Queenstown – The Wonders of Winterfest….

30 06 2011

The Crew at Base Backpackers hostel Queenstown love this time of year!

Winterfest is in full swing,  It’s a great time to be traveling in New Zealand.

We started Winterfest with an epic fireworks display down at the lake, everyone turned out for it. The atmosphere was electric, and the town really came alive. From holiday makers, to snow seekers. From families, groups of friends, to travellers searching for work, everyone is loving Queenstown.

Each day there has been something to keep every age of Queenie’s guests entertained and excited. We’ve had the parades, the live music which is going all day and all night, the bird man comp (locals dressing up and making crazy outfits, jumping into the freezing cold lake )

There were  a few cold people that day,  including one of our very own Base crew who was out on the lake in his boat (which is called The Clap, no joke) when it started to sink, him and his boat were dragged to shore by a jet boat. The Jet boat racesmasquerade balls, charity boxing events, stars on ice, Mardi Gras parade, almost everything you can think of is bundled into this little town, full of excitement!

News flash we are starting to see a little bit of snow on the mountains now, and the nights are getting a heap colder. So everyone keep your fingers crossed for snow. We need you to pray, wish and beg for that first big dump of snow to happen….

see you again soon.

Base Queenstown Reception Team 🙂


Backpacking – “The Taupo Trap”

28 06 2011

Nau mai haere mai ki


 Welcome to “The great cloak of Tia” or as you know it Taupo, rated as the Mecca Backpacking tourism destination of the North Island. We are home to some of the worlds “must do activities” and places to stay, Including Base backpackers hostel Taupo 😉

As you drive into “Taupo” you are greeted with beautiful snow-capped picturesque mountains reflecting calm blue skies off the cleanest blue waters you can ever imagine.

Your Kiwi Bus driver hands around a list of hostels, and obviously recommends BASE BACKPACKERS TAUPO .

First a quick stop to take photo’s of  the mighty Huka Falls.  The boys at HUKA JET do a spin right before our eyes, as a teaser for those undecided on what to do.

We then board the bus to Spa Park, and go for a soak in the free hot water stream.

Nowhere in the world can you stand in water and have both HOT and COLD hitting at the same time –  a once in a lifetime experience.

 Just a hop skip and a jump away we hear the Bungy Team throwing their next victim off the bridge “God Help them I say”.

 Skydive Taupo’s Limo pulls up to collect the group of brave souls who choose to get in an extreme adrenalin fix.


Element bar opens the night with a pool comp, followed by some of the craziest Backpacker Parties you will ever go to. You drag yourself away, as you have an early start with  the Tongariro crossing( it’s rated right up there as one of the world’s top one day walks).

After conquering Tongariro or Mt Doom known to many, it’s down to business, the real reason we get on these buses, we start with a free BBQ thanks to our Element barstaff.  Resident DJ’s Scribble and Mana get us up on the bar for FREE body shots, or line us up with the cheapest Jagger bombs you can find. We of course guarantee a free hangover every night !! .



Taupo is notorious for getting backpackers stuck in what has been coined “The Taupo Trap” once you arrive you never want to leave.  It says a lot about the people and the place.


Written By Tessa Atutahi

Sunshine sunhine, go away come again another day…..

22 06 2011

Day 19 of no snow in Queenstown 😦 ……..

 The Crew and guests at Base Backpackers hostel Queenstown have their fingers and toes crossed for that first big dump to come. 


Everyone is getting excited to venture up Coronet and The Remarkables and be the first to ride through the fresh crisp snow. We’re all waiting for that buzz of cruising down the mountain listening to Glee, ummm I mean Shapeshifter album on our Ipod.

Even though we have no snow, the general buzz of Queenstown is keeping the smiles on people’s faces. With the vast amount of activities (over 600) we’re all managing to keep ourselves busy and entertained.  Lets be honest, with the Queenstown night life, which goes off every night, no sane person can get bored.  The Altitude Bar is the best value, with  crazy games and prizes 7 nights a week.

Plus the sun isn’t always a pain, secretly I think we’re all enjoying being able to sit outside with a beer on the sunny but chilly afternoons, and play around of Frisbee Golf or two. And we have got Winterfest starting on the 24th June (although I think it’ll be getting named Springfest this year!!) Winter/Springfest will be EPIC!!!! 10days of packed to the rafters of activities. From a Masquerade Ball to the Festival street parade to the Qtown Mardi Gras, Coronet night concert (party up in the mountains), Dodgeball championship are just to name a few, it’s going to go off!!!

