The Youth Hostel – A New Era Begins!

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“YHA Opoutere is a relaxing, old-fashioned and wonderfully sited hostel beside the estuary in a 1908 schoolhouse in mature grounds, with free kayaks and the chance for nocturnal glowworm spotting.” -Rough Guide To New Zealand

Opoutere’s Youth Hostel (YHA) is in a prime location with the most amazing views out over the Wharekawa harbour, the beach forest and the spit. Surrounded by mature native forest and majestic redwood trees the YHA is a great spot for birdwatching. Opoutere is home to a colony of kaka parrots and their unique whistles and squawks compete with the comical chatter from the resident grey herons. Another treat for YHA guests is an after-dinner glow worm walk, just around the corner.

The site is steeped in local history having served as the grounds for the Opoutere School during the early 1900’s. The original teacher’s house still stands, now housing the kitchen, lounge and some of the bunk rooms.

A large open plan bunk room occupies what used to be the old school house, it has a log burner to keep visitors toasty in the cooler months.

 Travellers come from around the world to stay at the YHA and they often make repeat pilgrimages back to the area, you never know who you’ll be sharing the bbq with!

Communal kitchen and bathroom facilities are kept spotless by Teresa, a lovely local who is also the friendly face behind the reception desk when you arrive.

Media Release 16 October 2019

YHA ANNOUNCE SUMMER ACCOMMODATION IN OPOUTERE By YHA New Zealand

YHA New Zealand are delighted to announce the handover of the former YHA Opoutere to the Wharekawa Adventure Education Trust which will include summer accommodation offerings.

The Opoutere hostel shut its doors in April 2018 following winter closures and low occupancy over a number of years. YHA New Zealand has been working with a local group, now formalised as the Wharekawa Adventure Education Trust (WAET), since early 2018 to facilitate handover of the property to deliver outdoor education programmes for youth. With the formalisation of the Trustnow complete, YHA are able to announce the Trust’s intention to also provide visitor accommodation over the peak summer period.

Mark Wells, YHA New Zealand’s Chief Executive, is particularly pleased to see the development go public. “We have worked together for many months to realise the vision of Wharekawa, with strongsupport from the Thames Coromandel District Council. We are especially supportive of this initiative, which aligns directly with the gazetted purpose of the site to deliver programmes for the benefit of youth.”

“YHA Opoutere was a very special location for many of our members, guests and staff over theyears. To find a group so passionate about supporting youth development in line with our own mission and values, and who are able to offer that summer accommodation, was an excellentoutcome for all parties,” says Mr Wells. “We know several families who loved the site as they woulda family bach, so this development will be great news for them.”

In support of this development, Wharekawa Adventure Education Trust has entered into a new lease with the Thames Coromandel District Council who own the land, and purchased the improvements on site from YHA. They plan to offer visitor accommodation from December 1 2019, with outdoor education programmes commencing in early 2020.

“We’re really excited about the future and the programmes we can offer,” says spokesperson forWAET, Alistair Luke. “We’ve really appreciated the work YHA have put in to help us bring this dream to life. We can’t wait to get started.”

The Thames Coromandel District Council is similarly delighted with the result. “The gazetted purposeof the site has always been to deliver programmes for the benefit of youth,” says Council representative Jon Muston. “The intended use of this site demonstrates a really excellent alignment with this purpose and we’re very appreciative of the collaboration between YHA New Zealand andWharekawa Adventure Education Trust to make this happen.”

WAET are finalising their booking system and intend to offer bookings to YHA members before opening these to the public. Booking information is expected to be provided to YHA members in early November.

About YHA New Zealand

The Youth Hostels Association of New Zealand (YHA New Zealand) is a not-for-profit association established in 1932 in Canterbury. With a network of over 35 hostels in both islands, YHA New Zealand provides high quality budget accommodation to New Zealanders and international travellers. YHA New Zealand is a committed advocate of sustainable practices. For more information, please visit: http://www.yha.co.nz.

To learn more about this please contact:

Mark Wells
Chief Executive, YHA New Zealand 166 Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch DDI: 03 353 9197
MOB: 027 494 7560mark.wells@yha.co.nz

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