Meet the Team

Our lodge managers:

Hannah Barnell
Operations Manager
Hannah Barnell
Operations Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

We love to think outside the box! We believe hostels should be super friendly and affordable but also super clean, extra comfortable, and a little bit special! That’s why we provide hotel quality mattresses, fluffy pillows, free unlimited WiFi and experienced staff as standard.

Favourite local activity:

That’s a hard question – there are SO many activities in Queenstown to choose from! A perfect winter day would definitely include a good dose of skiing at the local resorts, followed by a hotpool session at Onsen to unwind, topped off with a night out bar-hopping – you can’t beat the nightlife in Queenie. In the summer, well there’s always skydiving, jet boating and paragliding!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Come and talk to us at the front desk! We’re really friendly, love a chat and are excited to help you tailor your Queenstown experience to fit you perfectly.

Sheryl Botha
Christchurch Manager
Sheryl Botha
Christchurch Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

The passion of the people who work at Haka Lodge. We work here because we love it! And it shows from the friendly welcome you will receive on arrival, to the attention taken to ensure the lodge is ultra clean and comfy, we go the extra mile for our guests!

Favourite local activity:

For me it’s got to be the local beaches, the various walks on the Port Hills and Banks Peninsular, and the forest walks in the foothills about an hour north of the City.

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Take a deep breathe, now let it out nice and slow... Welcome you have arrived. Haka Lodge Christchurch, your real home away from home. Take a stroll around our gorgeous native garden, chill out in the hammock, or eat fresh veges from our garden. In cold weather rug up next to our cosy wood fire, and soak up the chill vibes or make new friends in the lounge.

Martina Mestek
Christchurch Assistant Manager
Martina Mestek
Christchurch Assistant Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

For me it’s the feeling you get stepping in any Haka Lodge. That homey, comfortable feeling which you get when you are amongst friends. As a backpacker i know how important that feeling is and at Haka that comes naturally..Besides comfortable beds and awesome staff, of course!

Favourite local activity:

Exploring the Garden City on a bike! Cruising through the Botanic garden, stopping at the Museum and grabing a cup of coffee or a quick lunch at Re:Start Mall. But if I want to chill and enjoy an afternoon at the beach I take a bike to the Sumner Beach. It is amazing and just a quick ride from the hostel!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Christchurch is a city full of kontrasts. On one hand you have the ruins and construction sites, but on the other hand you have beautifull parks, gardens and beaches. Take the city as it is and give it a chance. Explore it and get to know the history and the people. Once you realise how the city is constantly transforming and evolving, you will see it’s a city of opportunities and hope.

Naomi Render
Queenstown Manager
Naomi Render
Queenstown Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

We're all buddies! Guests are like family, & we have super clean & comfy facilities so you feel right at home. Our staff are all well-travelled so have lots to talk about & know the best local spots in town 🙂

Favourite local activity:

Queenstown = adventure. So a bungy, of course! The Original Bungy is the Kawarau Bridge, conveniently located in the Gibbston Valley wine region so you can enjoy a nice glass of pinot to calm your nerves (pre or post jump)!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Don't waste time in bed! There is so much to see & do in Queenstown – just get out there & be involved in all the craziness. This is THE PLACE to make new friends & awesome memories.

George Harrison
Queenstown Assistant Manager
George Harrison
Queenstown Assistant Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

Easy going vibe and great place to meet new people.

Favourite local activity:

Downhill mountain biking hands down! It's fast, dangerous and has to be done off of mountains! Views and fun what more do you need ??

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

The Patagonia Lemon sorbet or Tramontana ice cream, this is not a suggestion. Don't be afraid to hit up an adrenaline activity, balancing on the edge is more interesting than standing on the flat.

Kirsty Hofstetter
Paihia Manager
Kirsty Hofstetter
Paihia Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

The quirky atmosphere, friendly staff and comfortable lounge mean you can really feel at home while you stay with us.

Favourite local activity:

Scuba Diving the Canterbury wreck and surrounding reefs – it’s eerie and amazing and in a marine reserve so there are fish everywhere! If you don’t want to get wet, then you can always check out the Bay from the sky and do the highest skydive in the North Island – 16000ft!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Leave your worries at home and get into the Kiwi mindset – easy going, no stress and a new adventure around every corner.

Laure Falconnier
Paihia Assistant Manager
Laure Falconnier
Paihia Assistant Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

Haka Lodge is a home away from home, a place to relax, enjoy and make new friends. Each Haka Lodge is different, but they're all filled with the love of the team working there. We want you to enjoy your stay and nothing makes us happier than seeing a smile on your face.

Favourite local activity:

A sailing day on She's a Lady. There's no better way to discover the bay and you'll even get the chance to climb on the top of one of the 144 islands. My tip: let the child in you come out and play: jump from the boat in the crystal clear water and enjoy paradise!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Have an open minded attitude and talk to the other guests, you might make friends for life!

