With a long working history in tourism around Europe as well as NZ, Gilbert - who originally hails from Christchurch - is a multi-talented do-it-all come host with plenty of hair-raising travel stories to tell. He also used to guide for Elm Wildlife Tours for several years and has therefore accumulated invaluable knowledge about the Otago Peninsula and its rare and exciting wildlife. These days, he is often seen up a ladder or brandishing a tool or paint brush while tending to the many maintenance jobs around the sizeable building and grounds. Maja is Swiss-born and raised with a background in languages and has done her fair share of travelling before meeting Gilbert and settling in Dunedin in 1996. In 1999, they bought this magnificent building which used to be the Catholic Bishop's Residence for 137 years and eventually turned it into Hogwartz - the popular backpacker hostel it is today. Although slightly tied down with the hostel and their dearly-loved Jack Russell Terrier, the couple still enjoys travelling and exploring new destinations whenever they manage to get away.
There is news on the hostel doggie front! Our dear old friend Asterix (picture) passed away in February 2014, and we took a good few months to accept that no greeting we could ever offer our guests would be as welcoming and enthusiastic as the ones he used to extend... Now, we admit that a personality like Asterix can never be replaced; however, we have found a lovely and lovable wee rescue dog by the name of Tinka who will do her utmost to fill the rather large 'shoes' of her predecessor. Tinka is a tiny, 8year-old Jack Russell cross who tries to please (and who thinks she's a Great Dane :D). Come and meet her - we are sure you will enjoy her company as much as she will appreciate your cuddles!