The following is a list of women only tours, retreats and accommodation (female only dormitories in hostels and one women only guest house). There's also links to some women specific travel books and websites. Let's support our sisters, many of them are doin' it for themselves ..... (updated June 2013)
What's New? Blog posts - Sanctuary Dorm, Base Queenstown and Backpacking Rydges style in Queenstown; HERmail.net; Reel Chix Fish; ReVive Me Retreat, Taranaki; Belly dance classes; Accommodation - Accents on the Park, Nelson and additional Christchurch options;
Women's Adventures NZ
Women's Adventures NZ is based in Auckland and organises one day activities, weekend trips and longer adventures, visit the website to see what's coming up next.
Towanda Women Motorcycle Tours Ltd
Motorcycle tours for women by women. All motorcycles are hired from leading rental firms (or you can take your own) so you should be able to ride your motorcycle of choice. Subscribe to the newsletter if you would like to keep up to date with what's new. Women motorcyclists might also be interested in contacting the NZ division of Women's International Motorcycling Association.
Visit an active volcano, stay at Mermaid Guesthouse in Wellington and sea kayak around Kenepuru Sound with Driftwood Dreamers. Trips and dates.
Venus Adventures - Global Trips for Women
Venus Adventures has an office in Motueka and they specialise in small group women only holidays. They organise short breaks in NZ including sea kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park. Overseas destinations include Turkey, Morocco and Egypt. They will design customised tours if you are part of a group of women who would like to plan a unique adventure.
Trekking Adventures (formerly Trekking 4 Women Ltd) now offers trips for both men and women. Some women only trips are offered like the trekking and cycling tours in the South Island. International destinations include Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Tanzania and Egypt.
In 2013 international destinations like Turkey, Greece and Wales are on the calendar. Trips closer to home for women can include sea kayaking in the Bay of Islands.
Retreats/Surf Lessons/Outdoor Adventure
ReVive Me Women’s Retreat, Taranaki
All inclusive weekend retreats for women who like to be inspired and give inspiration to others.
Spend a weekend to Relax, Rethink and Reconnect with our mind, body and positive spirit.
Experience moments of blissful relaxation while purposefully creating and living the life that you so desire.
Activities include movement through yoga, belly dance, meditation, life balance review, group cooking sessions, gratitude course, creative workshops and pamper me massages.
Location: The Bungalow Coast Retreat. For full information and updates of the weekend’s activities, workshops and facilitators see the Retreat Programme Schedule.
Connect with us on Facebook for inspirational quotes.
Scrap booking events including an indulgent retreat and a 2014 scrapbooking cruise.
Surf Dames, Whale Bay, Raglan
Surf Dames is a women's only surfing and spa retreat - learn to surf (3 - 4 hour lesson, surf board and wet suit provided, $99). Also check out the luxury surf camps and retreat packages. If you would like to organise a hen party with a difference or create your own retreat package, get in touch with the Surf Dames on 07 825 SURF (7873).
Hibiscus, Mt Maunganui
Hibiscus organise hens surf parties (and bachelor surf parties), a surf photographer can be on hand to snap some surfing shots. Private surf lessons are also offered.
Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Tongariro
Join a two day Ladies Adventure Weekend - activities may include canoeing, caving, rock climbing and abseilling. From $370, includes two nights accommodation, meals and activities. (NZ Herald article). OPC also hosts Father Son Adventure Weekends.
Belly Dance Classes
A worldwide directory of Belly Dance classes - NZ classes. New
Reel Chix Fish
Currently the site mainly lists reelchixfish branded clothing and accessories, but there is a fishing directory and the owner of the site may be able to answer your fishy questions. There is also an active facebook page. New
HERmail.net is a service offered via the Journeywoman website, it enables women to connect worldwide. You can either provide your email details so that you can assist a female traveller who will be visiting your town, or if you are travelling you can connect with women who may be able to assist you. New
A website for women who want to walk - find walking routes, walking groups and keep an online walk diary.
Frocks on Bikes
Flocks of frocks pedal their way around many towns in NZ. Look out for events in Frocktober.
Women's Lifestyle Expo
Each year the Women's Lifestyle Expo is held in around eight cities throughout the country, visit the website for dates and details.
Red Hat Society
An international society of women, usually aged over 50, who ofcourse wear red hats. Simply the Best is a chapter in Picton and Precious Pearls are in Taranaki.
Find reviews for the accommodation options below on Trip Advisor, HostelWorld.com, BBH or all the other review sites on the world wide web if you're so inclined.
Base Backpackers are in New Zealand and Australia. Some Base Backpackers have what they call sanctuary dorms - exclusively for the girls who want some extra comforts on their backpacking travels. Two examples are Base Bay of Islands, 18 Kings Road, Paihia (Trip Advisor reviews) and Base Auckland, Level 3, 229 Queen Street (Trip Advisor reviews). See other Base locations.
Nomads are another backpacker/flashpacker chain that have women only accommodation. Two Auckland hostels with separate female dorms are Nomads Auckland Backpacker Hostel and Nomads Fat Camel Backpackers Hostel. In Wellington see Nomads Capital Backpacker Hostel. (See below for Nomads Queenstown).
Turtle Cove Accommodation, 14 Bryce Street, Whitianga
Hire a bike and borrow a spade for free to take to Hot Water Beach. There are separate male and female bathrooms and dorms. (Top Trip Advisor reviews).
