I hadn’t booked any accommodation for Hokitika and while I was in Punakaiki, I was trying to figure out where I was going to stay. I did some research online and also checked the Rough Guide of New Zealand which I’d brought with me. I wanted to stay in the Drifting Sands hostel. They were full for the night of the 27th February but had space on the 28th, which was no good to me. I didn’t want to have to check out after one night and move somewhere else.
It looked like all the good hostels were at least 3km out of town – a forty minute walk, which would mean relying on them to pick me up in the evenings, as I didn’t have a car. I didn’t want that either. B & B’s and lodges in the centre were too expensive for me, being on a budget, so my only option left, if I wanted to stay in town was at the Mountain Jade Backpackers.
This hostel didn’t have good reviews in the Rough Guidebook or in the BBH hostel guide, so I wasn’t expecting too much from it. The only thing they had left for the days I wanted, was a self-contained unit for both the 27th and 28th for 60NZD. So I thought “feck it, I’ll book it, even though it’s a bit on the pricey side”. I was very pleasantly surprised though.
The hostel was really nice. The self-contained unit had an ensuite bathroom, four bunks: two single and two double, one double already made up for me, with a t.v. and a well equipped kitchen. It was very clean. I really liked it. The unit was in a building separated from the main hostel. When I arrived, John, one of the new owners of the hostel explained what attractions there were in Hokitika such as the history museum, the kiwi centre, the sock museum, Sunset Point etc and showed me on the map where they all were.
He also mentioned that there was a glow worm dell on the outskirts of town and told me about many of the walks that I could do to keep myself busy. He was extremely helpful and the rest of the hostel was very cosy and clean, with a big open living room. I don’t know where the bad reviews came from but I had no complaints at all about this hostel. I was very impressed by it.