Kiwi International Hotel– 411 Queen Street, Auckland
This hotel is located at the top of Queen Street which is a prime location in Auckland. It was a decent place to stay for the price but there was no air conditioning and the ventilation was horrible making it very warm and uncomfortable to sleep. Each room has a private bathroom but there are also communal showers and toilets. The elevator did not work so well and came about 15 minutes after hitting the call button, so if you are traveling with a lot of luggage I do not recommend you stay here.
The Langham– 83 Symonds Street, Auckland
Beautiful hotel with great amenities The hotel provides access to the 2nd floor outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and spa that holds a luxurious sauna and steam room. The hotel was very clean and the beds were very comfortable, although extremely small. The breakfast brunch was expansive and everything was delicious, but very expensive. The location of the hotel was at the corner of Symonds Street and K’rd, so although it was a far walk to the bottom of Queen Street, there is a shuttle that services on the quarter after and quarter to of each hour. The airport shuttle also drops off right in front of the hotel and there is an inner link bus stop around the corner on K’rd. This hotel was a little far from everything in terms of walking but public transportation to and from the hotel is very convenient.
Crash Palace Backpackers– 1271 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
This is my first experience in a backpackers/hostel and after this one I have high expectations. This backpackers was in a great location; a block from Lake Rotorua and the Polynesian Spa and less than a 5 minute walk to the heart of town where there are rows of restaurants, cafes and shops. Crash Palace has a heated hot tub, a small bar/dance area with DJ equipment and 2 communal kitchens and lounge areas with billiards tables. There is a large courtyard terrace with a table, bar area and very comfortable chairs to relax outdoors. There are dormitory or private rooms and both use the communal bathroom facilities. Linens and towels are provided. The staff working at Crash Palace was very fun and down to earth. The owner is a DJ in Rotorua and he organizes a pub crawl each weekend to the bars he has connections with. The hotel staff guide you through the pub crawl giving you priority access and discounts at each location.
Karioi Lodge- 5b Whaanga Road, RD3 Whale Bay Raglan
This backpackers was very comfortable and unique. It is on a very large area of land and is very safe; safe enough to not have locks on the doors. There are about 20 rooms all with bunk beds and on different levels of the mountain. There are two kitchens; one very large and a smaller one. The large kitchen is attached to a large dining area with a pool table, couches and a large TV. This is a “surfing” backpackers with trained instructors who help groups learn how to surf during their stay. The instructors were very helpful and everyone in our group learned how to surf!
Waitomo Caves Top 10 Holiday Park- 12 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo
My favorite backpackers. It was cabin style living, each cabin had a different amount of beds with a sink, mini refrigerator and table with chairs. The beds were very comfortable and the room and kitchen facilities were very clean. There was a very large communal kitchen and outdoor BBQ area. There was also parking and camping room for vans and families who are traveling in campers.
Bay of Islands:
Base PiPi Patch– 18 Kings Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Great location to stay at while in Paihia. Very short walk to the center of town, the beach, and to nearby restaurants. Has an optional BBQ dinner each night for visitors (incurs an extra cost) and has a bar at the hotel. Also has a pool and a Jacuzzi!
Kiwi Base Camp- 69 Bealey Ave, Christchurch, New Zealand
Good location and price but I would recommend bringing a sleeping bag because there was no way I was getting under those covers!
Base Backpackers- 47-49 Shotover Street, Queenstown, New Zealand
Best Backpackers in Queenstown, in the heart of the town with great prices and rooms. Each room has it’s own bathroom and the check-in desk is open 24/7. They also have a very helpful trip adviser to help plan trips all around the Pacific.
Elm Lodge- 74 Elm Row, Dunedin, New Zealand
Not the best location, it was up a very large hill and a little out of the city center but the facilities were nice. A lot of bathrooms and shower, free internet and good price.
Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay– 30 Pitt Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Amazing location! The Marriott is on the street next too George, which is the main street for nightlife and shopping in Sydney. It is also a five minute walking distance to The Rocks, and ten minutes from the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The rooms were nice, the breakfast buffet was nothing special but the restaurant bar area in the lobby had great food! I recommend staying at this hotel because it was very central to all of the main Sydney attractions. Another plus was that the hop on/hop off bus started right outside of our hotel and doing this tour was a great way to see the city and get too and from different sites.