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YHA Wanaka
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Reviews (381)
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Reviewed December 5, 2013

My first night I was in an all female dorm in the main building-it was very cramped and crowded...for my next three night stay I ended up in one of the six bed (co-ed) dorms in the back...it's been excellent-roomy-has a kitchenette...and space to breathe...and a bit removed from the main scene. Staff have been helpful. Internet costs $5 for non YHA members so cost out whether it makes sense to join. They will do activity bookings as well as onward accommodation bookings. Even though it says YHA, all ages represented here.

Room Tip: Ask for a six bed dorm out back if you don't mind co-ed dorms
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank TA L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Wanaka is a very nice little town, but this accommodation was very unpleasant, overpriced. Why put TV in the room if its not working? Probably one of those places I would not come back, not worth a price. Good that we stayed only for one night.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ugne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here in a group of 5 and booked into a 6 bed dorm- we were all pleasantly surprised by what we were presented with- a self contained unit with ensuite bathroom and kitchenette!

This was luxury for a group of backpackers! The room was spotless and the beds really comfy- the bunks weren't difficult to climb onto, either like they can be in other hostels!

Have to pay for wifi if a non yha member- but it was super fast and accessible in our room.

Really impressed and would recommend it!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
Thank RebeccaJDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2013

Wanaka, I understand is not visited by too many people as they either stay longer in Queenstown, or just drive onto Franz Josef glacier, or vice versa. But, Wanaka is a very beautiful town, and the awesome lake is evidence to that. So don't miss out on a 1 or 2 nights stay in Wanaka, if you have the time. You will enjoy it very much.


When -


we were there in May and stayed for 2 nights.



Booking –


we booked directly on their YHA website, and got the best rate. As luck would have it, there was a sale going on, and as were are YHA members, we got a 20% discount on the rooms! I would suggest you take the YHA membership from the local YHA in your country, You can get other discounts throughout NZ as well with this. So get onto the YHA/ Hostelling International website, and get that membership. It was quite cheap back home!



Drive –


we actually drove from Te Anau to Wanaka, which was quite a long drive, but we had some stops along the way, especially at Jones ice cream stop that comes on the right when driving from Queenstown to Wanaka on the traditional older route that goes via Cromwell etc. We did not take the Crown range road, because we wanted to stop again at the jones ice cream, like we had when we were driving into Queenstown.

The drive to Wanaka is actually punctuated with a lot of wineries, but it was not a spectacular drive like the one from Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook, or from Mt Cook to Queenstown through the Lindis pass. It was quite an uneventful drive actually. But that was only until you actually get to Wanaka. Once there, it’s a beautiful place! Stunning lake against the backdrop of the hills. And very cold and chilly in May.



Check-in –


we had booked directly on the website for the self-contained cottage. On sale for YHA members we got it for NZ$ 85 per night! Check-in was fine, we showed out YHA card and we were shown our room. So go get that YHA membership now, from Hostelling international, and you can also get a host of other discounts at other attractions around NZ.

The YHA is well maintained and a good clean hostel, We got cottage 26A which could easily sleep 4 and had a kitchen. Just next to it is a smaller 26B for a couple. The lake view rooms are smaller and at the front of the hostel. Staff was friendly, though a bit particular about check-out time of 10 am. No, even 10.15 a.m not allowed we were told, so that’s a bit rigid there... There's a common TV room with a projector and screen and they play a movie on this every evening at 7 30. DVD's can be rented from the reception to watch here, or to watch in your room. But not all rooms have a DVD player.



Rooms –


our self-contained unit was clean and looked newly furnished with a fridge and full kitchen and TV with a music player, plus the heater of course. Private ensuite bath. tea and coffee and milk provided, lots of utensils, cutlery etc. We didn't need to use the common kitchen. Great rain-showers in the bath!



Location –


excellent location, just in front of the lake, about 5-min walk.. Also within a 5-min walk is a host of restaurants and cafe's and shops...The New world supermarket is also just 1 street away.. Puzzling World is about 10 min drive, you can read my full review of that... The best views of the Puzzling world are in fact on the outside, so I'd save a few $ here, and not go inside.



Finally, being a hostel, families and couples will always think twice about staying here, but it was absolutely fine. No noisy teens/ groups etc. This was the first time we stayed in a hostel with our 6-year-old, and it was absolutely safe and fun.. Book directly for good rates, and you can always buy groceries from the New World supermarket, and cook in the comfort of your private apt. Go for the self-contained rooms.


Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Get the YHA membership in your home country before coming to NZ for lots of discounts
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank RainmanMumbai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

After a couple of weeks staying in hostels with shared facilities we decided to treat ourselves to the deluxe double with ensuite at the Purple Cow. I could barely contain my surprise and delight when we were shown to a completely private little cabin with fully equipped modern kitchen and sparkling bathroom! It was like a home-away-from-home and I would 10/10 go back there and stay in the same room again. To top it off the staff were lovely and the location is perfect.

Room Tip: Spend the cash and go for the deluxe private room - totally worth it!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kelly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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