Best Places for Backpackers in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Enjoy backpacking around Queenstown, New Zealand without a fixed itinerary by using our handy listings of the best hostels in every destination. Specially curated for backpackers and economy travellers, we help you find an amazing place to stay no matter where you're headed!

The best backpackers destinations & accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand.

This Travel Queenstown image comes from unsplash.com, photographer : Andreas Sjövall

Top 16 hostels in Queenstown, New Zealand.

These are the 16 most awesome hostels and budget places to stay in Queenstown, New Zealand.

1
Adventure Q2 Hostel

97 /100

Guest Rating

Adventure Q2 Hostel

Welcome to Adventure Q2 Hostel. Catering to young independent travellers from around the world we offer mostly shared room accommodation and run in-house activities most nights a week to make it easy to meet new people from around the world. Our beds are custom designed timber bunks with com...
Adventure Q2 Hostel is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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2
Adventure Queenstown Hostel

96 /100

Guest Rating

Adventure Queenstown Hostel

Welcome to Adventure Queenstown Hostel. Catering to independent travellers from around the world we offer mostly shared room accommodation and run in-house activities 5 nights a week to make it easy to meet fellow explorers from all around the world. Our beds are solid timber bunks with comf...
Adventure Queenstown Hostel is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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3
YHA Queenstown Lakefront

92 /100

Guest Rating

YHA Queenstown Lakefront

A comfortable fully equipped hostel sitting right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, offering enchanting views of the lake and mountains. If you want to experience the beauty and excitement of Queenstown but still get a good night's sleep, then YHA Queenstown Lakefront is the hostel for you and it's on...
YHA Queenstown Lakefront is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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4
Haka Lodge Queenstown

91 /100

Guest Rating

Haka Lodge Queenstown

A little Backpacker Oasis in the heart of Queenstown with free unlimited WiFi and a warm welcome! Everything at our Backpacker Lodge has been designed with the discerning traveller in mind, from the flat-screen TV's in the common areas and private rooms, to the custom designed wooden bunks with p...
Haka Lodge Queenstown is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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5
Sir Cedrics Tahuna Pod Hostel

91 /100

Guest Rating

Sir Cedrics Tahuna Pod Hostel

We have Free Breakfast, onsite parking and WiFi :) Tahuna Pod Hostel is the very first Pod Hostel open in New Zealand and merges Maori heritage and traditional values into the fabric of its design. The intention is to share insights into this beautiful culture through art, music, movies, food and...
Sir Cedrics Tahuna Pod Hostel is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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6
The Flaming Kiwi Backpackers

90 /100

Guest Rating

The Flaming Kiwi Backpackers

Welcome to the Flaming Kiwi! We are situated 5 minutes walk to the town centre and 3 minutes walk to the supermarket. We are friendly, cozy hostel with lots of great stuff for our guests to enjoy! Take our bikes (free of charge) for a cycle around the lake, borrow some of our Frisbee golf disc...
The Flaming Kiwi Backpackers is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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7
Absoloot Value Accommodation

90 /100

Guest Rating

Absoloot Value Accommodation

Absoloot Value Accommodation (AVA) opened in June 2010 with a variety of accommodation options for the backpacker, flash-packer and value-seeking traveler! AVA has an outlook second-to-none and four stories worth of character and comfort. Absoloot Value Accommodation (AVA) has been designed with...
Absoloot Value Accommodation is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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8
JUCY Snooze Queenstown

88 /100

Guest Rating

JUCY Snooze Queenstown

This adrenaline fuelled, picturesque town in the south of New Zealand is surrounded by soaring mountains with a deep blue glacial lake sat perfectly in the middle. The home of the legendary Fergburger, bungy jumping, jet boating, vineyards, vibrant bars, and award winning restaurants, experience it...
JUCY Snooze Queenstown is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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9
YHA Queenstown Central

86 /100

Guest Rating

YHA Queenstown Central

Centrally located in the heart of buzzing Queenstown, this hostel is the perfect base for your stay in the Adventure Capital of the world amidst stunning alpine scenery. Our clean, comfortable rooms have ensuite, TV and tea/coffee facilities. The friendly staff and attractive facilities will mak...
YHA Queenstown Central is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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10
Southern Laughter Backpackers

81 /100

Guest Rating

Southern Laughter Backpackers

Come and stay at Southern Laughter! As one of the most popular properties in Queenstown we offer a great stay in a great location and it's just a short walk to all the attractions, bars, shops and restaurants. Enjoy free off street parking, free hot veggie soup every night, free spa pool, free...
Southern Laughter Backpackers is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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11
The Black Sheep Backpackers

79 /100

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The Black Sheep Backpackers

The Black Sheep is just a two minute walk to the downtown area of Queenstown and is one of the quietest and sunniest spots in town. We have 360° mountain views, three gardens, a deck area and a spa pool. Located in one of the quietest, sunniest spots in Queenstown we are just a two minute walk to...
The Black Sheep Backpackers is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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12
Bumbles Backpackers Queenstown

