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“Great place !”
Review of Rongo Backpackers

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Rongo Backpackers
Wellington
2 reviews
“Great place !”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Stayed here after biking the Heaphy track. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Paul the owner was happy to advise us on other attractions in town. The backpackers has a great vibe with an eclectic mix of decor, murals and old-school furnishings which together make it a very homely place. We were able to store our bikes in a dedicated shipping container so slept well knowing they were safe and sound.

Unfortunately we arrived in the evening and headed off first thing the following day so were unable to utilise the excellent facilties such as Pizza oven, BBQ and outside area etc but really appreciated the coffee in the morning. Stayed in the "Rasta" dorm and it was great to have a duvet instead of having to use sleeping bags. The baches look pretty cool and would definitely try these if in town again.

Paul the owner is obviously very passionate about the Karamea region and was happy to share his tips for what to see and do around the region.

Had to laugh at a couple of whiney reviews (such as the people who thought that even though they weren't staying there they should be able to use the facilities anyway) as this was one of the better places I have stayed and it seems the vast majority of customers agree.

It's also only 150m away from the local pub which is pretty cool.

Would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dave G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M, Owner at Rongo Backpackers, responded to this review, October 3, 2013
Cheers Dave. It was a pleasure to meet you and your friends and I'm glad you enjoyed staying with us. I hope the Heaphy Track MTBing season continues as we have had a LOT of positive feedback from mountain bikers after finishing the track and the winter trade for our business has been most helpful...thanks for staying with us and please come on back again soon.
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51 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Nelson, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We came by the Rongo Backpackers Hostel yesterday afternoon for the first time and when we walked in a weird atmosphere came across us. The girl at the front desk unfortunately did not speak very well english and did not understand us clearly while we were just asking for what was going on in town that night hoping that there would be other travelers to hang out with. We didnt intend to stay anyway so we left and came back this morning to ask if we could maybe pay to use the kitchen and to hang out in the common room for some music and nice talks, but again we were disappointed and sent away. Its sad that a place that calles itself part of "global peace" is so much just about money ($30. IS indeed very expencive for a dorm bed, 20$ per person to sleep in the car outside anyway) Very sad that we couldnt be a part of the group there to hang out just because of the fact that we did not have enough money to pay for it.

Not a place that should honestly call itself gypsyparadise if it is actually made for the new age hipster who wants to pretend being a gypsy since it became "cool" in the modern world".

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jorrit D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M, Owner at Rongo Backpackers, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Hi Jorrit D,

I'm sorry you weren't able to stay at Rongo. Rongo is a business and we provide services for paying guests, it is not a public facility. There is an unwritten agreement we have with our guests, that is to provide them with privacy, safety and security. To allow you to "hang out in the common room for some music and nice talks" would compromise that agreement.

The facilities and services we provide, like wifi, radio station, cinema, fire bath, hot showers, kitchen, common room, musical instruments, cinema, organic vegetable gardens etc are also for guests paying to stay with us. To allow you to use the kitchen would also have compromised that commitment to our paying guests.

Rongo is staffed by volunteers from all over the world. They do an excellent job of looking after the hostel and our guests. As the owner of the hostel, I have asked that they focus on providing top service to our guests and to turn away people who choose not to pay for that service.

For the record, Rongo does not claim to a "Gypsy Paradise," but it is a peaceful place for travellers to stay and enjoy the Karamea region and life in New Zealand. In order to provide such a facility, there is a financial cost that must me covered. We consider that our pricing is very reasonable for the range of services and quality of facilities that are provided and offer every 4th night free for people who decide to stay with us.

There is a public information centre in Karamea that provides the information services for free. I'm certain that the Rongo staff member you met was polite and helpful, but he or she was not likely to know everything that is going on in the region. I hope that you went to the information centre and found the information you were looking for.

I commend my staff for following the protocols we have established over the nine years Rongo has been offering accommodation and other services to travellers from all over the world and am disappointed to read such a negative and unfair review from someone who didn't even stay with us.
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Yes "Saffron" aka Annie - we did have a great time didn't we - old school locals staying at the backpackers - loved it and will def stay there again in the future..loved the omeletes for breakfast and the herbal tea was simply YUM...
Really enjoyed meeting all of the travellers & woofers! Everyone is so friendly.

Room Tip: Don't share a room with a "friend" who will hit you in the face with a pillow just bec...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chritty63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M, Owner at Rongo Backpackers, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write such a lovely review of Rongo Chritty63, I'm very glad you enjoyed staying with us and please come on back again any time soon!
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Lyttelton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

After a long drive and walk to the caves and arches we decided to stay in Karamea and stopped at Rongo....I was kinda drawn to it, what a colorful and warm place! Full of different kind of arts and friendly people from all over the world!
Our girls connected real quick and loved it as we did.
The lovely breakfast for just $ 5 per person was great, you can book it the night before - homemade bread and jam -yamm!
A shame we had to leave.....I will come back for the next time out and to learn more about " living in peace"! - Namaste :)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Charlotte T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M, Owner at Rongo Backpackers, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind words Charlotte. I'm very glad you and the girls enjoyed staying with us and yes, please come on back and stay a little longer next time...every 4th night at Rongo is FREE!

Thanks again and I hope to see you again soon.
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Cervena Voda
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Me and my gilfriend did a great one year trip around the world. In the end of this journey, we were staying in Rongo. Its great place with great people, amazing nature, inspirative, We hope, we will visit this place again. Thanx a lot ! David and Hana, Czech rep.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dav S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M, Owner at Rongo Backpackers, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Hi Dav, thanks for taking the time to write such a nice thing about Rongo...I'm glad you enjoyed staying with us and thanks also for David and Hana for recommending our place!
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Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Had a great couple of days here in March. My friends hadn't stayed in a backpackers before and also had not heard of wwoofers (willing workers on organic farms) so it was a new experience for them. I thoroughly enjoyed the Friday evening organic communal meal, this set Rongo apart from other backpackers, it was a great atmosphere sitting around the table sharing the meal.
Rongo was clean and the staff were always available to answer any questions.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Annmarie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M, Owner at Rongo Backpackers, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Thanks a lot for your lovely review Saffron, I'm very pleased you enjoyed staying with us and the Friday dinner. Please come back again soon!
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Hayling Island, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Well, came for 1 day and stayed for 4!!!
Fabulous place and great people too. Even for those of us who 'may' be a tad older than your average backpacker, this place was a treat --- welcoming, friendly and fun.
Very 'quirky' ---- in an 'interesting, colourful, comfy ' way --- with really good underpinning philosophy supporting conservation and self sustainability.
Certainly the best place we found to just relax, be involved in things if we wanted to be, and just watch the world go by.
Thank you Paul, Sanae, Sean and all the others there, for taking good care of us! Would strongly recommend others to visit.

Mary & Derek -UK.

Room Tip: We are travelling in a camper van. Rongo's has 1 power site so possible for us to hook up but st...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M, Owner at Rongo Backpackers, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Thank you Mary and Derek, it was a pleasure to host you both and please come on back again any time. Thank you also for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Rongo and for your kind words.

Happy Trails from Paul and the Rongolians.
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Additional Information about Rongo Backpackers

Property: Rongo Backpackers
Address: 130 Waverley Street | P.O. Box 54, Karamea, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Karamea
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Karamea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
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