AJ's Backpackers Lodge


Hostelz.com's Review

AJ's Backpackers Lodge is a cozy, family-style backpackers. It's a big, drafty older house that has been converted into a backpackers. The staff are helpful and friendly and the two furball dogs running around the office make it feel comfortable and inviting. It's a nice and clean accommodation choice.

The Location

Located at 405 Southland Place, this hostel is a nice, easy, ten-minute westward walk out of town center. AJ's is in a neighborhood, which is nice. There is a parking area right out in front, which is gated off. It's easy to find with an obvious street sign, making it stand out from the other houses.

Rooms and Bathrooms

We got a double room -- the cheapest in Hastings -- with two comfortable beds (linen is included). Private rooms and bunk beds are available -- either way, the rooms are spacious, with wardrobes and cabinet space. There are three separate bathrooms, each with a shower.

Common Spaces

The kitchen is freshly remodeled with gas stoves and stainless steel counters. There is a lounge area with a TV and couches as well as a spacious dining area. The other people staying here are friendly but it isn't a party hostel. It is a clean, comfortable hostel and very laid back. The doors are locked in the evening, which makes it feel safe. During our stay, they were repainting the interior and doing some remodeling to the house.


With only a few hostel choices in Hastings, AJ's is perfect and a great price. Everyone here is friendly and hospitable. We had a overall good experience with the hostel.
by Sally Evans
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
December 2010


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "AJ's Backpackers Lodge" at 405 Southland Road.)


405 Southland Road, Hastings, New Zealand
-39.640206, 176.834920
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

Awesome hostel, trouble with work however.
Very inviting place, lots of fun, and made lots of friends here. But do not get work from the contractor Ali here. Refuses to pay last wages once you leave. After much trouble contacting him he transferred some money but not all, now doesnt answer calls.
AJ's has been under new management since 2007 and I note that hasn't been mentioned by the reviewer. There have been further upgrades since these photos were taken a great location and a homey place to stay and a great host.
  Nice Hostel with a really familiar flair. Everything is clean and nice. Not too many rules! The only thing is that the owner, Jenny is totally nuts! She's really insane and a really strange person. If you can handle the owner, it's a great place to stay and to work!
  This hostel is a great place to stay. It's far better than staying at a larger impersonal hostel. I stayed here in 2003 and loved it. The owner, Jenny, was a very kind and helpful person who made you feel right at home. She was also extremely helpful in organizing work and IRD (New Zealand government) numbers, etc. the hostel itself has a nice homely feel and you will make great friends there. Highly recommended, go there.
Rob Noonan
  I stayed at AJ's a few years back whilst working in New Zealand. I have to say it was a home away from home. Alan and Jackie were great hosts and the long term residents at that time were the best. I have read other reviews about AJ's, (some good, some not so good), but all I can say is that I couldn't find any fault with the place. I still have fond memories of the night we all went to the local bar in drag, even though the photographs have long disappeared.
Tom Devoy
  Really nice people and a great atmosphere. You need to get used to the owner; she's out of this world. You honestly won't believe the stuff she comes out with sometimes. Great working base. You can sort IRD numbers and work, etc.
Chris Wall

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