We stayed here to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Unfortunately for us, we came the day after the eruption. However, the reception was helpful in finding alternative tracks and shuttles if needed. Another big plus was the free equipment hire as NZ is known to have all four seasons in one day. We borrowed rain pants, and another person in our party borrowed a day pack, rain jacket, and rain pants. They had some really nice bags, and all in all I'd say the equipment was in good condition, even though luckily we didn't end up needing most of it on our hike.
The hostel itself was clean, and attracted a variety of people. Seems there were just as many fishermen as hikers. There was a large kitchen and dining area that encouraged socializing. The bathrooms were clean, although the showers just had curtains and not actual doors in case you are a stickler for security. There was a real door to the bathroom, but not sure if you could lock that. The toilets did have locking doors on them. Outside doors locked at night, and you were granted a key on arrival to let yourself in.
A big plus was the grocery store was a very short walk away as well as the iSite center. A post office wasn't far off either.
The only negative we found was the laundry room hours. It seemed to close earlier than most. We did like how they had a rope running along the interior of the 'hallway' to hang wet items though. Also, it was nice that they had a bedside lamp in addition to the overhead light for when it got close to bedtime. All in all, we liked it lots!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.