Just in Auckland at the moment, staying at Base Hostel on Queens Street..its a great hostel!! If you arrive in Auckland for the first time I would strongly recommend staying here. Very easy to get to from the airpo...rt - $16 on the blue shuttle and they tell you when to get off (which is helpful) and its right outside Base. Easy.
Add the Base Hostel App on your phone to receive 15% discount on online booking.
Get a Base Hopper pass for $239 and get 10 nights Base accommodation (to be used at any Base Hostel) for $23 a night which obviously peak season is very worth it.
The staff are brilliant, its clean, in the middle of the city and cheap beer in the Globe Bar downstairs. Make sure you receive your free Base Travel Book for 2 for 1 drinks, other cool discounts and info on what to do. Countdown Supermarket is just round the corner if you want to cook the backpacker special..Noodles de poulet, or if you fancy yourself as a (lazy) flashpacker...Dominos do a "large" $5 pizza. (Its not England Dominos large though)
The travel desk is FABULOUS!! The staff are brilliant help and they try to get you the cheapest deal on everything, we have found them to be incredibly honest about different trips available and what's worth doing etc. They are all very experienced and its obvious they love doing what they do. Its better to have a chat with them and maybe bulk book some activities as they can offer you some good discounts with the more you book at the same time. And lets be honest... you cant come to New Zealand and not do a bungee or a skydive or swim with dolphins or dance with penguins or abseil down a waterfall or white water rafting.......
If your travelling with Kiwi Experience or Stray etc they can work out your timescale and book all the buses for you so all you have to do is turn up (which we know can be a struggle after a night of $3 drinks!) From our experience this is VERY useful in peak season if you have limited time as it is soooo busy you can easily end up on the reserve list for a few days without a guaranteed travel date.
The reception staff are very helpful too and when you check in make sure you pay $2 to spin the wheel (you can only do it on check in) the least you can win is a 2 for 1 drinks voucher, the best prize (which I have seen being won twice!!!!!!! THE b******S!) is a months free accommodation and better still..all the spin money goes to charity.
Stayed in many city hostels, all in all its pretty good and highly recommended. The staff really contribute to this hostels good level of awesomeness. Happy Backpackers.