Date of stay: 15-23 May 2014
Type of room: Four-bed dorm
Price: Working Holiday Starter members get three nights free then $24 per night with a pre arrival offer. $30 a night for the rest of you scoundrels.
A 10-minute walk from Auckland city centre, up Hobson Street, through a group of homeless people, past many multicultural supermarkets, is the rectangular and green building that is Silverfern Backpackers.
Simple and comfortable for humans and flies alike, Silverfern is the first place of stay for many arriving in New Zealand, for example, if you are one of the Working Holiday Starter members.
After the receptionist takes an extortionate $50 for a key deposit, gives a tad of free WiFi and hands over your linen, you are ready to mingle with other hostel dwellers, except in late autumn there aren’t too many people to talk to. For six out of eight nights, I only shared a four-bed dorm with one other dude – excellent for a quiet night when trying to overcome jetlag and no excessive bag rustling to be heard at antisocial hours.
Despite the lack of bodies, the fridges were pretty full thanks to people with their gargantuan cool bags (any backpacker will soon get to know the type). If that’s how the fridges are in autumn, God knows how the three fridges cope in summer. On the bright side, free tea and coffee! On the fly side, flies covered the walls and hung around the bins like flies do. It was a bit off putting when trying to eat cereal.
Other facilities are working washing machines, dryer and iron, which is always handy. The TV room is set up like a cinema room with an uphill gradient. One morning I was having a cuppa and watching TV, when I heard a snorting snore come from a few rows behind me as some bloke awakened from his slumber. I guess he had found a free room for the night.
Everything about this hostel is basic, from the showers to the décor. The extent of the personality Silverfern has, is the American diner themed kitchen. Although there are an excessive amount of fabric chairs, such as at the bottom and top of the stairs for if you get tired after the one flight climb, all of these chairs are tatty. As you can see from my toe selfie / telfie, the brown sofa in the common room have seen better days.
The bathroom and shower room had three showers and toilets each, with adequate privacy. It was here that I discovered my hate for inadequate shower cubicles when the water sprays all over the cubicle one is forced into a fierce battle of trying to dry yourself when everything around you is wet. Try not getting trench foot after that.
A quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Silverfern is a comfortable place to have a bed for the night. The kitchen wasn’t the most sanitary place to be but it can be put up with for eight nights (to be precise). No doubt I will be returning to Auckland before I leave New Zealand, and honestly, I will be looking for other options and have Silverfern as my backup.
Stayed in any good hostels in Auckland so I don’t have to stay in Silverfern again? Please recommend below.