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YHA Lake Tekapo - under construction

Latest Build in Multi-Million Dollar Tekapo Development Underway

Construction has begun on a brand new youth hostel in the lakefront development site in Tekapo.


The Youth Hostel Association (YHA New Zealand) broke ground in September, and is in full swing building a state-of-the-art, 120-bed backpacker accommodation facility. Construction is due for completion in late 2018.

The youth hostel will include a mix of multi-share rooms, private accommodation, family rooms, and ensuite facilities. The communal kitchen and lounge design features a large full-length window to highlight the lake views. A separate but adjoining licensed café will complement the hostel development, providing food and beverage options for guests and locals alike.

YHA Lake Tekapo building site

YHA has operated in Tekapo since 1965 in their current location on Simpson Lane, and has enjoyed high occupancy in recent years as Lake Tekapo grows in popularity, both as a convenient stopping point between Christchurch and Queenstown, and as a destination in its own right. The hostel’s excellent location and pristine lake views came highly recommended by guests, but the building itself was past its best.

When the opportunity arose to be part of the new development site, the not-for-profit organisation leapt at the chance.

“Tekapo is an important strategic destination for us, so this opportunity to increase capacity in a new, state of the art development that embraces the growing expectations of our guests is very exciting for YHA. The site location is fantastic, matching the pristine views of our former hostel,” says Mark Wells, Chief Executive of YHA New Zealand.

The project has been several years in the making, said Mr Wells. “We have taken great care to sensitively reflect the environment and engage with the local community, which is very supportive of the investment we are making in their community.”

YHA Lake Tekapo building site

Billy Kerr, Hostel Manager, says the new hostel will offer many of the features previous guests have loved, such as the great location and uninterrupted lake views, and surpass expectations with a modern design and brand new amenities.

Tekapo is an increasingly popular destination and the hostel’s proximity to attractions such as the proposed new Earth and Sky headquarters, expected to open December 2018, will add to the attraction for tourists.

The current hostel has been closed to public bookings to accommodate construction staff who are working on the new property, with the new hostel expected to open in November 2018.

About YHA Lake Tekapo

  • 120 beds including various accommodation types, up from 33 beds in previous hostel
  • Communal kitchens, lounges overlooking Lake Tekapo, laundry, media room and dining areas
  • On-site staff accommodation
  • Design incorporates elements of the natural landscape in line with the Mackenzie District Council’s specifications and features solar hot water and photovoltaic panels
  • Adjoining café / bar will seat 30-40 people inside with seating for an additional 20 – 30 people in the outdoor courtyard area and a takeaway menu


19 January 2018

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