Backpacking New Zealand was a fantastic experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, it can be hard to know where to stay in New Zealand at times.
Determining the best hostels in New Zealand can be a tricky and time-consuming exercise. Sifting through reviews isn’t much fun, let me tell you!
Hostels are a great option for the budget traveller and a lot of them in New Zealand are very charming and comfortable. They are a great place to meet fellow travellers and life-long friends!
I stayed in a number of great hostels in New Zealand during my time in the country. Below are a few of my recommendations for hostels to check out!
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Best Hostels in New Zealand
As the most populated island in New Zealand, there are plenty of hostels on the North Island. This is especially true in the two biggest cities, there’s plenty of accommodation in Auckland and Wellington.
It can be hard to decide where to stay at times, due to the level of choice. There are many great places to visit on the North Island, all of which have quality accommodation close by.
Below are a few recommendations for where to stay on the North Island.
Prices: Dorms from $22; Privates from $75 | Where: Taupo
Taupo is another place with a lot of hostels, but Base Taupo is one of the best there. Its proximity to Lake Taupo is very useful. You can walk there in less than 2 minutes!
The hostel itself is what you would expect from a Base hostel. The rooms are spacious and comfy, the kitchen is a decent size and there is a social room for people to mingle in.
Perhaps the best bit about the hostel is the onsite Element Bar. You can get access to meals served there and there’s nightly entertainment as well.
The staff here were very friendly and I would definitely return if I were to visit Taupo again!
Criterion Art Deco Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $29; Privates from $53 | Where: Napier
Criterion Art Deco Backpackers in Napier is one of the most beautiful backpacker hostels in New Zealand!
In a previous life, it was a luxury hotel. Now it has been converted into an upmarket backpackers! The hostel offers a lot of free stuff, such as breakfast and wifi.
The facilities here are great. The rooms were big and spacious, the kitchen had more than enough space for everyone. A common room area with a TV and pool table is also available for guests.
This hostel has a lot of character and is one of the better ones on the North Island!
Funky Green Voyager
Prices: Dorms from $22; Privates from $64 | Where: Rotorua
The Funky Green Voyager in Rotorua was a great place to stay. It wasn’t the most central location, but the facilities and the vibe in the hostel more than made up for it!
This was one of the biggest hostels in New Zealand I stayed at. The rooms were spacious, there was a sizable outdoor area for you to relax in and the living area was more than big enough for all the guests.
The kitchen was a bit smaller, but there was still enough space for everyone.
We stayed here for two nights and the staff were very friendly and helpful, telling us about all the activities that you can do in Rotorua.
Lodge in the City
Prices: Dorms from $19; Privates from $55 | Where: Wellington
Lodge in the City was a nice hostel that I had the pleasure of staying at during my time in Wellington.
The hostel is slightly outside of the centre of the city, but it only takes 5 minutes to get there. Wellington isn’t the biggest city, but getting around isn’t that difficult.
The facilities were of a good standard. The rooms were big enough with space to put my bags. The hostel comes into its own with its communal space. There are numerous big spaces where you can relax and socialise.
This includes a bar area downstairs and an outside terrace. If you want reasonably priced, comfortable accommodation in Wellington, Lodge in the City is as good as any!
Prices: Dorms from $28; Privates from $82 | Where: Mount Maunganui
The Mount Backpackers is the place to stay if you’re heading to Mount Maunganui.
It’s located in the downtown area of the town close to the beach. You can make use of this by renting a surfboard and gear to hit some waves!
The hostel itself is very comfortable. The rooms were not the biggest, but they were clean and comfy. There was also a decent-sized and well-stocked kitchen as well.
The Mount Backpackers is without a doubt one of the best hostels in New Zealand. A great place to stay in Mount Maunganui.
The Attic Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $33; Privates from $65. | Where: Auckland
If you want to be located in the centre of Auckland, then The Attic Backpackers is the place for you!
It’s a modern hostel on busy Queen Street, which is a great option for budget travellers. The facilities here are top-notch and include a large outdoor deck and a spacious kitchen.
The rooms are big and spacious complete with lockers for your backpack! Another bonus is that the hostel has its own booking desk, where you can purchase tours and trips!
You don’t pay any purchase fees on the trips you book either!
Waiheke Backpackers Hostel
Prices: Dorms from $33; Privates from $85 | Where: Waiheke Island
Waiheke Backpackers Hostel is one of the hostels in New Zealand with incredible views. Waiheke Islands offers some spectacular views and is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in New Zealand.
Located 30 minutes away from Auckland, Waiheke Backpackers Hostel is a good place for a weekend break from the city.
The hostel is close to Onetangi Beach and has some great facilities. A big kitchen, spacious rooms and even hammocks outside. Plus, there is a barbecue for you to use as well.
Waiheke Backpackers is set in a beautiful location and it’s definitely one of New Zealand’s best hostels!
Prices: Dorms from $27; Privates from $52. | Where: Gisborne
The YHA Gisborne is an ideal place to stay if you’re looking for accommodation in the centre of Gisborne.
The rooms here are spacious with lockers for you to store your belongings. There’s also a big kitchen which has more than enough space for all the guests to cook their meals.
A big social area is available for guests to relax in and there are a lot of free movies to choose from should you get bored!
One downside is that you only get 200MB of wifi a day, but you can purchase an additional 1GB for $2.
As the bigger of the two main islands in New Zealand, there are a lot of hostels on the South Island.
You have a range of backpackers to suit every need, which will allow you to see all the great places to visit on the South Island.
A lot of the hostels I stayed in were old buildings that had been converted into hostels. They certainly had a lot of character and made for beautiful places to stay!
Below are a few of my recommendations for where to stay on the South Island.
