I’m going to Christchurch to stay in jail. Yes, voluntarily. In the suburb Addington, about a 20 minute walk to the city center, they’ve transformed a jail into a flash backpackers. Jailhouse accommodation offers privates and dorm beds. Most of the building still looks like it used to, but with a fresh coat of paint. The doors are like the cell doors and the private rooms are quite small, cell size. The dorm I stayed in was very spacious and clean though.
The hostel feels modern, with a well equipped kitchen with plenty of utensils. There is a TV room, movie room and pool table. The jail theme is used in everything, from the warning signs in the kitchen stating the jail rules, to the friendly reminders that you can ask the wardens for extra blankets. You can even take your picture in black and white striped shirts.
I’d say the only disadvantage to this hostel is that it isn’t in the center. To get to the tourist attractions you need to catch the bus or walk. Close to the hostel are a couple of dairies, bars and take away shops and the area looks really nice. I had a really nice stay here and would come again. It’s one of the most unique hostels I’ve stayed in so far.