New Zealand Accommodation: Where to stay in New Zealand (Hostels)

There are many New Zealand accommodation options when travelling to the country, and they suit every traveller’s preferences and needs. The standard of accommodation in New Zealand is generally high compared to other countries, with an array of luxury lodges, backpacking hostels, homestays, motels, bed and breakfasts, New Zealand hotels and even back-to-nature camping.

The selection of accommodation in New Zealand is varied and diverse. When I visited New Zealand a few years ago I was backpacking so my budget was limited meaning we had to opted for the cheapest accommodation New Zealand had to offer: hostels.

This isn’t so bad though, with New Zealand hostels offering some of the best hostels I’ve stayed in around the world. I stayed primarily with Nomad Hostels, Base Backpackers and Sir Cedrics, but there are other options too. However if you’ve got a little more budget to work with, you can also get Auckland accommodation deals all year round. 

For a real Kiwi experience, stay in a holiday house (‘bach’ in local slang), or a farmstay. And stay tuned, because I will be writing another post next week about the best hotels in New Zealand. 

New Zealand Accommodation

Heading to Australia too? Here is where to stay in Australia


New Zealand Accommodation

Nomads Queenstown

When we booked our flights and first nights New Zealand accommodation in Christchurch we also decided to book our hostel for Queenstown so we didn’t have to worry about booking it later on. So obviously we booked Nomads!

We were looking forward to a place where we could relax for a five nights in a row, be comfortable, and yet be right in the middle of where the action was. Nomads was an excellent choice it turned out, and actually is one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in. When we booked we were set to stay in a 6 bed dorm room, however when we arrived we were told by the lovely lady on the desk that we had in fact been upgraded to a king ensuite!

Nomads backpackers offers a variety of rooms to fit every backpacker’s needs with choices for the budget traveller seeking a dorm room to a room like we had in a king suite room with its own ensuite and private balcony. Our twin ensuite room was amazing and more like a hotel room than a hostel. It featured a large balcony adjoining to another room, a clean modern bathroom with shower, a fridge and, get this, a plasma TV!

It makes you wonder why people stay in hotels for the same quality but double the price! Downstairs, the hostel also has a fully equipped modern kitchen, a lounge with fire place and pool table, internet access with WiFi throughout (its charged but its quite cheap), a sauna, and, FREE DINNER! The views are also a massive bonus, some of the best in the world!

They have a lot to offer: free ski locker, free ‘light’ evening meal, free breakfast food, a huge TV room, Nomads travel desk and so many free drinks offers at The Find. The hostel is a modern and light building which is huge and spans over three levels! Overall, this stay was superb, I had read bad reviews prior to the stay which had made me doubtful but I was happily surprised. Of course the upgrade helped but regardless this hostel is one of the best. We will definitely be staying here again if we return!

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Jailhouse Accommodation

Not a real Jail obviously. Plus my parents would kill me.Therefore if you came here looking for some hilarious travel story about me and Katie getting arrested whilst travelling around New Zealand then I am sorry to disappoint.

We hadn’t actually heard of the hostel before, but when in STA Travel booking our Queenstown New Zealand accommodation with Nomads we decided to also book a night in Christchurch and came across this little wonder. It looked good enough and was one of the cheapest in the city so we went for it!

Jailhouse Accommodation is basically a hostel that has been converted from a big jail building as you can see above!The rooms have huge metal doors, which I assume are the original doors from when the jail was once in use years ago. They were super heavy and of course just added that little something extra to the whole place. However, what was nice though, was the fact the room inside was brand new! The rooms were kitted out with news beds, flooring and jazzy curtains and ended up being a very amusing way to spend the night.

The rooms are basic but clean, new and an overall really good hostel! The hostel also has the traditional common area with loungers/tables and board games so you can socialise with the other backpackers in the hostel and upstairs they even had a cinema room and pool room. There’s also a kitchen where you can cook your own food or a Pita Pit across the road if you can’t be bothered!

And get this… the hostel even provides you with fitting attire… if you fancy it.Overall, the stay was great and we loved staying here! It was something that little bit different and the fancy dress was a highlight! If you are going to Christchurch this is the place to stay to have fun and rest your head!Fancy staying here yourself?Here is the website! 

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Sir Cedrics, Southern Laughter

Much like the hostel we stayed in Franz Josef, Southern, Laughter is run by the same company, Sir Cedrics. We loved the feel of Chateau Franz so much that we decided we would love to stay at another of their hostels in Queenstown too. The hostels are all quite similar, but they are quirky compared to the other hostels in town. This little hostel is the perfect place to stay in Queenstown if you really want some down time, but still want to be within walking distance of the shops and the town.

