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Published: 01/13/2023 | January 13, 2023
Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu on New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown is a beautiful city set in an already beautiful country. With the Southern Alps looming as a backdrop and a shimmering lake in the foreground, Queenstown has a lot to offer.
Known as the “adventure capital of the world”, this is where the daring travelers come to have fun. It is one of the largest tourist destinations in the country, especially for backpackers.
As such, Queenstown boasts several fun, social and affordable hostels!
Here are four things you should remember before choosing a hostel in Queenstown:
- Location – Queenstown is small, but it makes life easier when you are in a place or area that suits your style and travel plans.
- Price Like everywhere else, you get what you pay for. If you choose a really cheap hostel, you will probably end up with a small, cramped, and not great service.
- Facilities – Every hostel in the city has free Wi-Fi and most of them have their own kitchen so you can cook your own meals. Many, but not all, include free breakfast, so be sure to research to find the one that best suits your needs.
- Staff – All the hostels listed here have wonderful staff, very friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t stay at any of the places listed below, be sure to look for reviews so that you have helpful and friendly staff. They can make or break a hostel!
Below is my list of the best hostels in Queenstown. If you don’t want to read the long list below, below are the top ones in each category:
Best hostel for budget travelers: Southern Laughter Backpackers
Best hostel for solo female travelers: Adventure Hostel Queenstown
Best Hostel for Adventure Sports Lovers: Adventure Hostel Queenstown
Best hostel for couples: Southern Laughter Backpackers
Best hostel to stay in winter: Black Sheep Hikers
Best hostel overall: Adventure Hostel Queenstown
Want the specifics of each hostel? Here is my list of the best hostels in Queenstown and why I like them:
Price legend (per night)
- $ = up to NZ$44
- $$ = 45-55 New Zealand dollars
- $$$ = over NZ$55
1 Adventure Hostel Queenstown
Adventure Queenstown, located just off Camp Street, hosts a variety of events every night of the week, including quiz and board game nights, scavenger hunts, pub crawls, dinners and more. The hostel is very social and lively, so it’s perfect if you want to meet other travelers (but not the best choice if you’re looking for a quiet place). The staff can book any activity you like, plus they offer free use of GoPros and bikes, and in winter they can even rent skis and snowboards.
The wooden bunks are spacious, with thick mattresses and curtains so you can get a good night’s sleep. There are also lockers under the beds so you can keep your belongings safe.
Adventures of Queenstown at a glance:
- Fabulous location in downtown Queenstown
- Free bike and GoPro rental
- Nightly social activities make it easier to meet people
Beds from 45 NZD per night.
2. Absoloot Hostel Queenstown
The hostel has a large, fully equipped kitchen on the second floor (with better views), so if you’re on a budget, you can prepare meals instead of eating out. The spacious common rooms have TVs, board games, book exchanges and game consoles.
Beds in dormitories are equipped with phone charging ports, curtains and reading lights next to the bed, and lockers under the bed. The mattresses are decent too. (If you are traveling with your family, there is also a large private room for five people.)
Absolute at a glance:
- Perfect location in the city and right on the lake
- Fully equipped kitchen so you can prepare your own meals
- Common room with video games
Bed from NZ$47 per night, private rooms from NZ$208.
3. Burning Kiwi Tourists
This laid-back hostel has a homely feel to it. There are three kitchens and a barbecue grill so you can cook your own meals, as well as free bikes and frisbees (so you can play frisbee golf at the adjacent Queenstown Garden course). There’s also free coffee, and there are plenty of books, games, and DVDs in the common areas for when you feel like relaxing.
Some dorms have private bathrooms, while others have shared bathrooms. The beds in the dormitories are made of wood and each has a curtain, a reading light and an outlet so you can charge your electronics. The mattresses are decent and there are outlets in the lockers under each bed to charge electronics while they are stored.
Flaming kiwi at a glance:
- Located in the center of Queenstown
- Free use of bicycles and frisbee golf equipment
- Multiple kitchens and BBQ grill
Beds from 41 NZD per night.
4. Haka Lodge
Located just a block from busy Camp Street, all the beds at the Haka Lodge dorm are wooden, with curtains, reading lights, (small) lockers and sockets. The mattresses are not very thick, but comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep.
The hostel has a large common room and a large collection of DVDs for when you want to relax. The kitchen is fully equipped and there is always free coffee, tea and cold filtered water.
Haka Lodge at a glance:
- Great location in the heart of Queenstown
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Complimentary coffee, tea and chilled filtered water
Bed from NZ$44 per night, private rooms from NZ$250.
5. Southern tourist laughter
Within walking distance of downtown Queenstown, Southern Laughter offers several unique perks, including a hot tub to relax in after a busy day of exploring. The hostel also has a lively common room with a large flat-screen TV, a self-service laundry room and a BBQ area where you can grill when the weather is fine. It also offers free soup every evening for dinner, which will not only save you money but also be a great way to meet other travelers.
The dorms are spacious, the mattresses are decent, but the beds are basic (cheap metal bunks) and there are no curtains.
A brief overview of Southern Laughter climbers:
- Free parking
- Discounts in city bars
- Large common room with TV and board games.
Bed from NZ$34 per night, private rooms from NZ$102.
6 Black Sheep Hikers
This fun hostel has bunk beds with curtains and power outlets. There’s also a hot tub and sauna here, perfect if you’re in Queenstown in the winter for skiing or snowboarding. The common room also has a fireplace, making it especially cozy when you’re relaxing with a book. In addition, there are free frisbees and there is a free communal dinner every Wednesday.
The dorms are not very spacious and the bathrooms are a bit small too. However, the wooden bunk beds are quite comfortable and come with curtains, reading lights and sockets.
Black Sheep backpackers at a glance:
- Free Dinners
- Sauna and Jacuzzi
- Fully equipped kitchen
Bed from NZ$60 per night, private rooms from NZ$250.
With free perks like bike and GoPro rentals, plenty of social activities and stunning lake views, the above hostels can help you save money and ensure you have a fun, safe and affordable stay in New Zealand’s adventure capital.
Book Your Trip to New Zealand: Logistics Tips and Tricks
Book your flight
Use skyscanner to find a cheap flight. This is my favorite search engine because they look for websites and airlines all over the world, so you always know that no stone is left untouched!
Book your stay
You can book the hostel with hostel world as they have the largest stocks and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than the hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the lowest prices for guest houses and cheap hotels.
If you’re looking for other places to stay, here’s a complete list of my favorite hostels in New Zealand.
Don’t forget about travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellations. This is a comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the best companies to save money?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones that I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want more information about New Zealand?
Be sure to check out our trusted New Zealand travel guide for even more planning tips!
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