really made each location feel like home away from home.
Base Backpackers have locations in a lot of significant towns and cities throughout Australia and New Zealand, and I really believe that staying here will make your travels even more enjoyable. It is easy to become familiar with the facilities and services they provide, and you really know what you’re going to get. I was not disappointed at any location and would certainly recommend it to other backpackers and travellers who are looking for a clean and safe stay with friendly staff, excellent facilities and the availability of loads of activities for guests.