The hostel is situated at the top end of town towards the Skyline Gondola if you are walking from the town centre. It is near the medical centre and the Fire House but is still only a five minute walk from the cafés, shops, eateries and of course Fergburger!

Much like Chateau Franz, as you enter, you instantly feel at home, with quotes on the wall, bits and bobs hanging from the ceiling and again the beds with that old-school duvet set you had when you were ten. Each of the rooms seem different and the hostel itself is so miss-matched that in some ways it makes sense. The hostel also offers a variety of room options including the six bed, eight bed and 10 bed dorms but there are also the units and the double and twin bed rooms.

We were put in a four bed dorm which includes one set of bunk beds and two single beds. The beds were super duper comfy (what I like), and the room also had its own ensuite bathroom and kitchen which it shared with the room next door.

It was nice as it felt like a little annexe flat away from the hostel. The hostel also had an abundance of facilities including: two kitchens; one near reception and one in the other building, two lounge areas with sofas, and again they offered a FREE spa pool, FREE wifi, FREE popcorn, FREE soup, and much, much more. I also did my washing/laundry here and it was $3 for a wash and $3 for a dry, unlike many other hostels that charge $4 for each.

I thought it was superb that they offered such an abundance of FREE facilities at both of the hostels, as it meant you got even more for your money, especially in Queenstown where you are spending a lot of money on all the adrenaline activities already. Saving money in other ways is key and this was a great little hostel to relax in before we headed off to Australia! Overall, the whole hostel felt really friendly and this little independent company with their four hostels has a lot going for it. It was also much cheaper than many of the other hostels in town and alongside the added FREEbies I don’t know why everyone doesn’t stay here?!

They also have a sister hostel across town called Bungi Backpackers, which even though I didn’t venture in to, I can imagine it is a similar layout and feel. Rooms start at $22 for a night.

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Base Backpackers, Wanaka

Situated in the centre of Wanaka town, and only a two minute walk from the lake and all of the shops, this hostel is an excellent hostel stop for anyone wanting to enjoy the small, leafy town of Wanaka whichever time of the year.

The hostel is a multi storey hostel with around 4 floors (I think, my memory is terrible) and the facilities include a large kitchen, balcony area, separate female and male shower rooms, a lounge room, big reception, travel desk, ski lockers and much, much more.

I have to say as well, the girls on reception dealt with the influx of Kiwi Experience passengers brilliantly, as I am sure it can’t be easy having a sudden influx of around sixty eager 18-30 year olds stood at your reception desk wanting to check in to their room. We were put in to a six bed mixed dorm with some of the people off our Kiwi Experience bus and I was lucky enough to get a bottom bunk! The room was great, really clean, the beds were comfortable and there was enough room in the dorm for all six people and all six backpacks (this is rare in some hostels I have noticed).

As we had arrived late I went straight up to the kitchen and started to make dinner. The kitchen was full of appliances and crockery and you really couldn’t complain about the facilities they were offering! The only small thing I would note is that for the size of the kitchen it gets really quite busy between five and eight in the evening and even once you’ve managed to make your dinner it was hard to find a seat.

We then went for a walk and came across the lake and the shops which were all in close proximity of the hostel, and there was even a New World supermarket store directly at the back of the hostel which was really useful especially if you are making your own dinner.

I feel like I don’t have much more to say about this hostel, as we literally stopped over the one night arriving at 3pm and leaving the next day at 9am with the Kiwi Experience bus moving us on again to Queenstown. However, I would definitely have been happy staying at this hostel for longer and actually found it to be one of the best hostels I have stayed in whilst travelling around New Zealand. In terms of the welcome, cleanliness, comfort and facilities is was really great and even though there aren’t many hostels in Wanaka I would recommend this hostel ten times over.

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Sir Cedrics – Chateau Franz

This quirky, little hostel is the perfect place to stay at whilst you complete your Franz Josef glacier hike! Situated at the top end of town on the second road back, Chateau Franz is a unique hostel, with quirky and different feel to many of the commercial hostels situated across New Zealand.

As you enter you instantly feel at home, with paintings on the wall, bikes hanging from the ceiling and the beds in the dorms with that old-school duvet set you had when you were ten. Each of the rooms seems different and the hostel itself is so miss-matched that in some ways it makes sense. The hostel also offers a variety of room options including the Love Shack, the Ski Chalet, the backpacker dorms, the units and double and twin bed rooms. The choice is endless!

