It was 2008, and armed with a short wish list, and with a milestone birthday looming, I set about finding a business which fulfilled this list, and would keep me busy and fulfilled.thus enabling me to be involved in the tourism / backpacker industry, improve my schoolboy French, as well as learn some basics of other languages, and find a building to improve. Up popped Kiwi Basecamp in my ‘search’, negotiations were carried out and within a couple of months I was the proud owner of the building and the business at 69 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch known as Kiwi Basecamp.
Over the next couple of years, my old friend Marcus Wild, who came in as manager and I worked at improving our offering, and putting in systems that would maximise our reach, and thereby give us good occupancy. We immediately hit on a simple yet effective recipe for German style home baked bread, which our team bake daily for your breakfast, and for which Kiwi Basecamp has become well known.
2011 was to be a challenging year. Christchurch was hit by a series of devastating earthquakes, the first being on the 4th September 2010, but the most brutal, resulting in loss of life, and widespread devastation, was on the 22nd of February 2011. The event affected everyone in the city, and with the centre city being ‘locked down’ meant that Kiwi Basecamp was one of the last hostels standing. There were periods of water and power outages which meant working showers were substituted with fruit juice bottles with perforated tops for showering, and a long drop toilet was dug in the front garden, which was mercifully not needed due to a port a loo company coming to our rescue! They were challenging times, but our managers, workers and guests rose to the challenge and adapted to the new, albeit temporary, normal.
During this time, we said farewell to Marcus, who headed off for a new life in Argentina, and hello to Laura McMaster, a native of Scotland, and who was passionate enough about Christchurch, and in time, Kiwi Basecamp, to stay put in this ever changing City.
Kiwi Basecamp was to suffer structural damage during 2011, but this didn’t mean we had to close. In fact we carried on trading until we closed for substantial earthquake related repairs in August 2015. As we were to close Kiwi Basecamp for the best part of five months, we decided to take the opportunity to carry out a comprehensive upgrade, and to take the building to 100% of the National Building Standard. This of course meant a longer closure period and more expense, but having now re opened, and with pretty much a new hostel, we couldn’t be happier. Our one hundred year old plus villa has had quite the makeover!
With a new fit out, we are well positioned to look to the future, and with a 100% earthquake proof building, have confidence in the safety of staff and guests alike, and secure in the knowledge that Kiwi Basecamp will be an enduring presence in the backpacker industry in Christchurch for many years to come.
Planning your ski trip?, why not check into Kiwi Basecamp we are close to the city where you can pick up your ski’s or board as well as your warm gear, not only that you can leave from here on the Snowman Shuttles to Mount Hutt for a day of skiing or boarding bliss, check out the link here http://snowmanshuttles.co.nz/.
Come check us out as close to Naked and Intercity bus stops if you are heading down to Queenstown or Wanaka check out there links here. nakedbus.com or http://www.intercity.co.nz/ .
Kiwi Basecamp is the gateway to the mountains.
Right now we are offering amazing deals on our accommodation, you can stay in a share or dorm for only $26 per night, and also doing a double or a twin room for $65 per night, included in this is Free WiFi, high speed and unlimited, we also have free freshly baked bread in the mornings between 8am and 10am, and tea coffee and hot chocolate on tap all day.
Need help planing your trip then come see the friendly staff and we can get things moving for you.
Looking forward to seeing you.
Looking to get out of the city for a day, well taking a trip to the beautiful Akaroa harbor town is a must. This gorgeous harbor town has a lot to offer but our favorite is the Black Cat Dolphin Swim, below are the details of how to book and what it has to offer. (more…)
Being a one hundred year old villa, our foundations took abit of a shaking in the 2011 earthquakes www.geonet.org.nz ) As a result, with the help of our insurers and Fitz Consulting Limited (www.fitzconsulting.co.nz) we are completely replacing our foundations. At the same time we will upgrade our fire protection and systems to present day code, and give the old place a jolly good spruce up! So that means new bunks and beds, mattress sourced by brownies (www.brownies.co.nz) a thorough paint job inside and out, upgraded bathrooms, bedrooms, lounges and kitchens, plus a new map wall and revamped sun deck!! Very exciting it is too, and should all be done and dusted for us to reopen later this year.Checkout our facebook / instagram/ website for periodical updates and photos.
