Christchurch: Cursing hostels and sleeping in pods

We arrived at Sydney airport 4 hours early to avoid Boxing Day crowds. Funnily enough, we walked straight through online check in, got upgraded to seats with extra leg room, and spent 3.5hrs wandering around the airport.

Our flight was delayed 45min, but when we finally boarded the plane around 8pm, we didn’t care – we were on our way to New Zealand!

When we arrived in Christchurch, it was around 1am local time, so we were desperate to get straight to the hostel and sleep before the beginning of our road trip.

Walking out the glass gates of Christchurch airport, we had no trouble finding a cab, and hopped straight into a bright green car.

“Holy shit, this thing isn’t making any noise.”

If you’ve never been in an electric car, they make zero noise, and it’s super weird.

We asked our driver to take us to our ‘pre-booked accommodation’ in Christchurch city centre, approximately 20min from the airport. We chose this accommodation because it offered a simple room, for the cheapest price on

If you didn’t know already, taxi’s are expensive in New Zealand. We paid $50 to the kind sir driving the eco-friendly green-machine, and went to open Urbanz’s after hours safe located next to the hostel door, where I entered the passcode to the safe in order to grab our key to the room. What a pity, when we opened the metal door, we saw an envelope inside reading, “Dear Mr Huan”.

“Right. That’s odd. Lucky I’ve got free data roaming.” Without losing my marbles, I calmly checked my bank account to make sure Urbanz hadn’t taken the $75NZD out. Lucky for us, there’d been no charge made.

Well, there’s one good thing to come of this.

It’s 2:30am in Christchurch. There are no cabs around, there’s a weirdo sitting in the alleyway beside the hostel listening to Mark and I curse the building, and there are no other hotels in sight. Nothin’.

So, I Google “Christchurch Taxis” to find the number of a 24hr taxi service, asked for the cab to pick us up from Urbanz, and waited no longer that 2 minutes before a diver rocked up. With a kind smile, we slide open the van door as he says, “Little bit lost, are we?”

With very limited options in a ghost town like Christcurch, our new driver suggested we try Jucy Snooze – a backpacker accommodation lodge right beside the airport.


When we arrived, we thanked the driver, paid him another $50, and went inside to find a staff member who booked us in to ‘pods’ for $35 each. Not before chewing our ear off about Australia’s backward coin system…

We get it. The $2 coin should be bigger than the $1. I’ll alert the authorities when I get back.

Hang on. $35 per person? That’s strange. Shouldn’t this dude just charge two people for a room? And wait a tic, what’s a pod?

It’s way too early in the morning for me to complain, but are we about to open the door to some sort of Japanese-style, capsule hotel?


We opened Door 3 to find a white room with 8 pods. 6 of them had curtains closed and inside, I’m sure, weary travellers resting.


Mark and I climbed inside our pods, my claustrophobia gasping for air and a window – but too damn exhausted to take over.


The clock ticked over to 3:30am as I pulled up the sheet, and giggled one last time before falling asleep. 

When we got up the next day, (not too quickly, watch the head) we treated ourselves to a shower, checked out and headed straight for the nearest cafe to fetch a ham and cheese croissant, and a bowl of coffee for $5.90.

[Running total = $182NZD]



January 10, 2017

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