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How it all began

In 1909 German school teacher Richard Schirrmann founded the first network of youth hostels in Germany to allow children from cities suffering from the effects of war to have recreational time in the safety of the country. At the end of World War 1 the idea of hostelling spread to other European countries and Cora Wilding founded the first Southern Hemisphere hostel in New Zealand in 1932.

YHA today

Today the Youth Hostels Association of New Zealand is a member based incorporated society and a registered charitable organisation.

YHA New Zealand continues to develop its hostel network in support of its charitable objects, with the Association’s charitable purpose being demonstrated in the way we work.

Today YHA New Zealand manages 25 hostels, and has Associate partner agreements with 26 independently owned hostels. There are approximately 220 employees in the organisation.

Our network not only supports and facilitates travel; it also promotes knowledge and understanding through the social interaction stimulated by our hostels’ communal living and recreational areas. We also actively educate guests and members through a commitment to environmental sustainability which pervades our organisation. We have received many awards and accolades for this over the years.

Affiliation to Hostelling International

YHA New Zealand is affiliated to Hostelling International (HI); which was founded in 1932 as a Federation of Independent National Youth Hostel Associations.