If you’re only in Christchurch for a day and night, have a few hours to kill, but want to have a look around, step out of Kiwi basecamp, head east down Bealey Avenue, take a right on to madras and head down to the Cardboard Cathedral. Well worth a look. Cost $5 million but stunning. Behind this is the 185 empty chairs display, a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Feb 2011 earthquake. From there head into the centre to see Christchurch Cathedral, in limbo whilst it is decided whether to repair or rebuild. Cathedral Square, once the tourism centre of town. Then to Restart Mall (or Container Mall) a colourful and vibrant collection of shipping containers from which retailers ply their trade. Get Coffee, food, clothes, and other necessities. You’ll be surprised how cool and inspirational a space it is. A wander around the centre city, still many open spaces where once were buildings, but some new, ultra-modern office buildings, shining examples of how Christchurch CBD will look.
Down Worcester Street to our Heritage Precinct. The Christchurch Museum is well worth a look, free entry, gold coin donation, some interesting exhibits. It’s not very big, so you can race around in minutes if you have limited time. Next door is the Christchurch and Canterbury Tourist Information Centre. Friendly staff and plenty of information and ideas for your time in the South Island. Turn around, there are the Botanical Gardens. Stunningly beautiful gardens, massive trees, brand new Visitor Centre. If it’s beer you need, head across the road to the Astro Lounge, quirky and unique. Live music weekends after 5.00pm
That round trip would take up to three hours at a leisurely pace, but can be done a lot quicker if you’re on a mission. It’s all flat, so easy for all levels of fitness.
We have all manner of amenities close to kiwibasecamp. Step out of the front door, take a right, then another and you’re on the road to Merivale Village. Pass Z Energy service station for snacks and drinks, Liquor King for beers and wione, or whatever is your tipple, then it’s a 10 minute walk to Merivale Mall. Here you will find NZ Post Office, Kiwibank, ANZ Bank, Westpac Bank, Fresh Choice Super Market, and a host of cafes, bars and Restaurants. Oh, and Macdonalds! There’s a Mr Minit shoe repairer, a Health 200 health food shop and more……..
Out the front door, chuck a right then a left, and you’re in the heart of Victoria Street! Burger King, SachI Sachi Noodle House (a favourite of the All Blacks). For your coffee hit plus awesome baking, visit Vics Bakery and Café, further on the Bog Irish Bar, Revival Bar, Award Winning King Of Snake restaurant, plus a host of eateries, pubs and cafes all within 5 minutes’ walk of kiwi basecamp.
Or, out the front door, chuck a right, then another right and you have the Carlton Bar on your right, and Thai and Chinese takeaway restaurants on your right (check if BYO – if so, you have Liquor King just up from Carlton Bar on your left.) Also, Pedro’s Spanish Lamb takeaway for delicious lamb takeaway dishes Spanish style. Walk a further ten minutes up the road, and you’re in Merivale Village where you have a choice of the Brewers Arms (traditional pub), Number 4 Bar, Aikmans Bar, Macdonalds and a variety of takeaway and dine in food options.
Or (again) out the from door, chuck a left, walk a few blocks to Thai Container, selling yummy takeaway Thai cuisine out of a stunningly painted shipping container. Very reasonable prices. Walk a little further and you come to Speight’s Ale House. Traditional Kiwi Pub with well-priced meal options.
On arrival at Christchurch International Airport, ask at the Airport I-site, or any of the friendly airport staff and they will direct you to the bus stop, which is right outside international arrivals. The number bus will take you almost to the front door of kiwi basecamp [. How’s that for service? Tell the driver you want to go to Bealey Avenue. Buses run every xxx minutes.
Going to the airport, step out of Kiwi basecamp, chuck a right, walk about 200 meters and the bus stop is over the road at Victoria Street. Tell the driver you want to go to the airport and he will probably take you there!