As our exploration of New Zealand’s North Island was coming to a close, we drove the four and a half hours from National Park to Wellington.
Wellington is the perfect blend of past, present, and future. With beaches that span the surrounding bay and free museums that could entertain every traveler, there is always something to do in the capital no matter the weather. Wellington is a booming city by New Zealand standards, and slightly overwhelming if you’re not keen on city driving. But, fear not, if I could do it so can you!
Since we had an early ferry to catch in the morning, we wanted to stay somewhere both central and close to the port. YHA Wellington City was not only in the heart of everything, but only a five minute drive (or twenty minute walk) to the the port! This made checking into our ferry at 7am the next morning far more bearable.
We checked into our twin room with an ensuite bathroom and found it to be quite comfortable. We were given complimentary tea, coffee, and chocolates too.
The amenities at YHA Wellington City are absolutely fantastic. Not only is there free WiFi, parking, and a bike cage, but an absolutely huge common area and kitchen, game room, reading room, and laundry room with a view!
The hostel is incredibly clean and well-kept, to the point where it should really be deemed a hotel not a hostel. There is even a café in the lobby!
Each day YHA Wellington City hosts a variety of events from movie nights to food nights to walking tours and beyond. They offered “Taste of Lebanon” the night we arrived, and the food smelled delicious. Should you opt out of the hostel’s activities, the Te Papa Museum is located only a five minute walk from the doors of the hostel, which couldn’t be better! Te Papa Museum is free to the general public. Feel free to explore the entire museum at once or just pop in throughout your time in Wellington to explore the countless impressive exhibits on New Zealand culture, art, and innovation.
While YHA Wellington City is extremely close to all bars and restaurants, there is also a big supermarket right out the front door. For those backpackers on a budget, I found that placement to be ideal. We did, however, decide to eat out and had a fantastic meal at Chu, a restaurant specializing in Asian cuisine; their servings are quite big and their prices are right.
There were people of all ages residing at YHA Wellington City, and all interacting. What impressed me most was that the hallways were absolutely silent at all times. We could have gone to bed at 8pm with no problems had we wanted to; this is quite a rarity for a hostel!
Bearing in mind that we had an early morning coming up, we opted not to check out the night scene and preferred a quiet night in. YHA Wellington City has succeeded in raising the standards for hostels everywhere.
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**Special thanks to YHA Wellington City and Air New Zealand for sponsoring our journey. As always, all opinions are my own. Photographs taken by David M Gallo Photography.