Happy Travels

Hels (Superstar at Base Queenstown)

Base Bay of Islands Environmental Statement

20 06 2011

Base Backpackers Hostel in Bay Of Island’s Goes Green.

BASE Bay of Islands understands it plays a role in the global community’s stance on reducing environmental impacts and we’re taking our role seriously! We appointed a Sustainability Manager (that’s serious!) their job is to assess and improve the property’s environmental footprint.

Join the Base Bay of Islands crew in being stewards in preserving the environment, for us and future generations. 






Jess Ivess

Base Bay of Islands General Manager

$20 beds?!? Base Wanaka Backpackers cheapest in town!

3 06 2011

This June something special is happening at Base Wanaka Backpackers, they have started offering current guests the opportunity to extend their stay in a dorm for just $20.



 We went undercover to find out the harm this is causing certain inanimates in the hostel. Something so basic has been neglected, and this is the reception counters’ Till.

Quoted as saying ‘I don’t think people understand we must consume money to survive’ it said, while eyeing my wallet longingly ‘before this so-called deal I was well fed, and my baby coin floats were happy’

Now it seems the till has had to go on an enforced diet, not surprisingly all $20 bills. With such a lack of variety of notes for consumption the Till is thinking of applying for a job in the Mint Bar, but has heard that on Fridays the Till is forced to eat only $5 bills during the $5 Friday promotion where all house wine/beer and spirits are just $5.

The Till went on to say ‘I guess it’s not as bad as those guys in the bar, I’ll take a $20 over a $5 any day.’

Managers at Base Wanaka have assured the till that this $20 dorm bed deal will only last for a week or so more before it goes back to regular rates.



A Weekend in the Shire – Wellington

27 05 2011



Mir) Get yourself a hobbit name
Use “The Hobbit Name Generator” to discover your secret hobbit name. (“Bilbo Baggins” returns the name Bilbo Baggins, so it’s legit.)


Atta) Find a dwelling @ Base.
 Backpackers Wellington in the shadow of Mt Victoria (where most of your favourite Lord of the Rings scenes were shot) is a dream for, well, backpackers. Base Wellington offers a travel desk (where tours of the shire can be booked), a spacious TV/DVD lounge (where you can watch the scenes you’ve just re-enacted) and a Global Gossip Internet Café (where you can learn to speak Elfish). Also come meet our Hobbit loving staff, the friendliest this side of Bag End.

Ole) Devour breakfast… and then second breakfast
Fresh continental breakfast is served every morning @ Reception, it offers a range of cereals, delectable jams, local juice, coffee, tea and more and all for only $6.00. Since hobbits are known to enjoy “second breakfast”, we recommend Kapai Café, just around the corner on Courteney Place, which serves breakfast and brunch with heaps of vegetarians options!!! In addition to the herbivorically (it’s a word) inclined options, Kapai offers NZ staples like Chicken Long Johns and Beef Pukus,

Nelde) Follow the trails of Frodo and Gandalf
Follow in the footsteps of actors Elijah Wood and Sir Ian McKellen and choose from the tours offered by Ted and the guys @ Wellington Movie Tours. Depending on which trip you select, you could recreate up to 25 scenes from the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy. Possible locations include Mt Victoria, the “outer shire”, suburbs to the south of Welly where The Hobbit actors will live; the WETA Cave, a pop culture museum co-founded by Jackson; Stone Street Studio, where The Hobbit is currently in production; and Hutt Valley and Kaitoke Regional Park, home to gardens, rivers and elfish trees featured in the movies. The guys @ Wellington Movie Tours work in the movie industry and have the inside track on what’s going on.

Serious fanatics may want to head out of town for a weekend to take the Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour in Matamata – about six hours north of Wellington. Peter Jackson used Hobbiton’s private farmland – the Alexander family farm – as The Shire in his films.

Lemin) Have a spot of afternoon tea

It’s no surprise that hobbits take afternoon tea, since their creator was an Englishman. Martha’s Pantry on Cuba Street is definitely somewhere you could imagine Merry and Pippin hanging out. It serves high tea with multiple menus from which to choose. Tea varieties range from Mediterranean Mandarin to Turkish Apple and Keri Keri breakfast.