Prices: Dorms from $27; Privates from $75 | Where: Christchurch
The hostel is located close to Hagley Park and the Cathedral making it easy to get into the centre of Christchurch.
The kitchen is huge with more than enough space for guests and the outside area has a nice barbecue area. You can make great use of this when the weather is good.
I found the rooms to be spacious and comfortable. It was a bit expensive, but the location is handy! I would highly recommend this hostel if you want somewhere to stay in Christchurch!
Flying Kiwi Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $29; Privates from $74 | Where: Wanaka
I really enjoyed my stay at the Flying Kiwi Backpackers while I was in Wanaka. It was just a shame I wasn’t able to stay longer!
One of the best things about the hostel is the number of things that are free. You have free wifi, free tea and coffee and free spices and oil.
This is common in a lot of hostels. If you’re travelling to New Zealand on a budget, make the most of it!
The facilities are quite basic, but they work. The kitchen area is big and spacious, plus there is a nice little living area where you can eat and relax at the same time. The rooms were a bit on the small side but were cosy nonetheless.
The Flying Kiwi Backpackers may not be the fanciest, but it’s still one of the better hostels in New Zealand!
Noah’s Ark Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $29; Privates from $74. | Where: Greymouth
As you might have guessed from the name, Noah’s Ark Backpackers has an animal theme going on!
Each of the rooms is based on an animal such as a sheep. The rooms even have cuddly animals in them, such is the commitment to the theme!
Aside from the quirks, Noah’s Ark is a fantastic hostel. Located in Greymouth, the facilities were great with a nice kitchen and living area downstairs.
I felt very comfortable staying here, there was a vibe in the place. It was certainly one of my favourite hostels in New Zealand!
Prices: Dorms from $24; Privates from $110. | Where: Queenstown
However, what set it apart was the staff. From the moment we walked in, they made us feel very welcome. We were cracking jokes with them in no time!
The facilities were great. Our dorm was spacious and had a balcony to boot! A rarity in a hostel! The kitchen was very big and had more than enough space for everyone!
I was only there for a weekend, so I can’t say if it’s good long-term. However, for a short trip to Queenstown, I’d highly recommend it!
Point Break Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $27; Privates from $50. | Where: New Brighton, Christchurch
During my time in Christchurch, I spent a good five months at Point Break Backpackers. I’m slightly biased as I had a great time here and met a lot of great people, most of which are still good friends to this day!
Point Break isn’t located in the centre of Christchurch, rather it’s in the beachside suburb of New Brighton. If you want to stay by the beach, then this is the place for you.
Point Break isn’t the most glamorous hostel. The kitchen is quite small and there are not a lot of showers. A queue can form in the morning at times.
However, I loved it here. The staff were great and the cafe in the reception was fantastic, with some amazing food!
The Bug Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $26; Privates from $69. | Where: Nelson
The Bug Backpackers was one of my favourite hostels on the South Island. Located in Nelson, it really felt more like staying in a nice house instead of a hostel.
It’s not the biggest hostel, so it does feel a bit more personal because of this. You can get to know the other guests quite easily. Of course, it also means that you have freer rein over when you can use the facilities, which is always a bonus!
Perhaps the only downside is the location. It’s not that close to the centre of Nelson, it would probably take about 15 to 20 minutes to walk into the centre.
However, that doesn’t detract from how good The Bug Backpackers is. It was definitely one of my favourite hostels in New Zealand!
YHA Queenstown Lakefront
Prices: Dorms from $30; Privates from $78. | Where: Queenstown
You’re really not short of a choice when it comes to accommodation in Queenstown.
The YHA Queenstown Lakefront is one of the best places to stay. As the name suggests, this hostel is located close to the lake, which makes for a beautiful setting.
I enjoyed my stay here. The facilities were great. The kitchen was very big with lots of room. The dorms were spacious, and the social areas were very good.
The staff here were easy to talk to and were very knowledgeable about what to do in Queenstown. The vibe in this hostel was very chilled which is always a good sign!
There’s a lot of competition in Queenstown, but the YHA Lakefront is one of the best along with Nomads. I would definitely stay again if I was to visit Queenstown again.
YHA Trip Inn Hostel
Prices: Dorms from $31; Privates from $78. | Where: Westport
YHA Trip Inn Hostel was another one of my favourite hostels in New Zealand!
The YHA Trip Inn is a great hostel, with brilliant facilities. The main building was fantastic. It was previously an old house and felt really cosy and warm when we stayed during the winter.
The facilities were great, especially the big kitchen and living room area. There was also a separate games room away from the house which had table tennis!
Our dorm wasn’t in the main building but in one of the smaller buildings nearby. The room was big enough and I had a good night’s sleep there.
This would be the only hostel in Westport that I would stay at if I returned. A truly fabulous hostel.
Stewart Island is often the forgotten island of New Zealand. A lot of people are unaware that there is a third island in New Zealand! It’s only small, so this is probably why!
There aren’t many hostels on Stewart Island, but I found one below that is worth staying at!
Stewart Island Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $36; Privates from $56
There’s not a lot of choice of hostels on Stewart Island, but Stewart Island Backpackers is one of the best.
The facilities and the staff at the hostel are great! You have spacious rooms, kitchens and a great outdoor area. There is also a games room with a pool table should you require a few forms of entertainment!
An interesting part of the hostel is that you can stay in a tent if you wish! This might not be advisable at times with the weather in Stewart Island, but it would be a great experience nonetheless!
There are a lot of hostels in New Zealand to choose from. Hopefully, my list has made the job of finding a good hostel less stressful. I enjoyed my stay in these hostels and would highly recommend all of them for your trip to New Zealand!
What’s your favourite hostel in New Zealand? Is it on this list? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!
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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog. Check out the about me page to learn more!