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Fish Tank Lodge

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Traveller (34)
Room & Suite (11)
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About

#2 of 6 lodges in Kaikoura
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
Located in the heart of Kaikoura with uninterrupted views of the ocean and mountains is the cosy Fish Tank Lodge. Beds are seriously comfortable with crisp clean linen already made up for you and the national buses stop right outside the front door. The kitchen is fully equipped and the lounge warm and cosy with some awesome artwork which is a must see! Feel right at home here with free tea and coffee and a warm kiwi welcome to Kaikoura.
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Property amenities
Self-serve laundry
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119Reviews0Q+A13Room tips

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JeanVilhelm wrote a review Aug 2016
Vallensbaek Strand, Denmark31 contributions4 helpful votes
Average hostel - worked fine for us that one night we stayed in a shared women dorm. Nothing special about this place besides the "fish tank"-decorations. Fun but tasteless. The staff was super friendly and funny. Thumbs up. Kitchen facilities was decent. Always pretty crowdy though. Location is also pretty good. Close to the bus stop and the supermarket and to the sea. Okay place if you just need a place to sleep after a successful whale watching.
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Date of stay: December 2015
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Dave D wrote a review Apr 2016
21 contributions
I am a big reader of trip advisor so I have read the last few reviews on where I currently live and here is the truth of the matter. If you are looking for the cutting edge of technology and advanced stays then why are you in Kaikoura? If you are looking for a clean bunk right in the centre of town then look no further. Kaikoura's charm is the old fishing feel. The town was built on whaling and modern Kaikoura embraces whales as an attraction rather than a recourse. Yes the hostel has a cat. No the hostel does not have birds in the kitchen. I have spoken to many travellers and birds in hostels are a recurring issue, the Fish Tank is bird free thanks to the resident cat and from four years of working with feather dust I can tell you that birds are much dirtier than cats. There are complaints about the common areas so here are the facts. The kitchen is cleaned twice per day. The bathrooms, corridors and lounge are cleaned everyday. What happens to the common areas between these cleans is up to the guests not the staff. As for WiFi there is 200MB included per night, enough for 750 regular emails or 250 facebook photos, contrary to reviews that claim this level of data is insufficient. If you want an inexpensive bunk for a night right in the centre of town then you have found the place, if you want to stay at the airport Hilton then enjoy being ripped off PS all bunks are very comfy foam mattresses not the broken springs so many hostel beds are home to
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Date of stay: March 2016Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Nadi F wrote a review Mar 2016
Berlin, Germany10 contributions
We had a private room. Apparently the cat was sleeping on our bed, therefore we had tons of cat hair on our blanket and pillow. Reception is not always occupied, but the girl was nice and changed the sheets right away. The private rooms are tiny and right next to the the lounge and balcony. The walls are super thin, so it's quite nosy. So 70$ seem pretty overpriced for one night. It seems like it used to be really nice decorated but most of it seems to be torn down and not yet replaced yet. The bath rooms are ok. Showers don't have windows, which make them quite damp. You get free parking thats nice and its located right on main street and the ocean :)
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Date of stay: February 2016
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
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JessMack12 wrote a review Mar 2016
Wakefield, United Kingdom173 contributions27 helpful votes
Possibly the worst accomodation we've stayed in thus far. After reading reviews before booking we were expecting a standard hostel. Nothing super amazing but just a standard clean and social backpackers. Boy, were we wrong. Firstly after coming from other similar rated hostels on our travels we were quite shocked at the appearance of the place. From the outside it looks quite run down, we hoped it would get better on the inside. It didn't. The reception staff who checked us in was great, friendly and informative. We took our baggage straight to our room (the room was the only thing keeping this from a 1* review.). The beds were nicely made, comfortable and wooden bunks to elongate the dreaded squeaking of metal bunks. After settling into our room we ventured into the kitchen to store our food, the kitchen at first glance seemed okay at least. There was plenty of storage for everyone's food and there was a good labelling system. However, delving into food making we realised that it was poorly stocked (a small mismatch of glasses and cups/mugs, one tea spoon as I could find, broken mugs still being used as there was no alternative and constantly soaking wet variety of tea towels to use) we had to ask every time we entered to kitchen for new tea towels as we don't like leaving dishes on the side to dry. We find it rude and disrespectful to the staff and other guests. However, every time we asked for more we were told "bottom drawer". At one point there wasn't any in the bottom drawer. Worst of all the kitchen was filthy. The shelving for the plates and dishes were thick with grime, underneath and beside the fridges were overwhelmingly dusty unswept for what seemed to be months. There is a hostel cat which eats his/her food in the kitchen. Beside the cat food there seemed to be what looked like cat food or something else smeared on the wall, which otherwise was painted quite nicely in a seaside fashion. There was open cat food pouches inside the fridge which guests were supposed to be using, the food was supposed to be checked and old/unwanted food thrown away. Just while we were sat eating we noticed a box with a date over 2 weeks previous which had mouldy bread inside it. Anyway, enough about the kitchen. The bathrooms seemed okay from a distance. However, after spending seconds in there you could see they were in desperate need for renovation. The shower curtain rails were thick with rust, in the shower I used the plastic wall lining had come away from the wall, there were cracks in the flooring, the paint on the ceiling was peeling and stripping away. The laundry station was situated in the bathroom which although kept the bathroom warm and cosy there was