23 May 2019

Best Backpackers in New Zealand: North Island Edition

We all know backpackers/hostels can sometimes be a bit hit or miss, so it's definitely worth doing a bit of research first to find those absolute gems. I've handpicked ten of my top favourite backpackers in the North Island of New Zealand, in popular and also unique places worth putting on your travel itinerary.


Base Bay of Islands

Located in stunning Paihia, Base Bay of Islands is the perfect base to explore more of the Bay and Northland from. They're in an awesome location close to the beach, have a cool onsite Pipi Patch Bar with drink specials and a nightly Kiwi BBQ. The rooms are comfortable, they have a pool and spa/hot tub, and the staff are extremely friendly. It's a fine example of exactly what a backpackers should be.

Hostelworld Rating: 8.6
Dorm Share from: $20
Private Double Ensuite from: $76
What I loved: Super friendly staff, drink specials, quiz night and the great location close to the beach.

(All prices are in NZD).


Attic Backpackers

In central Auckland City, Attic Backpackers has to be one of my favourites. The top floor hostel is a traveller's haven, with a large outdoor covered deck, multiple cosy chill out spots, free Wifi, a well-equipped communal kitchen and dining area attached. The staff provide awesome and friendly service and the rooms and bathroom are spotlessly clean. They were named Hostelworld's most popular Hostel four years in a row and I can totally see why!

Hostelworld Rating: 8.8
Dorm Share from: $29
Private Single from: $65
What I loved: The great central location, cosy hangout areas, clean and equipped bathrooms.


Hahei Holiday Resort

Hahei in the Coromandel is a popular coastal destination for locals and tourists alike. Hahei Holiday Resort is located on 500 metres of pristine beachfront, offering a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, from Backpackers, Camping Sites, Coastal Cabins to Luxury Villas. The backpacker facilities are new, with a spacious 10-bed dorm style cabin, surrounding a sunny and sociable common area. There is a large covered outdoor kitchen, BBQ area, new toilet facilities and good free Wifi. It's the perfect place for a beach getaway.

Booking.com Rating: 8.9
Dorm Share from: $34
Private Cabins from: $65
What I loved: The modern and clean rooms, fantastic beachfront location, the onsite burger truck.


Karioi Lodge

Situated in Whale Bay, Karioi Lodge is an off-beat backpackers and eco-surf retreat in Raglan. If you're looking for a peaceful getaway in nature and/or wanting to learn and improve surfing skills, this is the ultimate place. With Raglan Surfing School attached, they offer fantastic surfing and accommodation package deals in one of the best surf towns in the world. The lodge itself has un-crowded rooms, equipped kitchens, free Wifi, blissful sun decks, a sauna, mountain bike hire, unique glow worms and more. They also offer free pick up and drop offs in Raglan township.

Hostelworld Rating: 9.1
Dorm Share from: $34
What I loved: Beautiful location, the Raglan Surf School, sun deck viewing area, large kitchen.
(The header photo is from the sundeck during sunset).


Seagulls Guesthouse

Located in Mount Maunganui, Seagulls Guesthouse offers clean and comfortable 'flashpacker' accommodation. Located in a quiet street in walking distance to the beach and shops, it's the perfect place for independent travellers looking to explore the Mount and Tauranga area. The beds are comfy, the free Wifi is ultra fast and it's one of the most peaceful and quiet hostels I've stayed at.

Hostelworld Rating: 9.8
Private Single from: $75
What I loved: Fresh and clean rooms, big common space and kitchen, chill and quiet.


Base Backpackers Rotorua (Hot Rocks)

In central Rotorua, Base Backpackers Rotorua is a fantastic base to explore the cultural capital of New Zealand from. They have a range of room types, an outdoor geothermally heated swimming pool, a large kitchen and Lava Bar onsite for drink specials and nightly entertainment. It's in close walking distance to shops, the lakefront and it's right next door to Kuirau Park - Rotorua's only free geothermal park.

Hostelworld Rating: 7.7
Dorm Share from: $25
Private Double from: $85
What I loved: Next door to Kuirau Park, the geothermal-heated pool and large communal kitchen.


Finlay Jacks Backpackers (YHA Taupo)

In the heart of Taupo, Finlay Jacks Backpackers is a fresh, modern hostel with a cosy TV lounge, a well-equipped kitchen, off-street parking, free unlimited WiFi and even Netflix. It's in easy walking distance to everything in town and the staff go out of their way to make your stay as great as possible. They also sell really cool Finlay Jacks merch!

Hostelworld Rating: 9.1
Dorm Share from: $25
Private Double from: $82
What I loved: Great location in town, super friendly staff and comfortable beds.


Blue Duck Station Lodge

Located well and truly off the beaten track, surrounded by Whanganui National Park, Blue Duck Station is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. They offer comfortable eco-friendly backpacker accommodation, with breathtaking river views and natural scenery. The lodge is a comfortable base perfect for relaxing or getting involved in the many activities on offer, including horse riding, hunting, kayaking and clay bird shooting. There is a communal lounge and kitchen area, spaces outside to make a bonfire, and large deck areas to relax in the sun.

Booking.com Rating: 8.4
Dorm Share from: $33
Private Double from: $100
What I loved: Nature location, delicious dinners at the onsite restaurant, outdoor bonfire pit.


Snowy Waters Lodge

On the doorstep of Tongariro & Whanganui National Parks, Snowy Waters Lodge is a historic former Nurses home, restored into a comfortable lodge with plenty to offer. There's a large lounge area with beautiful views of Mt Ruapehu, a heated spa pool and an outdoor entertainment area with BBQ’s, a wood-fired pizza oven and a big open fireplace. Raetihi is an excellent base for outdoor activities, being close to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Turoa & Whakapapa Ski Fields (winter only), and some epic mountain bike trails to name a few.

Booking.com Rating: 9
Dorm Share from: $32
Private Single from: $55
What I loved: The views of Mount Ruapehu, the outdoor spa pool and delicious burger night.


YHA Wellington

In the centre of the capital city, YHA Wellington is one of the best-located backpackers in town. They were my very first hostel experience at the tender age of 15. And yes, I have stayed again since then!
They have two kitchens, large communal spaces, free WiFi and my favourite part, an on-site espresso bar. They are ultra clean, modern, bright, fun and friendly - everything that I'm looking for in a hostel.

Hostelworld Rating: 8.8
Dorm Share from: $31
Private Single from: $87
What I loved: Great central location, their onsite espresso bar and $6 breakfast.

Pin it! :)

Stay tuned for a South Island edition coming soon! Do you have any favourite backpackers in the North Island to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy travels,


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