Jess Mackie
Paihia Assistant Manager
Jess Mackie
Paihia Assistant Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

We're visionaries. We're constantly looking for ways to improve, what would make travelling that little bit better, what's new in this ever-changing industry, what do people want. We're not about providing the basics. We're about making a hostel a home, providing service with a smile, making travelling as awesome as we know it can be. We're a proud family that want to welcome the world into our homes. That's you guys!! So come visit us and our lodges 🙂

Favourite local activity:

The Bay is full of wonderful things to do but I guess my favourite local activity would be sailing. It's a great all-rounder! And totally under-rated for this part of NZ. You get to experience the Bay in all its glory, see wildlife, visit and explore one of the many beautiful islands in a smaller intimate group where you can talk and learn more than just the standard tourist-y information from people who live, work and breathe this wonderful part of the country.

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Embrace opportunity and the weather! We all know how crazy and interchangeable the weather in NZ can be. But don't let it rule your stay. Put on your windproofs, your thermals or your raincoats and get out there!

Hannah McAlpine
Auckland Manager
Hannah McAlpine
Auckland Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

The people. We have such a fantastic group of people from all over the globe working in our teams, all excited and passionate about making our lodges an epic part of travellers "Kiwiland" experience.

Favourite local activity:

Morning of paddle boarding at the picturesque Onetangi beach on the infamous Waiheke Island, followed by indulgently hopping my way back across the island via some of the best winery's in NZ....so beautiful on a summer’s day!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Book one (or 3....5!) of the extraordinary Haka Tours we have available, speak to our staff about the best option for you - you won't regret it!

Harry McAlpine
Auckland Assistant Manager
Harry McAlpine
Auckland Assistant Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

By virtue of the fact that installed within it is an ethos of family and a universal love for all of our fellow earth bound human beings from across the globe. Not to mention the fact that it operates with such cool, calm and collectedness, at least most of the time!

Favourite local activity:

If we are talking local in terms of Auckland, I must say, rather like an old man, I enjoy a long and lumbering stroll in the Domain, enjoying the geese with their terrifyingly beady eyes, the ducks, and of course that one solitary chicken that hangs around acting like it’s totally not weird that it’s there, which it totally is. Who can forget also the dankness that is Waihake Island, and my current stomping ground the picturesque Titirangi. In terms of the wider locality of NZ I love the beauty of both Wanaka in the south, and Lake Taupo of the north.

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Top Tip for making your stay a great one: Be kind to everyone and everything and have an open heart towards everyone you meet, except for perhaps a Young Nat. Just kidding. Also be nice to the earth and it will return in kind to you. Don’t get hung up on the trivialities, if you don’t think something will bother you a year from now, then it ain’t worth get bothered over now!

Elise Lagrenaudie
Auckland Assistant Manager
Elise Lagrenaudie
Auckland Assistant Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

Because it's a unique concept, it feels cosy, homey and there is a great team atmosphere!

Favourite local activity:

Explore the surrounding beaches and national parks, or hanging out in the op-shops with my chicks!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Keep your mind open.

May Choong
Auckland Night Manager
May Choong
Auckland Night Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

We have a genuine and friendly approach and would go the extra mile to make our guests our number one priority. Each and every lodge will make you feel like you’re at home because they are clean and comfy. That's why our guests keep coming back for more of the Haka Family love!

Favourite local activity:

My picks for now would be tramping in the Tongariro National Park for the incredible view overlooking the Emerald and Blue lakes. Also I would recommend Mt Ngauruhoe (a.k.a Mt Doom), Huka Falls and finally Abel Tasman. All have luscious, jaw dropping and picturesque landscapes that guarantee to take your breath away

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Breathe, chillax and enjoy each and every moment!! Appreciate the little things in life and be grateful 🙂 Come and talk to us and we will provide you the best tips to make your trip to New Zealand worthwhile. 🙂

Maria Mills
Taupō Manager
Maria Mills
Taupō Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

Haka Lodge is awesome because Haka is everyone's home away from home! A place to meet new friends, relax between adventures and discover the beautiful the our town has to offer.

Favourite local activity:

Only one? Taupō is full of amazing outdoor experiences – one of my favs would be the walking track to the famous Huka Falls – in Spring Tuis and Fantails follow you along your walk as they enjoy the nectar from the native Kōwhai trees. For a longer hikes, the mighty Tongariro Crossing never disappoints with amazing scenery to excites the senses!

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

When staying at Haka Lodge, remember our team are here to make your NZ experience the best it can be. We are passionate about Great Lake Taupō and everything the Waikato region has to offer and we are keen to share our local knowledge with you.

Charlotte Edelmayer
Taupō Assistant Manager
Charlotte Edelmayer
Taupō Assistant Manager

Why Haka Lodge is awesome:

Everyone in our team has been a backpacker at some point, so we all understand what our guests need after a day of traveling and being out and about adventuring. We've all been there, we get it, and we want to provide you with the best there is so you can enjoy your New-Zealand experience fully.

Favourite local activity:

There is so much to do here in Taupō it's hard to pick just a select few! I guess the perfect day would start with a hike to the top of Mt Tauhara for the sunrise, where you have a 360 degree view of the Great Lake Taupō region, followed by a skydive or a rafting trip down the Tongariro river and then a cheeky little sailing trip on the lake to the Maori Rock Carvings, just in time for the sunset.

Top tip for making your stay a great one:

Just enjoy every little moment of your experience, meet your fellow travellers, and explore beautiful Taupo and its region. And if you have any questions, just come and see us and we'll be more than happy to help you out!