YHA Punakaiki


YHA Punakaiki Te Nikau Retreat nestles in the native rainforest adjoining the Paparoa National Park. A unique accommodation with all home comforts (including fresh bread and muffins baked daily for sale) while in the native West Coast bush. 

YHA Punakaiki’s character lodges and units have good facilities with all the comforts of home - fully equipped kitchens, separate showers and toilets. Each unit enjoys its own privacy surrounded by the native bush. Wake to the dawn chorus of harmonious bellbirds and other native birds. And at night drift off to the relaxing sound of the New Zealand bush. This hostel has well equipped kitchens, dining areas and comfortable lounges ideal for small groups, families and independent travellers looking for affordable accommodation.

YHA Punakaiki Te Nikau Retreat is located 3kms north of the Pancake Rocks. Beautiful West Coast beaches, river walks, horse trekking and river kayaking are all close-by. An excellent hostel to relax, rejuvenate and explore the wild and wonderful West Coast.

Important Information

  • YHA Punakaiki Te Nikau Retreat is located in Hartmount Place, 3km north of the Pancake Rocks. The sign Main Road sign for Motel Homestay Backpackers indicates the turn-off. We are 200m down the road on the left. Look for the Te Nikau Retreat sign.
  • There are no supermarkets, gas stations or banks in Punakaiki. The nearest towns for these services are Greymouth, a 40 minute drive from Punakaiki, or Westport, 50 minutes.
  • Fresh bread and muffins are baked daily for sale.
  • Cafes, craft shop, local tavern, information centre, Pancake Rocks are a 5 minute drive or 40 minunte walk from the hostel.
  • Intercity Bus passengers: hostel staff can pick you up from outside the DOC information centre in Punakaiki at 12.30pm or 3pm. Please let the hostel know in advance.
  • There is a 2 night minimum stay over the Christmas period. Please contact the hostel direct for booking 24, 25, 31 December and 01 January 2014.


"YHA Punakaiki Te Nikau Retreat hostel must rank as one of the most relaxing backpackers in the country, carved out of bush that's peppered with nikau palms and occasionally reveals a building with small dorms, rooms and rustic en-suite cabins for couples." – The Rough Guide to New Zealand

By Car

Follow SH6, 3km north of Punakaiki, turn left at sign saying “Motel, Homestay, Backpackers”. We are 200m down Hartmount Place on the left.

Get directions on Google

  • Disabled Facilities
  • Internet Access
  • Luggage Storage
  • Mastercard
  • Parking
  • VISA
  • Dodge the massive sea water geysers at the famous Pancake Rock blowholes.

  • Horse Trekking around the West Coast native bush, ending on the beach with amazing views of the Pancake Rocks

  • Carve your own piece of Jade or Bone in a half day workshop at Barrytown. Transport available. 

  • Go tramping in Paparoa National Park, the Inland Pack track is most popular.

  • Kayak up the Pororari River until you reach the deep swimming holes in the heart of the West Coast bush.

  • Go on one of the West Coast’s famous caving tours in the rainforest.

  • Charleston underworld adventures including rafting,caving and glowworms.


  • (Oct 9th - Oct 9th) An intimate acoustic evening with Auckland singer/songwriters Mark Laurent and Brenda Liddiard, featuring the use of guitars, mandolin, ukulele, Rowan Lute, harmonica and voices. Tickets can be purchased from Hokitika ... Old Lodge Theatre
  • (Oct 10th - Oct 10th) A rich collection of personal songs exploring love, regret and mortality, the recently released album Lucky Stars from pre-eminent singer/songwriter Don McGlashan is already considered to be among his best work. Written ... Barrytown Hall
  • (Oct 10th - Oct 17th) Pioneers, Gold, Coal, Family, Religion, Masonic Society, Sports, Street names, Provincial Council, Surveying are all good reasons to research local History. Guidelines on family history research, how and where to ... Westland District Library
  • (Oct 10th - Oct 17th) An opportunity to learn some basic harakeke weaving techniques that you can use to make a variety of objects including small mats, baskets, containers and putiputi (flowers). While primarily an introductory course to ... Karoro Learning
  • (Oct 10th - Oct 10th) An evening intimate acoustic music from Auckland singer/songwriters Mark Laurent & Brenda Liddiard, who use combinations of guitars, mandolin, ukulele, Rowan Lute, harmonica, percussion & voices. NBS Theatre
  • (Sep 16th - Oct 23rd) Constantly growing selection of Petr Hlavacek's photographs of pristine and unique New Zealand landscapes are available as museum grade art prints for art collectors worldwide. In Petr's gallery, there are 20 archival ... Petr Hlavacek Gallery

Nestled in the native West Coast bush adjoining the Paparoa National Park, YHA Punakaiki truly is one of the most unique accommodation secrets you’re likely to come across.

Our character lodges and cabins have excellent facilities with all the comforts of home. Homemade bread and muffins baked daily for sale and a wee shop is available for essentials.

All of our rooms come fully made up with fresh linen and duvets. Sleeping bags are not required. Towels are available for hire and are provided free for the guide and in private rooms.

We have 13 dorm beds in 2 lodges along with various twin and double rooms, with or without en-suite bathrooms. We can sleep 40 people in total. Room configurations and numbers may be amendable if required for group gender splits.

We cater to small groups, families and independent travellers looking for a unique experience.

Our property is just a few minutes' walk through the rainforest via the Truman Track to the breathtaking coastline.

The hostel provides quality, interesting and affordable accommodation for education, sports and tour groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements before making a booking.

Click here to read YHA New Zealand's full Groups Brochure.

Capacity and Room Types

YHA Punakaiki can cater for up to 40 people across 15 rooms.

Lodges may be booked for private sole use for groups.

  • Rata Lodge has 2 double rooms and 6 dorm beds.This house can sleep up to 10 people.
  • Te Nikau Lodge has 2 twin rooms and a single room. Te Nikau can sleep up to 5 people.
  • Weka Lodge has 7 dorm beds.
  • Ruru Lodge has a double and a twin with shared bathroom and also a double and a twin en-suite.
  • Private cabins include Tui Cottage, Hideaway and Kowhai Cottage.
The accommodation

Please note that due to the layout of lodges, larger groups may be spread around a few minutes walk from each other.

Shared rooms

Shared bathroom facilities are situated in each group lodge along with full kitchens. All bedding is provided (duvets, sheets and pillows) and towels can be hired.

Private rooms

Supervisors and tour leaders can be accommodated in single, double or twin rooms with private or shared bathroom facilities. These rooms include all bed linen and towels. Please note that we have a limited number of private rooms with ensuite facilities and they are subject to availability.

Group Breakfast

Continental breakfast is available upon request for groups of up to 20 guests for $10 per person. Breakfast must be arranged two weeks prior to arrival. It includes a choice of fresh bread, muffins, cereal, milk and tinned fruit. Meals can be collected from reception from 8:30am - 10am, or the night before by prior arrangement. 


Wifi is available in Ruru Lodge and costs $5 for 24 hours.

Free Booking Service

A free booking service is provided for all land-based domestic travel and activities including: Interislander and Bluebridge ferries, Tranzalpine, Tranzscenic and Overland trains, Intercity coach travel and local shuttle services. Also we are happy to arrange and book local activities such as underworld cave rafting, kayaking, horseriding and carving.

Contact our Group Coordinators

Contact Te Nikau Retreat YHA Punakaki direct 03 731 1111 or email info@tenikauretreat.co.nz or our national groups coordinator 0800 278 299