We were put in a six bed dorm which include two sets of bunk beds and then a double bed, with a single on top. As it was empty when we arrived, I took the double! Obviously. The beds were super comfy, and you literally sank in to them after the hike up Franz Josef glacier and the room also had its own ensuite bathroom which was nice as otherwise you would have had to go outside to find a shower.

The hostel also had an abundance of facilities including: two kitchens; one near reception and one in the backpacker house, two lounge areas with sofas and picnic benches; again one near reception and one in the backpacker house, a FREE spa pool, FREE wifi, FREE popcorn, FREE soup, FREE breakfast… the list goes on and on… I thought it was superb that they offered such an abundance of FREE facilities, as it meant you got even more for your money. Especially in Franz Josef where you are spending a lot of money on your glacier hike already. Saving money in other ways is key!

The whole hostel just felt really friendly, from the staff, to the atmosphere of the place. This little independent hostel has a lot going for it and even though to some it may look run-down and dowdy, I personally felt that that added to the whole feel of the hostel and is what makes it so unique. It was also much cheaper than the other hostels in town and alongside the added FREEbies I don’t know why everyone doesn’t stay here?! They also have a sister hostel on the same road, Glow Worm backpackers which even though I didn’t venture in, I can imagine it is a similar layout and feel.

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Base Backpackers, Wellington

The Base Wellington Backpackers Hostel, one of the Wellington hotels catering to backpackers on limited budgets and is I think the best Base hostel we have stayed in so far. It was a great hostel and we felt right at home, so much so that we even stayed for an extra night!

The hostel is located in Courtney Place, right in the middle of Wellington’s cultural, historical, and culinary attractions and when staying at the hostel you have easy access to all the city’s cultural sights including the Te Papa museum, the harbour and Cuba Street.

It’s also just minutes walk to supermarkets, shop, cafes, transport, gig venues and bars! The hostel features private and communal room with the private rooms feature en-suite bathrooms. As a guest you get a fully made-up bed, and female guests can even retreat to the Sanctuary floor of the hotel, which is a women-only zone featuring its own lounge and bedrooms.

We were placed in to one of the girls-only sanctuary room with four other girls. The room was awesome, it was really, clean, comfortable and also felt very cosy which was lovely. And an a added bonus was that the bunk beds were a good height so you didn’t feel like you were climbing Everest each time you got back in to bed. I really love the idea of sanctuary dorms and I think they’re a great idea for backpackers and travellers who may travel alone and feel much safer when they are in a sanctuary compared to a standard room.

The hostel is of course budget, but it offers guests plenty of amenities, including a $5 breakfast each morning, spacious kitchen facilities and lounge areas where you can watch films. They also have a large 24-hour reception, wireless Internet access, a travel desk to help guests make plans for Wellington, and a bike rental service. The travel desk can also help you book your activities, travel and New Zealand accommodation for your onward journey.

And if you fancy a night on the tiles indulge in the atmosphere of our onsite Basement Bar; it’s just too much fun in one place! With the city on your doorstep and such great facilities Base Wellington is the perfect place to have a rest stop the little big city, Wellington! I was really impressed with this hostel and would definitely stay here again if I ever hit Wellington!


New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Crash Palace, Rotorua

Located in the central city, Nomads Crash Palace Rotorua is a cosy backpackers with a focus on New Zealand Art and Music and a place to relax and unwind from travels with a hot spa and a cold beer. Crash Palace is within walking distance to shops, cafes and supermarket and is only around the corner from the Polynesian Spa for that relaxing spa day. This place is one of my favourite New Zealand accommodation.

Facilities includes a 24 hours reception, all rooms have windows and heaters, and a small bar behind reception. Communal facilities include a thermally heated spa pool which is free to use, an outdoor barbecue area, free off-street parking, washing and drying facilities, two kitchens, wireless hotspot and high speed global gossip internet, free storage room, bikes for hire, pool table and more. The owners clearly put a lot of effort in to the place and it shows throughout. The artistic interior definitely contributes to the atmosphere and everything is well kept throughout the hostel.

I was in a single room, as I needed a retreat from life for two nights and time to relax. And katie was in an 8 bed dorm, both of which were really cosy, clean and comfy! They also offer various daily activities such as; poker night, pancakes for breakfast, spaghetti Bol night, a pub crawl and a BBQ night to name a few! Chris and the rest of the staff are very knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and welcoming! I really enjoyed my stay here and would definitely stay again.

