My Favorite Hostels in New Zealand

My Favorite Hostels in New Zealand

While traveling in New Zealand I have found a range of budget accommodation options from family owned spots to efficient chains, and from hip and modern styles to predictable party hostels and everything in between. I have stayed at all of these options however I tend to lean towards quieter, more home-y hostels where I find it easier to meet like-minded and down to earth travelers. I usually choose the cheaper options and stay away from the YHA hostels which can feel a bit impersonal. All recommendations are based on my genuine experience of the very best hostels in New Zealand.

Haka Lodge, Auckland

This hostel is located 20 minutes walk from downtown and is  by far one of the cleanest and well-run hostels I have ever seen. With locations in major cities like Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown, they are a reliable, pleasant and affordable option. Traveler’s here are open and friendly – the day I arrived I asked two german girls where the nearest grocery store was and they offered me their food as they were leaving town!

There are many staff working for accommodation and they were eager to answer any questions (unlike other hostel staff who might keep to themselves). The kitchen and bathrooms are immaculate, the bed have curtains for privacy as well as individual shelves and outlets (no lockers, however). It is quiet during the night and other guests respect quiet hours. There was lots of free food in kitchen left behind by other travelers. I found enough chickpeas, tomatoes and rice to make a nice meal!


The Palace Backpackers, Nelson

100% my favorite hostel in New Zealand, this backpackers feels like home. It is a converted colonial villa that feels just like home. The other travelers are very easygoing and warm, it almost feels like a family when you stay here.

There is a main building with laundry facilities, a balcony with couches, a circular ‘studio’ for hanging out, a lounge/dining room, and an outdoor area with picnic tables. The dorms have 5 twin beds (not bunks). There is also lots of free food – bulk foods left by other travelers, free breakfast, and the owner comes by with sandwiches and donuts for the guests around midday. This hostel is also a perfect base to see Abel Tasman as there are many day tours (hiking, sailing, kayaking) you can book from the iSite. I can’t recommend this place enough!


The Crash Place, Rotorua

The name might be a bit of a turn-off but this was one of my favorite hostels in New Zealand because of the communal vibe and how easy it was to meet other solo travelers.

After hanging out in the outdoor common area on my laptop I quickly met friends to hang out with for the duration of my stay. I explored town with two travelers I met on my first day, and on the second day a nice guy drove a friend and I to the nearby Redwood Forest hiking track. In terms of amenities, there is a bar as well as an outdoor barbecue. There isn’t quite enough fridge space for the number of people staying here, and the kitchen can be cramped at times. Otherwise my stay was great!


Te Nikau Retreat, Punakaiki

Te Nikau Retreat is located in the woods, just off the coastal highway and 10 minutes walk from the beach. I chose the dorm option which turned out to be a self-contained cabin and the perfect place to meet other travelers.

I slept in the loft of the cabin and really enjoyed the quietness of the area. The birds chirping and cricket sounds outside the cabin made me feel like I was in the middle of nowhere. Another perk was the beads and baked goods sold in the main building. If you need transportation to the local attraction Pancake Rocks/bus stop, the reception staff can give you a ride. 


Punakaiki Beach Hostel, Punakaiki

This hostel has a bright and open shared lounge / kitchen area with a breathtaking view of the crashing waves along the beach. This is a very affordable option and a good value: steps from the beach, clean rooms with outlets and personal shelves, fresh baked bread for purchase, laundry facilities, and scenery fit for a 5 star hotel.


Onuku Farm Hostel, Akaroa

Located 15 minutes drive from Akaroa (with transportation provided if needed), Onuku Farm has it all – campsites, huts, stargazers, a van park, and a hostel with private rooms and dorms. The farm has activities like hiking, kayak rentals, and even dolphin swimming.

There are chickens roaming around, a reception shop, hot outdoor showers, and beautiful spots around the property to relax with a good book. Hiking tracks surround the farm lasting anywhere from 2-4 hours with views of crystal clear waters and Akaroa hills. Onuku’s laid-back atmosphere is the perfect place to recharge for a few days.


Jucy Snooze, Christchurch

This modern, sleek hostel was the perfect one-night stop before a 6am flight. The self-contained ‘pods’ are enclosed, private sleeping areas with a locker, outlets, lighting, and even temperature control. The beds are huge and once inside it feels futuristic, or like a sci-fi movie. You have to try it! And it’s only a 10 minute walk from the airport.

I hope you enjoyed my recommendations for best hostel’s in New Zealand -want more tips on traveling in New Zealand?

keep exploring,


New Zealand Travel Inspiration
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