a 2inch thick later of dust and dryer fluff just sat beside the dryer/washer for the world to see. The lounge was like an op shop showroom. Mismatched and massively over worn furniture with the stuffing coming out. The lounge led out to a very unkept balcony boasting two rusty BBQ's. The 'free wifi' banner the Fish Tank flies to lure backpackers in doesn't tell you that you only get 200mb of data for free. This is barely enough to reply to emails or browse the Internet for 5 minutes. Also unless you buy more data from reception for the price of $2 per 200mb you can only buy $10 worth of data from the Zenbu website. No less. So if you run out of data when the reception is closed (which is fairly often, or at night) you have to either splash $10 on wifi or do without. Overall I feel like this place is neglected hugely and without renovation and a hell of a lot of TLC it will fall into disrepair. I feel harsh for leaving such a scathing review but after reading reviews left by others I felt these portrayed a false reality. It is not clean, it is not a 4.5* Trip Advisor rated hostel and quite frankly not as advertised since all management photos seem to be from a bygone era.
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Date of stay: February 2016Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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doctorrdv wrote a review Feb 2016
London, United Kingdom13 contributions2 helpful votes
This hostel was provided me a comfortable, relaxing stay. The owner was very helpful in giving us ideas and tips for activities in The region. He even gave us blankets and fire making equipment for a night's drinking on the beach! A wonderful place to stay and would definitely stay again.
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Date of stay: October 2015Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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automidori wrote a review Jan 2016
111 contributions65 helpful votes
This is my second time here. Due to high season, it was crowded compared to previous winter. I couldn't take a nap well because of the guests from the next next door were having extreme fun among themselves. Luckily they didn’t make that much noise at night. Well, maybe this is my own risk for staying in a backpacker’s accommodation. WiFi was free up to 500MB, working in average. But, compared to when I first stayed here, this time the WiFi didn't work that fast. Maybe, because it's on the second floor, or maybe because there were more guests. In the kitchen/dining room, WiFi didn't work at all. Overall, it had been a nice stay, still. Oh yeah, coffee, tea, sugar, were free at the kitchen. For a coffee-addict such as me, this is something.
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Date of stay: December 2015
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Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: If you don't mind to spend more but rather have more quietness, the private en-suite on first...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Jorn M wrote a review Jan 2016
34 contributions9 helpful votes
Everything was tidy and clean in the kitchen, nice lounge room and Good beds. We got lucky, we payed for a shared dorm and got a 3 person dorm, nobody else came so we got a double for three days! Owner is very kind and helpfull.
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Date of stay: December 2015Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Food Surf Sun wrote a review Dec 2015
Houston, Texas54 contributions13 helpful votes
This hostel doesn't look like much from the outside but is actually not bad at all on the inside. The vibe is chill and the balcony is a great place to hang out and maybe have a meal (beware the seagulls!) it's centrally located next to the bars and I would suggest making a right at beach street for some good eats down the road as well. The reception is very nice and let me hang for longer than my check out as needed. Parking in the front is free as well. Wifi is NOT fantastic, but the kitchen is certainly clean as it the common area. It's arranged nicely so that people talk to each other and the atmosphere of the hostel is overall wonderful. Thanks for the good stay!
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Date of stay: December 2015Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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S M wrote a review Nov 2015
Nieuw Amsterdam, The Netherlands2 contributions1 helpful vote
The location of the hostel is perfect. Kaikoura is a small town though, so every location is good. The hostel itself is terrible, i dont recommend it. It is not clean. There was a cat sleeping in my bed when i came in the room. Kitchen is not clean. WiFi dont work. And the reception is not helpful. They dont know what hospitality means. And They were not there at the hours they say the reception is open. Again not helpful. And they dont have the right information... They said no Seals at the waterfall, i saw at least 30 Seals and baby Seals there today. Again not very helpful. And if you want to book anything in kaikoura there advice is to call them yourself. Again not helpful. I never write a review but this was the worse hostel i've been to so far.
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Date of stay: November 2015
Location
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Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Shea0521 wrote a review Oct 2015
Somerville, Massachusetts44 contributions27 helpful votes
This was a great find! I was travelling during shoulder season, so things were on the quieter side, but Fish Tank came recommended and didn't disappoint. The staff was super friendly, and the beds were by far the most comfortable I've ever come across in a hostel. The kitchen and lounge were both clean and comfortable,and the deck with ocean and mountain views was a treat!
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Date of stay: October 2015
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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LOCATION
New ZealandSouth IslandCanterbury RegionKaikoura
NUMBER OF ROOMS
10
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FISH TANK LODGE - Reviews (Kaikoura) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Fish Tank Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Fish Tank Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway (0.08 km), Kaikoura Museum (0.07 km), and Southern Paua Shop & Factory (0.4 km).
What are some restaurants close to Fish Tank Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Zephyr Restaurant, Poppy's Parlour, and Coopers Catch Kaikoura.
Is Fish Tank Lodge located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.8 km away from the centre of Kaikoura.
Are there any historical sites close to Fish Tank Lodge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Fyffe House (2.6 km).