Because it’s a small hostel, it means its easy to meet people and soon you feel like part of the family! Only negative was that the kitchen was tiny and extremely cramped and busy when it rolled round to 6pm. Added benefits: FREE BBQ dinner Friday night only. FREE pancake breakfast on Sundays only. FREE Pasta, rice, noodles, spices, condiments, and tea and coffee. BONUS Includes 1 FREE night, stay 4 nights, pay for 3.

I really enjoyed staying at Nomads in Rotorua, we had to share our time at both Nomads and Base whilst we were in Rotorua due to how busy it had become but that was fine as they were both close by and it also gave me the chance to compare the two hostels.

READ MORE: New Zealand

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Base Backpackers, Rotorua

Adjacent to beautiful Kuirau geothermal Park in the centre of town, this hostel has great facilities including an outdoor, hot mineral pool and common rooms with a television. Rooms comprise of a variety of dorms and deluxe rooms, which are comfy and clean, all with a decent weighted duvet and plug sockets near to most beds. We were placed in a six bed dorm which was rather spacious and were a close walk from the bathrooms and shower rooms. However, I was told most of the rooms also have an ensuite and a balcony overlooking the town, offering some of the best New Zealand accommodation in Rotorua.

It’s central location means it is a two minute walk away from the lake and a fine minute walk away from some of the main attractions in Rotorua such as the canopy swing, the Polynesia Spa and the shops in the centre of town. It’s central location is also great for backpackers who may be walking to and from the bus stop or their drop off transport stop. The staff were super nice, and moved us to a better room when we had a few problems too! And Helen was really helpful with moving us, giving us a heater and also helping me out with my interne. So really great customer service from Helen on the desk!

They also have a kitchen area and lounge room for guests which is really nice and provides you with the comforts of home. And if you fancy a drink or two, there is a bar downstairs called Lava Bar, which has it’s own resident DJ, themed nights and special drink offers for hostel guests. It is definitely the place to be if you fancy a night on the tiles in Rotorua! I really enjoyed staying at Base Rotorua, we had to share our time at both nomads and Base whilst we were in Rotorua due to how busy it had become but that was fine as they were both close by and it also gave me the chance to compare the two hostels.

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Nomads Capital Flashpackers, Wellington

Nomads Capital is a 5 star hostel in its own right, on arrival you feel like you were walking in to an 18th century historic hotel, let a lone somewhere that charges on $30 a night! The Flashpackers hostel is located right in the heart of Wellington, only two minutes from Cuba Street and five minutes from the water front. They have a range of rooms to suit every traveller and budget, from dorm rooms for the backpacker, to suite double rooms for those who want that extra bit of luxury for a New Zealand accommodation.

When we arrived we were seen to by the manager Kate, who was really lovely and checked us in with no hassle. We were placed on the second floor in a four bed dorm with another two travellers with our own private ensuite bathroom. The room was quite small in comparison to some other rooms we have stayed in and we did seem to be cramped in to the room. We did however have our own ensuite for the four of us which was really nice. There just wasn’t enough room for four people, four beds, and ten bags between us all so we were constantly jumping over each other and our bags.

We had a little wander and went to seek out the kitchen and the communal areas downstairs. They are both of good size and had an open nature to the area which was nice in a hostel of this size. There is also the Blend bar attached next door where you can go and pick up your free evening meal and grab a small glass of wine for only $5! The bar is also open to members of the public which means you don’t feel completely surrounded by backpacker and travellers all the time.

The only downside to the hostel was the noise, because of the bar the noise continued until about midnight. However I did go down and ask for some earplugs and they gave us several pairs just incase which was nice. I was also told the noise would go down about 12 and they were right it did! But it was still loud as I think our room was right above the back of the bar. However, minus this, the hostel was ace!

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Pipi Patch Hostel, Bay of Islands

Located in the heart of the Bay of Islands New Zealand and just a quick skip from the beach, and a five minute walk in to the town. The friendly hostel is perfect if you want to catch some rays, laze in the pool or enjoy the $12 BBQ that they put on every night. Here is my review of Pipi Patch Hostel, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Pipi Patch, Bay of Islands offer a range of New Zealand accommodation from dorm rooms to twin and double privates with an ensuite. Each of the dorms has an ensuite which I extremely enjoy having stayed in various hostels now where the bathroom is about a mile away from your room. Practicing that bladder control is becoming perfected!

The Pipi Patch bar is also a popular hangout for both locals and backpackers alike. As I mentioned above they hold their nightly BBQ and then many stay on for happy hour later on and drinks deals throughout the night. The bar is placed far enough away from the dorms so the noise does not travel to much which I was extremely happy about! The staff were also really helpful, and directed us to our boat trip tour the morning after our stay and also stored our luggage for us in their shed.

