A lot of travellers start their New Zealand journey in Auckland. Auckland was promoted 2007 as the 5th best town of the world to live in. Some of the criterions were politic, social, commercial and environmental factors.
It was also important for the voting things like personal safety, good Medicare, education, public transport etc. At the end Auckland was far ahead of cities like New York, Paris and London. We for ourselves just can say that Auckland got more to offer, than you might think of. So it's no problem to stay here for a while. For that you should have a good place to stay. Here we can recommend you one, but we've also got 3 places which should stand on a blacklist of every backpacker. But don't worry, these 3 places belong only to one owner and there are plenty of other great places to stay...
... it's nicer NOT to start with the blacklist, isn't it?
So let us talk about "The Brown Kiwi Travellers Hostel" :) . The Brown Kiwi is located in Auckland's trendiest suburb Ponsonby. It's a cosy two storey 1900's century colonial villa. In the back you will find a small but nice and green garden where you can relax and enjoy the hammock. There are only 32 beds and most of them are in dorm and shared rooms, but there are also a few double and triple rooms. We can recommend the two rooms in the garden cottage. They are simple (but with a radio) and you've got to share the facilities, but you are a bit for yourself.
The owners are extremely helpful and friendly and they will make your stay as good as possible. You should contact them in advance as it's not always easy to make a reservation, because there are also enough other travellers who like that place.
You will find a lot of small and nice cafes, restaurants, bars and shops in Ponsonby. If you want to get to the city centre, it's no problem to walk there. It will take you around 20 minutes. If you don't feel like walking, just take the bus and you'll get there in 5 minutes. All the pictures here, show the Brown Kiwi, of course.
The Brown Kiwi could be your home away from home!
Blacklist Backpackers in Auckland:
Bamber House, Oaklands Lodge and Pentlands
Puuh, perhaps some of you know these places and won't understand why these should be on a blacklist. The best is, if I tell you what happened to us and to many other travellers.
Auckland was our last stop in New Zealand and we didn't want to spend that much money for an accommodation. So we asked at the Bamber House, if we could help them to clean for some hours each day. This is quite usual for backpackers and instead of a payment, you can sleep at the place for free. We got a positive answer, but told us that we would have to sleep at another place. We didn't think of something bad at that time, perhaps they were completely booked? So they moved us into the Pentlands, which is an old and nice colonial house from the outside. But from the inside it's completely the opposite. It's dirty and full of mould. You don't even find it in the BBH book (only online).
So we asked the owner why we couldn't stay in the Bamber House, which is much nicer. But there was no way and we found out, that the owner always let the helpers stay in the dirty place. All the other fellow backpackers felt the same like we did and we talked with the owner about their decision. But they couldn't or didn't want to understand us.
We paid as much as the guests of the Bamber House, because we've worked for our money. But we had to stay with four persons in a tiny, small and dirty room in the Pentlands. I call it modern backpacker slavery. We've heard that the owner tried to sell the Pentlands, but they had problems with that. I guess I know why. :) Even if they will, I'm pretty sure they will stay with their kind of backpacker slavery.
For me that's enough to put it on a blacklist. There are enough other nice locations in Auckland, who will treat you with respect. There is no reason to support the owner of Bamber House and Oaklands Lodge.