Loft 109 Backpackers, 109 Devonport Road, Tauranga
Located in up town Tauranga, Loft 109 is a short walk from the cinema and cafes. If you're looking for seasonal work they will give you a helping hand and weekly rates may be available for long term stays. Stay in the six bed female dorm from $25. (Trip Advisor reviews).
Crash Palace Backpackers Rotorua, 1271 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
Trip Advisor reviews are positive for Crash Palace - book a bed in a female dorm from $30.
Tiki Lodge, 104 Tuwharetoa Street, Taupo
You can book a bed in a female only dorm at modern Tiki Lodge from $27 per night.
Family and ensuite rooms are also available. Relax in the outdoor spa, enjoy the views over the lake and Central Plateau and take a short walk to down town. (Trip Advisor reviews).
Barnacles Seaside Inn, 3 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach
Enjoy the beach life at Barnacles, around an hour north of Wellington. Boat trips to Kapiti Island can be arranged. Book a bed in a four bed women only dorm from $29.
Guest House for Women, 1 Epuni Street, Aro Valley, Wellington
It looks like you will get a very pleasant nights sleep in the lovely rooms at Mermaid. Stay in the Bengali Room from $90 single. Luxurious robes, towels and soap are standard issue. There's a guest kitchen, a deck for relaxing and wireless Internet is free if you have your own lap top. (Trip Advisor reviews).
Trek Global Backpacker, 9 O'Reily Avenue, Te Aro, Wellington
Trek have a girls only floor - "The Retreat". Designer toiletries and free use of hair straighteners and hair dryers are included in the rate, from $26. (Trip Advisor reviews).
Hat Trick Lodge Backpackers Hostel Accommodation, 25 Wallace Street, Motueka
Hat Trick Lodge is 18 kilometres from the Abel Tasman National Park, there's plenty of off street parking if you would like to leave your vehicle and tramp in the Abel Tasman for a few days. The lodge is a 51 bed facility offering a variety of room types including a women's only dorm.
Accents on the Park, 335 Trafalgar Square, Nelson
Stay in a restored villa next to the Cathedral. Girls only rooms are available as well as girls only bathrooms, the bathrooms have heated floors, anti fog mirrors and hairdryers. Rated well by both girls and guys on Trip Advisor. New
Paradiso, 42 Weka Street, Nelson
Located close to the city centre, Paradiso has facilities like a swimming pool, volleyball court and sauna. Tea and coffee are included in the rate. There is a women's only dorm - beds from $25. (Trip Advisor reviews).
Around the World Backpackers, 314 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch
Around the World Backpackers have a 4 bed female dorm, the rate includes 20MB of free wifi, and a free meal on Wednesdays.
(Trip Advisor reviews). New
YHA Rolleston, 5 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch
YHA Rolleston is located opposite the Canterbury Museum, Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park. Book a bed in a female only dorm from $35. (Trip Advisor reviews). New
Onuku Farm Hostel, Onuku Road, Akaroa (6kms from Akaroa)
Onuku Farm offers a range of accommodation - gaze up at the stars through the glass roof of a Stargazer wooden tent or get back to basics with no heating or electricity in the Top Hut. There's a girls only dorm in the Farmhouse. Please take care if you are driving from Akaroa to Onuku Farm, the road is unsealed and narrow in places. The hostel may be closed over winter. (Trip Advisor reviews). To find more unusual accommodation options visit our Unusual Accommodation Guide.
Kowhai Riding School, 711 Island Road, View Hill, Oxford (75 kms west of Christchurch)
All inclusive packages including accommodation, meals, horse riding lessons and horse treks are available at Kowhai Riding School. There are a range of accommodation options including a female only dorm. You can also book a farm stay that includes private accommodation, meals, horse riding lessons and farm trekking to suit, stay from one night to three months. (Airport pick ups can be arranged). (Trip Advisor reviews).
Base Backpackers in the South Island that have sanctuary dorms are Base Christchurch (closed due to earthquake damage) and Base Queenstown. A blog post about my stay in a Sanctuary Dorm at Base Queenstown. New
Rydges Lakeland Resort has 'private backpacker style accommodation' suitable for up to four women travelling together, or female flashpackers looking for a little bit of luxury in Queenstown. See the blog post Backpacking Rydges style in Queenstown. New
Nomads Queenstown Backpackers, 5 - 11 Church Street, Queenstown
Nomads have girls only dorms and rates include a light breakfast. The hostel has a sauna, ski storage and 24 hour reception. (Trip Advisor reviews).
The Last Resort, 6 Memorial Street, Queenstown
The Last Resort is a converted brothel located in a quiet spot in Queenstown, but still close to down town. Women are welcome to stay in the female only 4 bed dorm (there are no double, twin or single rooms). Minimum 2 night stay, maximum 7, from $30 per night. (BBH reviews).
Travel Websites and Books For Women
A few resources to check out include Gutsy Women - Advice, Inspiration, Stories by Marybeth Bond (4th edition published 2012). The author also has a website www.gutsytraveller.com. Another website for women travellers that's worth a visit is Journey Woman. Young women travellers might like to check out The Girlo Travel Survival Kit by Anthea Paul, the book is part of the Girlosophy series.
If you like to be super organised on your travels and you're looking for travel tips another book is The Intelligent Traveller - How to plan your perfect trip by Jenny Herbert (published 2008). This book has thought provoking chapters on how you can make the most of your travel experience, discusses issues of authenticity and some do's and don'ts of responsible tourism.
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