The Innlet Backpackers is, quite simply, paradise. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also set in an absolutely amazing location, with a warm, kind, yet wacky bunch at the helm.
Golden Bay is one of the most gorgeous places in New Zealand and that is where you'll find The Innlet. It is situated in Pakawau, which is a ten-minute drive from the town of Collingwood. The beautiful thing about The Innlet is that it is in the middle of nowhere. It is just you ... and nature. There is the beach, forest, hills, rivers. It is a good place to be if you want some peace and quiet; some time to reflect on life, or simply enjoy being at one with nature and beauty.
To get to The Innlet or to fully enjoy Golden Bay, it is best that you drive. From The Innlet, you can go on short trips to the Farewell Spit, Cape Farewell, or the Abel Tasman National Park, all of which will leave you awestruck at the wondrous scenery. For those who don't drive, you can get a bus to Collingwood and arrange to have the owner or manager give you a lift. It wouldn't be difficult to find travel companions once you are there.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The Innlet has dorm rooms, double rooms, twin rooms, and individual huts. The main building consists of two dorms, a twin room, a double room, kitchen, lounge, and two bathrooms. The dorms (one four-bed, one five-bed) consist of bunk beds and single beds. The mattresses are thick and comfortable and all bedding is provided. All the rooms are very spacious and certainly very well-kept.
The two bathrooms in the main building have decent showers and ample space for you to place your clothes and toiletries. As for the toilets, guests are required to use the outdoor toilets in the day (unless it is raining). The outdoor toilets are compost toilets. Some people may not be used to using compost toilets, but don't worry, the ones at The Innlet are very, very well-maintained and are very clean. You wouldn't really be able to tell the difference between that and a conventional flushing toilet. During the night, guests will be allowed to use the toilets inside the main building.
The main building is also where the kitchen and lounge are. The lounge is very cosy -- there are a few couches, a fireplace, a charming old piano, and a couple of guitars. Occasionally, a guest or worker will play a tune or two. There is no television, but there is no need for one -- there are games and friendly people around for mingling.
Other favourite hangouts of The Innlet guests are the veranda and the garden. There are benches and cushions out on the veranda to help you get comfortable. The garden is big enough for you to kick a ball around or toss a frisbee. The main attraction is The Web -- a giant hammock built above a little stream. It is the perfect place to chill. The kitchen is spacious and there is no lack of cooking equipment of utensils. Hang out in these common areas and you are bound to make a friend or two ... or ten.
The Innlet is a great place. The owners and workers are very warm, friendly, and caring and provide a fantastic environment for everyone. Guests feel welcomed all the time and often end up not wanting to leave.
by Valerie Looi
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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