Tuatara Lodge Hostel is a good base for an overnight stop before or after visiting Stewart Island.
Invercargill lies in the very south of New Zealand, about a three-hour drive from Queenstown and twenty minutes' drive to Bluff, from where the Stewart Island ferry departs. The hostel is situated right at one end of the main shopping street, opposite the cinema and next to the large library. A lot of eateries are nearby, along with cafes. The NakedBus/Intercity bus stop is about a fifteen-minute walk from the hostel (Nakedbus might also pick up from the hostel). Stray stops right in front of the hostel and uses this as their overnight stop. The Queens Gardens are about fifteen minutes away. To the big supermarket you will walk ten minutes or there is a small twenty-four-hour supermarket just across the road.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The hostel offers doubles, twins, and dorm rooms of various sizes, and female-only dorms may be available upon request. The rooms are situated on the first and second floor. The rooms do not have air condition, but you can open the windows, which might sometimes get a bit noisy as they open up to the road. The rooms look clean, however some of the sheets have a couple of stains on them. Both floors have a male, a female, and a mixed bathroom, which might get busy in the mornings as they only have one toilet and one shower each. Bathrooms facilities are in good shape.
On the ground floor, you find the reception and a couple of couches which are shared with the in house cafe. You get a discount at the cafe when you stay at the hostel. On the first floor you find a large TV lounge with some couches. On the second floor you have a large kitchen with an ample amount of dining tables. There is lots of room for food storage. One of the fridges was not working during the stay, also only one of the sinks could be used. Windows can only be opened marginally, so if many people cook at the same time it might get a bit smelly and smoky in there. Next to the kitchen is a small room with computers. The hostel offers free, fast Wi-Fi for all guests and you can use it throughout the hostel.
The free Wi-Fi is a nice plus. The hostel offers lots of informational flyers on tours in the area at reception.