Tuatara Lodge Hostel, Invercargill

534 Reviews
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Tuatara Lodge Hostel Reviews

Tuatara Lodge Hostel is a good base for an overnight stop before or after visiting Stewart Island.

The Location

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.

Common Spaces

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.


Best place to stay in Invercargill

I and my family stayed here one night during our seven-week odyssey Down Under late Spring and Summer 2006. Unfortunately, it was just one night. My inspiration for coming here in the first place was to possibly see the Southern Lights and home of "The World's Fastest Indian." We didn't see either, the actual though we did go to the observatory and visited with the shuttle bus driver who lives quite close to the home. The hostel itself was downtown, an excellent location, very comfy, and just right for the three of us. I recommend it to anybody staying in Invercargill.

Juanito Hayburg

Visited in April 2005 and my goodness it's smelly. Rooms are actually OK and clean enough but the smell in the corridors is horrible. It's a bit of a depressing hostel although the reception staff were pleasant enough - to be honest Invercargill really is an awful place - a town that feels like it's dying on its feet and really is at the end of the universe - I found it very depressing here. But the hostel is OK for a night or two - and the manager had a beautiful pet lorikeet who was the cutest bird ever - worth staying here just to meet him!!!! Hope he's still there.

Miss Travel

I stayed there in November 2001, and I think it was quite new then. The place looked nice enough, although you get some industrial vibe about it. However, it was VERY noisy from some bar downstairs.


I stayed there in the quiet season but the place had a really bad vibe about it. I bailed out after one night and couldn't get out quick enough. It seemed to be full of down-and-outs rather than backpackers. Invercargill itself wasn't much better. It's best avoided.


This hostel is great! The kitchen is huge and they have the most lovely sandwich maker (and free tea, etc.). Everything was new and clean (in November 2004). The staff were very helpful and funny.


Tuatara Lodge is a YHA-associate hostel with extremely high standards. It is situated in the middle of the city, with the shops and other amenities a very short distance away. The reception area houses an internet cafe open to the public, which as well as offering low-cost internet access, serves food and drink from breakfast to dinner.

The dorms are spacious and tidy. Each floor of the hostel has its own kitchen, dining area, lounge and bathroom. There is also 24-hour internet access and security lockers, a laundry, and a larger TV room for use by all guests. The kitchens are very well equipped with a good range of utensils, pots and pans etc. and plenty of fridge space. There are also two full ovens in each kitchen.

The atmosphere here is very relaxed and friendly. This hostel seems to appeal to a wide age-range, from babies to senior citizens. It has a 'family' feel about it. Many guests are using this as a stopover point en route to, or from, Stewart Island. The staff are very knowledgable and will offer advice about walking tracks on the island etc., and other backpackers are keen to share their experiences. It is also possible to store gear here while you are away -- useful even for non-trampers as the airline has a very strict luggage allowance.

Getting to the hostel is fairly easy. For people arriving by car, there is a small car-park at the rear. Arrive early! If arriving by Intercity bus, the drop-off point is at the tourist info centre -- a 20-minute walk. Taxis and a few locals buses will get you right outside the hostel.

Catherine Laslett

Ewww! Tuatara Lodge is smelly. The staff were rude when I tried to make them aware of the stench in the rooms. The kitchen was small and everything seemed to be falling apart. Tuatara Lodge is as horrible as budget accommodations can get.


More reviews...


Tuatara Lodge is warm, inviting and of a very high standard. There is a modern, well-equipped self-cater kitchen, dining area seating 30, two TV lounges, VCR & stereo, small library, 16 internet terminals, on-site cafe serving breakfasts and light meals from 7am (not included), laundry with washing machines and dryers, ironing facilities, luggage storage, off street parking and good security with 24hr guest access, all in a central city location. We are 7-8 mins from the Sports Stadium, 5 mins from the the Swimming Complex, and within walking distance to supermarkets, banks, shops, cafes and restaurants, movie theatre and museum. All main bus services stop outside our door.

Location and Contact




Address: 30 - 32 Dee Street, Invercargill, New Zealand

Tuatara Lodge Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Booking.com Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Tuatara Lodge Hostel Invercargill (if you know the URL of their website, let us know and we'll add it)
Phone Number: +64 3 214 0954
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Digital Nomads

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Lockers in Lobby

Luggage Storage



24 Hour Security



Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments


Entirely Non-Smoking


Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Meeting/Banquet facilities

Movie Library/Rental


Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 7am - 8:30pm

Size: Large (60-100 beds)


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