78 /100

Guest Rating

Bumbles Backpackers Queenstown

If you are looking for an affordable, relaxed & friendly place to stay in Queenstown with spectacular mountain views, a waterfront location and free unlimited WiFi for your entire stay, this is it! We are only 300m from the buzz of downtown Queenstown, just far enough away for some peace and quiet....
Bumbles Backpackers Queenstown is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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13
Nomads Queenstown

78 /100

Guest Rating

Nomads Queenstown

Nomads Queenstown is backpacking in style and is the winner of multiple awards since we opened our doors 10 years ago This fantastic purpose-built property is located just metres away from the lake in central Queenstown, with views of the snow-capped mountains. We have large and small dorms wi...
Nomads Queenstown is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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14
Pinewood Lodge

78 /100

Guest Rating

Pinewood Lodge

Nestled amongst peaceful alpine scenery whilst only a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the centre, Pinewood Lodge offers the perfect base to explore the adventure city of Queenstown. Take advantage of our exclusive gateway to the famous Skyline Gondola, where you can embrace spectacu...
Pinewood Lodge is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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15
Lakeside Backpackers

67 /100

Guest Rating

Lakeside Backpackers

For independent travellers on a budget you cannot beat Lakeside Backpackers. We offer inexpensive shared facilities in dormitory style, twin, double and single rooms....
Lakeside Backpackers is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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16
Base Queenstown

67 /100

Guest Rating

Base Queenstown

Located on the most popular street in Queenstown, Base is THE 'one stop shop' hostel. We have everything you could want under one roof - your bed, your entertainment and your adventure all catered for by the friendliest team in town. On special offer for all Base Backpackers guests are $6 house d...
Base Queenstown is a hostel in Queenstown. Check Hostelworld for prices.

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Things to see and do while backpacking in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Check out tips from other travellers and bloggers and their experiences in Queenstown, New Zealand.

If you're already planning to visit Queenstown, New Zealand - scroll to the next section for a list of the best places to stay.

The Destination

Queenstown offers a host of recreational sports opportunities year round. Lake Wakatipu offers many wonderful sporting features; in summer, boating, sailing, water skiing, hiking, biking, climbing, jet boating, white water rafting, gold panning, 4WD and much more. These summer adventures continue into winter, along with skiing and snowboarding. It is a playground for all and, with its vast wine region, boasts an international reputation for travellers. Spreading in many directions, it can be approached by land and air with an international small airport, and roads that wend around precipitous lake and river-side cliffs from all directions. It is a place of incredible features that are just waiting to be tasted uncovered by intrepid travellers of all ages.

TeresaGlobalTravels Teresa Lynch

Skyline Gondola

Skyline Rotorua, which is located near Agrodome, gives tourists amazing views of the geothermal valley as the gondola climbs higher. One can also race down a sloping track in the fun luge rides at the top, which is so addictive that you’d want to go more than once. If you miss the gondola ride here, don’t worry – Queenstown has an equally amazing one!

Malavika Madgula

New Zealand : the land of wonders

One day my friends decided to go to the South Island and of course I couldn’t miss that opportunity. Tickets by Air New Zealand were quite cheap (less than 100£ for sure) and we booked a backpackers for four people right next to the city centre. Landing in Queenstown was just as amazing as the city itself. The airport is situated right between the mountains and even though it was July, everything was covered in snow. After leaving our back in the hotel we went straight to the city. Up on a mountain, where you can get by the funicular, you have the amazing view of the city, mountains, the lake and the sky. Queenstown is a small city and therefore there’s no problem finding groceries and information kiosk, where we booked our trip to Milford Sound for the next day. In the information kiosk are plenty of brochures and tour offers, so everyone can find what they are looking for. The next day we got to the city centre quite early in the morning. Bus to Milford Sound took more than 2 hours and we were stopping on our way there several times. The most amazing and memorable stop were the Mirror Lakes and they left more emotions and memories than a Milford Sound itself. Getting to Milford sound, we had a few minutes to use the bathroom and then get on the ferry. Sea Lions, waterfalls, and cliffs are the most memorable things from the trip.

ali-derbi

Milford Sound: Living amongst Giants

It is fitting that I sit here and type out a reflection of sorts on the one-year anniversary of my arrival to New Zealand. Full of nostalgia I reflect on how memorable a year spent in the shadows of giant mountains fully affected who I am. A year ago today, my partner Chelsie and I boarded a coach full of day-tripper tourists to Milford Sound. Ours was a one-way trip though, as that was our destination and would be home for most of the year. (Advice tip #1, don’t be a day-tripper from Queenstown, I’ll get back to that). That first drive into Milford I will never forget, the pronounced beauty is comparable to nowhere else, and the sight of mountains and rainforests, then the pronounced drop from the Homer Tunnel down into the Cleddau Valley summons deep emotions. Driving the 120 kilometres between Milford and Te Anau dozens of times, I never tired of any portion of the drive-in ways I looked forward to it. And I could ramble on, detailing every part and parcel and mood of the Milford Road, but I will spare you that.

