My travel route after finishing the majority of the North Island was a little wonky. I had made my way around and ended in Wellington, but then I was going back to Auckland, going to Paihia, then east to Gisborne, and back down to Wellington. If you look at a map it wasn’t the most efficient route, but it was the only way to get everything I wanted to see and do in. So the first stop time I stopped in Wellington it was just for a night. I stayed at Base.
Base Backpackers Wellington
Our bus group was either staying at Base or Nomads. On the Stray app Base was categorized as the preferred northbound hostel, which is why I went with it, but I don’t think it would have made much of a difference. I was in a six bed dorm and luckily I got a bottom bunk once again – score! Two of the people I was traveling with were also in the room so it was nice to be with some people you know and not all strangers. The hostel itself has a huge reception area and then a kitchen/lounge area the floor above it. The furniture in the lounge area could be really only described as shabby. The wifi wasn’t automatically working and you had to call support with reception if you wanted to be connected. This was the first hostel that I’ve been to that used a pin to enter the room or an app (so keyless entry). It was a cool tech upgrade to see a hostel utilizing.
The best thing that happened was that I was allowed to store my blue suitcase here for 2 weeks. I had planned to find a place in the city to store it and I would have been paying $8 a day at a random location. I was happy when Base said they could store it long term – they also didn’t end up charging me at all. I am incredibly thankful.
After my two weeks north and east (Christmas/NYE) when I went back to Welly I stayed at Base for another night. Thankfully, my suitcase was exactly where I left it. This time I booked a four-person dorm. I walked in and there was an ensuite bathroom (I must have booked, but didn’t realize) and nobody else in the room. Of course there’s always the possibility someone will come in later, but they didn’t so I pretty much had a private room. Thank you again, Base! Oh in the bathroom they also had some single use shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel; but instead of being in plastic bottles they were in eco paper packets. The company is called Ecostick and it’s really cool!
This wasn’t the trendiest/hippest place to be, but what they lacked in appearance they made up for it with their people/extra touches. The location was also great to going out and restaurants. I do recommend staying here.
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers
This place is interesting. I think at one point it was just a hotel and then it was converted to also being a hostel? I’m not sure. Our driver said that the last time the Queen was in town she stayed here (it was a dig that the Queen hadn’t been to the capital in ages). Not sure if it’s true, but that was what was the info passed on to me. This kind of reminded me of what accommodation would have been like in the 20s-40s, very much so like train car travel back in the day and really it still feels trapped in that time frame. I actually just looked it up and it was opened in 1937 and was commissioned to be built with the at the time new Wellington Railway Station.
I went for a private single room for the night and was happy with the decision so I’m not sure if was in the hotel or the backpackers category. My neighbor wasn’t the most considerate person, but I was happy to have my own space. The room was big enough to spread out my things and repack/discard some items. There was a tiny TV in the room and I watched some parts of movies (I can’t remember the last time I watched TV) and just chilled.
I choose this location because it was right across from the ferry terminal. I was told to be there by 7am so it was an easy walk across the street rather than being somewhere else in town. Walking to the main, center of town was only 20 minutes or a $7ish Uber.
If you are going on the early morning ferry to the South Island this is a good place to stay, otherwise I would skip it.