Sum it up: Slightly cramped, really friendly place with loads to do in the heart of the CBD.
My length of visit (for your reference): 10 nights
Cost: $21 NZD ($15.12 USD)/night for a 12 person dorm
- WiFi: Yes. You can pay for access by the day or week, or use an hour of free WiFi downstairs at the travel shop.
- Breakfast: No.
- Guest-Use Kitchen: Yes. Decent size, but the hostel is big, so it’s always bustling. Not a ton of room for your food, so go easy at the grocery.
- Bar/Kitchen: No, well, kind of. There’s a great bar right next door. Sometimes you go through the hostel, sometimes you go through the front, but the bar is great – killer deals on beer if you’re staying at the hostel and a pool tournament every night for a $100 bar tab.
- BYO: No. It’s a dry hostel (at least that’s what the rules say, I saw otherwise)
Location: In the middle of the CBD and other hostels.
Most of the hostels are on the same street, with a few others further up from the water. Easy walking distance to everything – the wharfs, the museum, library, etc. Anything in the city. The bus stops are really confusing, but all right there. There are also a bunch of bars and restaurants right nearby as well – go on the bar crawl and you’ll see a good selection.
Airport Transfers: No. The airport bus runs down Queen Street, the hostel is less than a 5 minute walk from the bus stop.
Hostel Overview: Would you go back? Definitely – I extended, twice.
Nothing about the hostel itself is flash, but everyone working and staying there had a great vibe. I stayed in a mixed dorm and about half of the folks were there my whole time, which meant we got to know each other, but also had fresh meat. It’s kind of cool that the bathrooms are mixed – with shower and toilet stalls, so they’re conveniently located. The hostel has city tours available Monday and Tuesdays, they even coordinated with another hostel to get a big group of people together to go to a rugby match. Not just good accommodation, but they’re good at connecting visitors to the city. There’s a bar crawl on Thursdays – $10 for a drink each at 4 bars. If you sign up in advance, you get an extra “shot” (gross cordial) at the first one, which is at the base of the other Nomad’s down the street. It’s a lot of fun – a ton of people to meet, fun bars, good drinks, reasonable prices, great music AND they do contests throughout the night for cool prizes (just be aware that they get increasingly embarrassing throughout the evening). The bar next door does a pool tournament every night, except Fridays, and because of their great hostel-friendly prices, is a great place to spend some time. Most people there are friendly, good prices, food is good (I hear – didn’t try any), and the music is good on the weekends. Not just a hostel bar – locals go there too.
The kitchen is adequately-sized and stocked, but the best part about it is the adjacent rooftop to eat on. You have a great view of the city.
Need to Know: If you book in advance and might extend, you may want to book the whole trip in advance. The price is higher when you don’t have a booking or are extending in person (though if you ask nicely, they’ll probably honor the price you already paid).
Pros/Cons: The people and vibe are great. Well worth a significant amount of time. Rooms are a bit cramped, and can get stuffy (and loud).