Kia Ora and a warm welcome to the only collection you’ll need to find the best hostels in New Zealand.
From the big cities of Auckland and Wellington, to much smaller locations such as Picton, and the adventure paradise of Queenstown – we’ve got you covered!
This is your simple guide on travelling New Zealand’s hostels and on a budget. In fact, we even put all of the accommodations on a map. This helps you for better planning.
Are these really the best hostels in New Zealand?
It’s an easy 100% yes!
If you’ve landed on this page, it’s likely you’re planning a trip around the country. Much smaller than its Australian neighbor, getting around is straight forward. You’re a New Zealand backpacker in the making!
Best Hostels in Whangarei: The Cell Block Backpackers
Whangarei is the place to head to if you’re keen for a beautiful waterfall and a volcano – named Mount Parihaka – towering over a city. It’s not just a volcano, but a home to remains of Maori villages too.
Stay in the thick of it (minutes from Queen Street) and enjoy this flashpackers, where luxury meets budget.
It’s a big one, with 92 beds! Yet social spaces are closed from 23:00 to support a respectable, quiet time for all.
Guess what? The bunk beds here have won awards! It’s not surprising once you see them. Lots of light, sturdy frames and a splash of colour really makes this feel like a trendy pad rather than a hostel.
There’s free tea and coffee, a huge hang out area and a large kitchen. Just ask if you’re keen to book a tour through sister company Haka Tours.
Translated as “the place of the careful ones” from the Maori language, Ohakune is ideal for hikers and snow-lovers. It’s also the ‘carrot capital’ which would explain the giant carrot found by the welcome sign.
Right on the doorstep of Tongariro National Park is a diverse hostel called LKNZ Lodge.
In fact, LKNZ offer some great deals for the Tangariro Crossing during summer – have a chat with the friendly staff.
From budget cabin dorms to flashpacker rooms, gorgeous accommodation for all traveller types is spread over three lodges.
The on-site cafe offers great coffee, snacks and breakfast. Each lodge also has a kitchen (4 in all), TV room and lounge.
Enjoy views of Mt Ruapehu and easy access to bars, restaurants and a supermarket within a 2-minute walk.
Nelson, a gorgeous coastal city nestled in the northeastern corner of the South Island, is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere, its stunning sunshine, and long sun-kissed beaches. It is one of the most delightful places to visit in New Zealand if you are seeking a tranquil and enjoyable experience away from the bustling tourist spots
Best Hostels in Takaka (Golden Bay): Gazebo Backpackers
Update: Damn, this hostel has permanently closed! Right now we do not have another recommendation in this area.
Looking for epic backpacker hostels with a twist?
Here we have a lovely home hostel offering a smaller, quieter experience in the laid-back area of Golden Bay. Takaka itself is renowned for artists, live musicians and organic produce.
Stay at Gazebo Golden Bay Backpackers if you like the sound of an open air solar shower and wandering around without your clothes on.
Yes you read that right: this hostel is clothing optional!
Lounge in one of two gardens or veg out with some Netflix. Town is reachable by foot, bike or a short car ride.
You’ll be staying in the home of owner Paul and his dog Raichel. It’s kept super cosy with a maximum of 8-10 guests at a time.
Best Hostels in Kaikoura
If you’re heading to Kaikoura you’re probably going to enjoy the wildlife. It’s possible to get close to seal colonies, swim with dolphins and head out on a whale excursion. Not to mention the stunning coastline and mountains.
There are two hostel worth mentioning in Kaikoura:
What are the best hostels in New Zealand South Island?
There are many hotspots to explore in the beautiful South Island. Skip to the handy map to have an easy look at all of the hostels we recommend in this part of the country.
Where is a good place to stay in New Zealand that isn’t expensive but with a good view?
Heading to the famous Bay of Plenty? Wanderlust NZ is an affordable hostel with terrace views of the waterfront in Tauranga.
Down in Ohakune you can enjoy views of Mt Ruapehu from the awesome LKNZ Lodge.
What facilities are provided in New Zealands backcountry huts?
Mixing hostel experiences with tramping? We don’t blame you! Backcountry huts in NZ generally include bunks with thin mattresses, communal cooking areas (covered), water, drop toilets and a wood stove.
Note: this is hut dependent so make sure you check before you go.
What are the best camping sites in New Zealand?
Let’s just say that camping sites are endless in New Zealand! From freedom camping to luxury by-the-sea dedicated camping spaces. We recommend checking out Rankers Camping NZ app - it’s free and lists pretty much all the camping sites across the country.
How good is the internet in New Zealand?
Very good! It obviously depends on where you are. Big cities have fast, reliable Wifi and hostels typically offer free, unlimited Wifi. If you’re heading out into the wilderness, expect to be completely out of signal in many areas.
What are the best hostels North Island New Zealand?
Oh, there are many! Do yourself a favour and skip to the handy map for an overview, including links directly to each hostel so you can pick your favourite.
What are the best hostels for solo travellers New Zealand?
Honestly, New Zealand is pretty much set up for solo travellers no matter where you go. Hostels have obviously designed their accommodation to suit solo travellers of all ages, genders and backgrounds.
Alright party lovers, we hear you! Head on down to Base Auckland for an ultimate city party.
Many of the hostels in Queenstown also have a party vibe, thanks to all of the adrenaline pumping activities to get the energy flowing.
How to travel in New Zealand?
New Zealand is a relatively small country and easy to get around thanks to its well-set-up public transport system. It’s also extremely popular as a roadtrip destination and it’s impossible to travel far without seeing old house busses and campervans.
The best ways to travel in New Zealand are:
InterCity Bus (bus connection across the country)
Transfercar.co.nz (vehicle relocation for little money)
JUCY car/van rental
Interislander Ferry (Wellington – Picton)
More Hostels in Oceania
There are many, many awesome hostels in Oceania to be discovered and enjoyed, including out-of-this-world 5 star hostels.