Tamara Backpackers Lodge, a BBH hostel, is a short distance from town, right along the river. It's in a beautiful old home, with comfortable beds, spacious showers, and a clean kitchen.
The hostel is about thirty minutes from the Intercity bus station, and about fifteen minutes from the center of town. If you want to be picked up from the station, try to email them about a day in advance. Otherwise, simply take Ridgway into town, turn right onto Park, and left onto Somme Parade. To get there from the Nakedbus stop, simply follow Taupo Quay until it turns into Somme Parade. There is some parking available.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The dorm rooms are cosy, with full linen and a nice, clean decor. The dorm beds have a maximum of four people and there are also doubles and privates available. The dorms are made up mostly of single beds, although there are a couple of bunks, with good lighting and several outlets. There are no in-room lockers, but the very secure doors lock automatically whenever the door is closed.
The showers are very spacious and clean, have plenty of hot water, and strong water pressure. They each have hooks and a soap dish, so there are plenty of places to put your things. The ventilation isn't very good, so it can get quite steamy if you take a hot shower, but otherwise they are good quality.
There is one lounge equipped with a flat-screen TV, DVD/VCR, movies, and cable. There is also a guitar and a piano, as well as several couches and chairs. The room has large windows, so it has a nice, open feel. The kitchen is clean and spacious, with plenty of space for your food and belongings. Attached is a large dining area, which holds a book exchange, newspapers, and a computer (Wi-Fi is also available). The backyard also has a garden and trampoline for socializing when there is nice weather.
There are just as many people in their fifties as there are in their twenties, meaning that the vibe is relatively subdued, and it doesn't seem too social, but the owner is very friendly and makes you feel at home. This seems to be more of a place to quietly relax than to party or socialize.
This is a quiet hostel, skewing towards a slightly older crowd, but it is very comfortable and has a great location. The owners are upbeat and welcoming, and the beautiful old house and nice garden make it a homey place to stay when you travel.