Introduction to New Zealand, Auckland and Base Hostels

I am now in New Zealand, the furthest away from home I have ever been!

When planning my travels China and New Zealand were my top destinations but with starting in China with all the wonderful countries in between I have just turned up without a clue. Luckily for me, Bekki and Nici we have booked a Kiwi Experience bus tour to take us around the two islands. 15 town/cities in a month with plenty of stops in between, exciting times!

If you’ve read my blogs from the start you’ll recognise Nici:

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We travelled China together back in October and we’re finally reunited to travel New Zealand!! Yaaay! 😀 If you speak German, check out Nici’s blog.

There is so much I want to do in New Zealand, I want to learn about the Mauri tribes and their culture and of course to see the Haka war dance. I also want to swim with dolphins, I want to ride a horse for the first time and I’m expecting to be wowed by the scenery of New Zealand. I’m actually going to dig a little deeper into my savings and do every activity I want to do!

So let’s get started… and of course, my blog is starting with a rant, I do love a rant.

Auckland Awk(ward)land

“It’s all about the Base, ’bout the Base” was the song I was singing on the Airbus from Auckland airport to Base Backpackers Hostel in the centre of town. Base was our first chain hostel of the trip. I don’t like chains, in my opinion they don’t work as well as independent hostels but we figured it was good value for money, a good place to potentially meet other people on our Kiwi Experience Bus Tour and was in the centre of town. But oh my, what a terrible introduction to a wonderful country…

We booked a 8 bed dorm a week in advance, however on arrival they separated our rooms. That’s fine, we really don’t mind being split up, but Bekki’s room smelt of urine and feet and my room had no windows and no empty beds on arrival. After speaking to reception, waiting around for 2 hours I found the cleaning staff myself and sorted it. Also what’s worse is that in my room were three German men who I wasn’t introduced to until 5am in the morning when they all stumbled in drunk…*hides under covers*. Now I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself (most days) but if I were a young new solo female traveller just beginning my travels, this would be damn right scary and daunting experience. Good thinking Base Hostel.

Base Backpackers was simply too big for it’s boots…10 floors, fully booked and so hostel-less people sleeping on every sofa dotted around, not enough staff and the staff there did not give any information on the hostel or the city. To get around the build we eventually found you could only use two lifts and you can’t move without swiping a key card – which wasn’t fun at 2am when a fire alarm went off and 200 people were queuing. It took them half an hour to realise they could unlock the stair case. Rant over…

Moral of that story, avoid Base Hostels.

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After going to the reception of another hostel we found that the main advice we were given was to get a ferry out of Auckland to see the skyline… no actual advice on what to see IN Auckland because there really isn’t much to do. We instead made up our own walking tour, wandered around a park, saw an art gallery and got a bus to the other end of the city to Mission Bay to see a far away glimpse of the skyline. We walked back to town which took two hours to get back to the city.

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Auckland skyline

The trip did end on a few good notes, firstly we discovered $5 Domino’s Pizza and secondly by chance I came across this lovely guy… James who I worked with when I was 18/19 back home! Small world indeed and I’m so glad to have seen him!

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Tomorrow we jump on board the big Kiwi Experience Bus to Hot Water Beach… I’m excited to leave New Zealand and see what the fuss is all about.

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