Unfortunately the night we visited the weather was atrocious, so I would assume the area and the hostel look very much like a paradise island resort when the sun is blaring down however it rained for the whole day, meaning the pool and spa pool was closed and many of us decided not to brave the weather and stayed in doors. The dorms however were very clean and tidy and each 6 bed dorm had its own ensuite and mini-kitchen room which was a nice touch for Base hostel.

Overall the hostel was really nice, the beds were comfy, the kitchen and common rooms were clean, the noise wasn’t a problem, they had wifi and they had a good socialising area in the form of the bar! I would definitely stay here again if I were to return to the Bay of Islands and hopefully the weather would be nice to me so I could really enjoy the area and the hostel and it’s facilities. A really great hostel! Sorry for the lack of photos, as I mentioned before on a few blog posts I am working off my iPad at the moment so uploading photos is occasional and once I get on a computer in Wellington I will had lots more photos!

New Zealand Accommodation

New Zealand Accommodation

Nomads Hostels, Auckland

I was recommended various hostels for Auckland accommodation but we decided to go with Nomads as they were the cheapest and also offered some extra bits for free such as spa pool and use of many of the facilities. The hostel is located on Fort Street just off of Queen Street, whichever meant it had a brilliant central location close to all the traditions and touristy places. Our Kiwi Experience bus dropped us off on Queens Street which was only a short walk to the reception and then check in was really easy and hassle free.

Our room was a four bed dorm and was really clean and a good size with its own ensuite bathroom on level 6. Each bed came with a towel for our use and a soap bar which was a really nice little touch. Our room also had a television and a heater which was needed because of the time of the year. Overall an amazing room for the price we paid and we would 100% stay here again if we ever venture up to Auckland again. Once we were checked in to our room we then decided to go out and see Auckland. The staff at the MAD Travel shop were really friendly and advised us when we asked for directions and various things for us to do in Auckland for the day.

The hostel had various communal areas including a lounge and kitchen space. The kitchen was absolutely packed with appliances and people everywhere but it was dinner time when we went up so this couldn’t be helped. I would assume normally it is clean and tidy. I was impressed however to see an oven in a hostel kitchen! The hostel was super busy so they lacked indoors seating in the kitchen and to add to this, purely because of how busy it was, there also wasn’t enough fridge space for anyone’s stuff which was a shame. We rammed our stuff in to a tiny space and hoped for the best. 

One thing we did hear that we didn’t have to deal with was that the bathrooms were unisex which may put some people off. Other than that I would really recommend this hostel. It had a great location, with clean and good facilities. And one of the many things I loved was how they checked if we had a room key each time we walked through reception which was great as it certainly made us feel safer than in most hostels. A great New Zealand accommodation option!

New Zealand Accommodation

Base Backpackers Taupo

If you want to party the night away then this is the perfect hostel for you! The new Base hostel is situated right in the centre of Taupo and is the perfect hostel for any budding party goer wanting to hit the bright lights of Taupo on a weekend or even weekday.

The hostel is purpose built for the backpacker in mind, with the bar Element attached to the hostel downstairs. The hostel has good facilities, and a good layout rough out the hostel that means the rooms aren’t too close together but they are always not too far from either a shower or a toilet. The hostel has a range of New Zealand accommodation from dorm rooms, to four beds, to doubles and twin rooms, catering for nearly every type of backpacker, stag do or holiday group.

When we arrived the hostel was really quiet, and we were checked straight in to our four bed room on the first floor. We were led to our room and we were happy to find two lovely girls also staying in the room. As the evening went on the music got louder and the people got louder. The hostel does have a rule that there is no drinking in the hostel, only downstairs in the bar but we were constantly seeing people walking from room to room with alcohol which was quite frustrating as the drunker they got, the louder they got.

We had decided to have a night off from the drinking and therefore we were maybe more aware of quite how loud it was getting as it grew closer to 10pm. The bars on the strip outside got louder and we were even woken at 3am by groups of people walking to the kitchen or going to their rooms.

Obviously this is not the hostels fault, but we did find the soundproofing was not very well provided and the windows were certainly not anywhere near triple glazing (what they need in this hostel!)
But they do provide earplugs too which is good!

As we weren’t on a night out, it did seem quite loud and rather annoying for us when we knew we had to be up early the next day with not much sleep but then again if you are wanting a bed for the night after you’ve hit the town then this is the perfect place. You can meet lots of people and have an awesome night on the town. I would just recommend staying somewhere else if you are visiting on a Friday or Saturday night and aren’t planning on going out on the town!


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