The only reason why we came into the Mainstreet Lodge was because Mike, the owner, promised he had work for us.
Kaitaia is not really the place you want to hang around when you're in New Zealand.
At the beginning Mike seemed to be really nice. We met him at a campground near Cape Reinga.
We talked and he offered us work at a kumara farm so we swapped mail adresses and kept in touch.
He told us he'd mail us the exact date (which was supposed to be the 6th of February) when the work would start.
A week later we decided to come around a few days earlier before the work would've actually started but when we got there Maik told us it would take another 1,5 weeks until we could start harvesting.
We were quite annoyed because we kept in touch via mail up until the day we had arrived at the hostel and he knew that it wouldn't start on the 6th BEFORE we came.
After that we talked to some other Backpackers who knew the farmer and they told us the work wouldn't start until end of Feburary.
They also explained that this was a usual thing going on. There were some people who were already waiting for more than 3 weeks to start work.
Basically what Mike does is get the people to stay at his hostel by promising them work and letting them wait.
Sometimes he offers work for 4 hours daily in his hostel to pay off the room (which would be a wage of 5$ for an hour of work).
But not only is he a liar, he is one of the most disrespectful persons we've ever met.
He likes to call the people in his worker house 'Lazy Bastards' because the tiny kitchen sometimes happens to be a sightly bit untidy (which is not a big surprise when there are about 20 young adults living together).
One time we were standing in front of a room talking to an elderly lady when Mike wanted to go through and he just coughed a bit to get our attention to step aside just because he didn't want to go around on the grass! It needs to be mentioned that the rooms are situated around a small footpath and in the middle is grass. You can't even call it a detour walking across the grass instead of using the footpath.
Another unbelievable thing that happened was that he promised us a double room since we were there as a couple but then he put us in a 4-bed dorm room. The room was empty so it was ok but after 5 days he kicked us out, telling us we should sleep in our car over the weekend because he wanted to have the money for a full dorm room.
Finally we decided to pack our things and leave.
Just to mention a few other things, in those 5 days we spent in this hostel we've seen cockroackes crawling over the floor and every person we talked to in the hostel didn't enjoy their time there. They all felt pretty much betrayed and used.
Not once did Mike seem to enjoy what he was doing, nor did he seem to like meeting people from other countries and having their company.
It appears to us as if he is doing his job only for the money and tries to get more and more money our of the travellers pockets by charging for example 10$ for 100MB wifi/kicking people out of the rooms...)
Mike really is two-faced and he won't show you his real face at the reception.
So Mike if you're reading this which I'm sure you do since we've send you the link via mail, maybe you should think about going back to your old profession of being a car dealer in England.
To us that seems to be the job you'd be "GREAT" at. ;)
Marvin,Vivi & Johnny
- Also Known As:
- Mainstreet Lodge Kaitaia, New Zealand - North Island