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The tragic death of 22-year-old British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand has shaken the country, following her disappearance from a hostel in Auckland on December 1.

She was later recovered in the Waitakere Ranges area one week later, and a 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged.

He is scheduled to appear in the high court in January 2019.

Grace's heartbroken father, David Millane, attended a Māori blessing ceremony close to where backpacker was discovered yesterday, and has since praised the compassion shown by the New Zealanders.

David is taking his beloved little girl home in the next few days, but thanked the New Zealand police for a “concise, stringent and thorough investigation”, as well as the local media for showing respect and courtesy "at all times."

He also gave thanks to locals who took his daughter into their hearts, saying; “From that very first moment we have been astounded by the level of concern, sympathy and selfless help from every person we have met.”

“We would like to thank the people of New Zealand for their outpouring of love, numerous messages, tributes and compassion."

He continued in the statement, speaking on behalf of the Millane family;

“Grace was not born here and only managed to stay a few weeks, but you have taken her to your hearts and in some small way she will forever be a Kiwi.”

“We all hope that what has happened to Grace will not deter even one person from venturing out into the world,” he added.

Grace's father and uncle visited the Auckland bushland area near where she was found to receive a Māori blessing, which he described as a privilege, and a 'lovely and peaceful experience'.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Portia Lawrence (@portialawrence) on

David Millane shared a hongi (nose press) with a local uniformed police officer in Auckland, a New Zealand traditional gesture.

Candlelight vigils were planned for Grace in every city in New Zealand on Wednesday, many of which were organised by women’s refuges and anti-violence organisations and activists.

Grace's family are organising her funeral in her hometown of Wickford, Essex. 

Our deepest condolences go out to Grace's loving family during this incredibly difficult time.

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A 21-year-old backpacker has been killed in a brutal attack at a hostel in Queensland. 

Mia Ayliffe-Chung – known to her friends as Mimi – studied psychology and childcare at college and following the completion of her studies earlier this year, had been travelling around Australia.

She was killed yesterday in a frenzied knife-attack at Shelley's Backpackers. Carried out by a 29-year-old Frenchman, he seemingly shouted "Allahu akbar" as he repeatedly stabbed the young woman. 

Australian police are calling the incident "senseless" but have also confirmed that they are investigating whether the attack was motivated by Islamic extremism. 

"We don’t have a motive yet," telegraph.co.uk quotes superintendent Ray Rohweder.

"Police were confronted with a terrible scene when they arrived. There were up to 30 people who witnessed the incident."

The violent outburst took place at a hostel in Home Hill, a quiet coastal town 60 miles south of Townsville.

A dog was furthermore killed, while a 30-year-old Briton was injured trying to protect Mia. He remains in a critical condition in hospital.

A local resident named as Ray told The ABC that he heard "blood curdling screams," on Tuesday night.

"I’ll never forget the screaming – I’ve never heard that before in my life. It’s terrible," he said.

"A sleepy little town like this, you don’t expect things like that to happen."

According to her Facebook page, Ms Ayliffe-Chung hailed from Derbyshire and went to school at Ecclesbourne School and Anthony Gell School in Derbyshire. She then went on to study  at Buxton and Leek College, and Chesterfield College.

Local media in Queensland say that Mia travelled north from Surfers Paradise ten days ago to work in a rural area to extend her Australian visa.

Her friends and family have been heart-wrenching messages to her on social media. 

A heart-breaking message left by a mother whose child is also currently travelling read: "RIP.. and love to your family and friends – my son is travelling nearby in Aus living the dream as you were… You were brave enough to spread your wings… good on you."

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It seems Dublin is a big hit with tourists these days – between being voted the fifth friendliest city in the world, one of its coffee shops being listed as a ‘must see before you die’ and being hailed as a ‘foodie heaven’, it’s sounds like the perfect holiday destination!

Now, to add to the list, The Generator Hostel in Smithfield has been ranked no. 3 in a list of the best hostels in the world!

When we imagine a hostel, we think of the grubby kind – but The Generator is nothing like that. With over 500 beds, it showcases cool graffiti and chandaliers made from old Jameson bottles. The bunks have their own lights, power points and secure storage space too – it’s practically five star!

The hostel is part of an upmarket chain of hostels in European cities, and the general manager of the Dublin hostel said he wasn’t surprised by the accolade:

“We're delighted to be recognised, but not surprised.

“We offer something for everybody, from the budget all the way to the business traveller. The social spaces are bustling with activity. In a hotel, guests rarely interact. You could never say that about Generator Dublin.”

Well, the next time we’re on the hunt for a place to stay for the night, we’ll definitely be giving this place a go!

And if you're travelling abroad this year, you should check out the entire top ten list of hostels worldwide:

  • Generator Hostel London, England
  • Meininger Hotel London Hyde Park, England
  • Generator Hostel Dublin, Ireland
  • Anker Hostel Oslo, Norway
  • Nihao Taipei, Taiwan
  • 40 Berkeley Boston, USA
  • Centre Esplai Hostel, Spain
  • Eurohostel Helsinki, Finland
  • Eurohostel Glasgow, Scotland
  • Camping Village Roma, Italy
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