Nelson, New Zealand
Everything's just good at this very large and well-equipped YHA. Basic quality as you'd expect it, a nice terrace, very large kitchen and dining area, decent lounge. One gripe is that if you come with your own car, parking is a bit of an ordeal in Nelson. You can park overnight at the big parking area right next to the hostel, but then have to get up early to move the car to the other side of town.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
An amazingly well-equipped kitchen, including many spices, was the highlight for us in this hostel. Lovely rooms and building. Staff availability was a bit hit-and-miss, but friendly when there. Location is halfway between town and the seal colony, which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. We didn't mind the walk all that much, but I can see people being less positive about this. Really nice view over the water, though.