The new YHA Lake Tekapo was opened today by the Honourable Jacqui Dean and a host of guests. Recounting the sociability and opportunity YHA’s offer travellers, Dean said, “Thank you for making it a pretty easy choice for me to come and stay here. I know that I can pop into the communal kitchen and make myself a cup of tea, and there’ll always be somebody to chat to. For somebody who travels a lot, that’s invaluable.”

Along with Dean, two students from Lake Tekapo School helped unveil the official plaque and formally open the new facility.

The $9 million lakefront destination was completed oni April of this year, with an 80 percent occupancy rate for the last two months. To date, guest feedback has been positive—review ratings averaging 96 percent or more.

The new location helps Lake Tekapo Village accommodate the booming number of tourists flooding into the region. Although a must-see destination, Tekapo has previously lacked accommodation for those travelling on a budget—the new YHA offers just that. “One of the enduring myths around backpackers is that they’re low-value visitors,” said Mark Wells, YHA New Zealand chief executive. “The reality is they stay longer, spend more, and see more regions than most other travellers. The style of accommodation does not dictate the overall spending patterns.”

The YHA has the capacity to accommodate 128 guests across a range of 42 multi-share and private twin or double rooms. The venue has free WiFi, in-house laundry, a TV lounge, solar hot water, photovoltaic panels and a modern, and fully equipped kitchen and lounge area.