Ende) Crash the set of The Hobbit
A tweet from Sir Ian McKellen
leads us to believe that he and his cast-mates are currently shooting scenes at Stone Street Studios in the Miramar area of Wellington. The company does not offer public tours, but if you hang out outside for long enough, you’re likely to spot members of The Hobbit’s star-studded cast.

Otso) Chow down some more
As Pippin notes in the first Lord of the Rings movie, hobbits love to eat: “What about breakfast…What about second breakfast?…What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper?” That means, it’s time to eat again. What about the hobbit himself Martin Freeman’s favourite restaurants in Welly? Matterhorn, one of Welly’s many fair trade restaurants, it serves amazing Sicilian Mushroom Arancini.  According to Tolkien, mushrooms are a favourite hobbit food which grow abundantly in the Shire and was a favourite cast hang out during the shooting of the LOTR trilogy..

Olme) Phew!!!      

If you’re still not all Hobbitted out, you can visit Peter Jackson’s newly refurbished cinema Roxy in Miramar. Catch a movie and take time to take in the interior flourished by the Weta Workshop. (The guys who do the prop/digital/design work for Peter Jackson’s movies)(Although I’m sure at this stage I don’t need to tell you that!!!).

Olmet) ‘It comes in pints!’
After your Hobbit packed weekend of Tolkein-esque attractions, wind down with some ale, glorious ale. If there’s an activity hobbits enjoy more than eating, it’s probably drinking. For a night of frothy ales and beers, visit our very own Basement Bar. Party with Hobbit lovers from around the world and have a blast @ Welly’s funnest bar 7 days a week. For the thrifty amongst you (which let’s face it, is a characteristic backpackers and Hobbits share) look out for our $4.00 nights on Wed and Sat. 

Lempe) Enjoy.

Enjoy your Hobbit inspired weekend in officially (the Lonely Planet says so) the Coolest Little Capital in the World. Come back soon and as Gandalf might say,

“Farewell, my brave Hobbits. My work is now finished. Here at last, on the shores of the sea, comes the end of our Fellowship. I will not say “do not weep”, for not all tears are an evil. It is time”.

Coming Live from Base Wellington FM

19 05 2011

Goooooooood Morning Wellington!!! K-Dogg here with you, coming live from Base  Backpackers Wellington, the Hottest Reception FM Radio station in the Country.

It’s 7am and the sun is shining!!! It’s rock and roll time, so get out of bed and hit the streets. Today could be the day you experience one of Wellington’s hidden hot spots!

Be the first to pop around the corner for Big J’s Breakfast (Potato hash, red beans (cooked traditional style with a ham hock), Cajun-style smoked sausage, bacon, eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), hollandaise, toasted baguette or 5 grain all for only $19.00!) at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen.  To wash it all down head next door to Kapai and grab a takeaway Vanilla Latte (a BASE Wellington FM staff FAVOURITE!).

 I’m sure your camera’s is full of drunken photos from the previous base bars but why not switch it up?! Take a short hike up Mt Victoria(No, it’s nothing like the Tongariro Crossing so no need to worry) and grab a few snap shots of the city while the grass is still frosty…

 We are back, its 11.30am, your listening to Base Wellington FM, the hottest Reception Radio station in Wellington.

The weather is warming up, it’s going to be a beautiful day is Wellington.

You may have heard that there are no adventurous activities around Wellington? If this is the case think wrong!!! Head down to the waterfront, strip down to your shorts and dive off the wharf just like the locals! We hope you can do better than a belly flop?!

Dont forget to post your best action Photo Snaps on our facebook page:


 Dry off at Oriental Bay beach with some gelato from Kaffe Eis. Chocolate, Raspberry, Coconut, Mint, Mocha and every other flavour you can think of!!!

 K-Dogg back with you for the PM party Shift, you are listening to Base Wellington FM.

You’re savings funds are bound to be low, so let’s get saving at dinner time! 2 blocks down the road from base you’ll find Dominos Pizza. Obviously Dominos is everywhere but you can’t get a $7 large pizza just ‘ANYWHERE’! Show your room key and let them know you’re staying at base and you’ll get it here…there’s no doubt about it!

It’s now time for the hottest tunes in town… Lets Hit Base Wellington’s very own Basement Bar to Dance the night away.

 Have a brilliant Night, we can’t wait to hear what you get up to!!

Catch you all at the same time tomorrow…BASE Wellington FM


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