tom-lindsey

ACCOMMODATION

Sadly, you can’t really ignore this factor unless you want to be homeless and, unfortunately, it takes up an enormous part of your budget. Try as you might, hostel prices are always going to be your worst nightmare in New Zealand, but we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves: Hostelworld: aka the best app/website ever! It will save your life whilst travelling- if you don’t have it, get it now! Almost all hostels are listed on this site, making it very easy to compare prices and find the best option for your visit. You just type in your location and the dates of your trip, and book without a fee (just a small deposit!). Make sure to read the hostel reviews, not just for the utility but also for the amusement of reading some of the priceless comments people leave. Get a BBH Card: When we first arrived, innocent and oblivious, we were offered a BBH card at our first hostel for $45 NZD. We naively decided it wasn’t worth the money to pay such a price for discounts at BBH hostels around the country. Could we have been more wrong? Almost every hostel we stayed in was accidentally BBH registered (it turns out its a much bigger scheme than we thought), meaning we racked up a potential saving that was greater than the cost of the card. Great. Seriously, these things are actually a good investment, as there are so many BBH hostels all over NZ, and the card makes the price cheaper! We really missed out. Try walking in: No word of a lie, we walked into a hostel in Rotorua and were offered a deal for half price! This is a godsend in a country where £12GBP/night is the standard price! However be careful in busy towns at busy times (i.e. don’t try this in Queenstown – ever!) Consider Camping: It might not be for you, but it could be a blessing for your wallet! What’s a few nights of sleeping rough if you save money, eh? And if you do happen to love camping, then this is the best and cheapest option for you. Alternatively, you can pitch up your caravan/ tent on hostel land and pay reduced prices for using their facilities – a perfect compromise! Air BnB: This is a great website where you can rent a room/ apartment for a sometimes much better price than hostels. Thanks to this you can also experience living with a local and getting the true New Zealand experience. During peak travel times, hostels are often fully booked, particularly the cheaper ones, so this can be a fantastic alternative. The only slight downside is that they can sometimes be located out of the way as it is someones house, but if you have a car then it’s not really an issue. ACTIVITIES It’s all well and good to want to save money, but sometimes opportunities to do really awesome things come your way, and you have to take them! And, yeah, it’s going to be a blow to your budget, but it’s worth it. After saving lots of money on food and accommodation, why not spend a little on doing something unforgettable? Like Australia, New Zealand is famed for its activities and extreme sports, coming with a hefty price tag. But, we can help you reduce it:

Landroamers

The Planning

Having moved to Queenstown, New Zealand – also known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the WORLD’, my partner and I decided this would a be a pretty sweet place to have our ‘once in a lifetime’ experience and see these mountains (and Lake Wakatpiu) from above.

Sianequa

Adventure Tourism

Queenstown is also close by and is known as The Adventure Capital of The World, with some attractions that aren’t available in Wanaka, such as Bungy Jumping, The Luge and The World’s Steepest Zipline! Queenstown has developed faster than Wanaka, with tourism operators on every corner and a much larger township.

Nicola Woodhead

Wanaka Oh Wanaka

Wanaka and Queenstown should definitely be at the top of your list when you visit New Zealand’s South Island I fell in love with them as soon as I arrived. Situated in the Otago region of the South Island, at the start of the Clutha River and the end of Lake Wanaka, the quaint town of Wanaka is surrounded by mountains of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Skiing in winter and lake activities in summer, plus the vibrant explosion of colors in the fall makes this place intriguing at any time of the year. When you’re in town, camp at Lake Outlet Holiday Park, which has stunning views on the edge of Lake Wanaka and Clutha River.

Sasha Galloway

The Trip

Me and my friend Sonia left for the North Island during the middle of July. It does not sound as the best time to travel around as it’s middle winter, but this country turns up to be a year-round travel destination. It was cold, indeed, so be sure you remember to bring warm clothes when you head there, but it was definitely not unbearable. We spent the first week travelling around Auckland, reaching down to Mount Ngauruhoe, close to Lake Taupo, the most southern point we managed to get during our quick trip to the North Island. We went like in a circle, passing from the Coromandel Peninsula, down to Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo, and then going back up passing from Waitomo District, Hamilton and Piha, just outside Auckland. Needless to say that one week is not enough, but we had no choice and flew down to Christchurch, where we picked up our rented car and did another two weeks of travelling all around the South Island. In this case we tried not to miss any single worth stop. But the weather was not on our side and unfortunately we couldn’t really enjoy every stop. Anyway, we did an anti-clockwise trip, starting from Christchurch, heading up to Kaikoura and Blenheim, passing by Queen Charlotte Sound (Totaranui) and stopping at Nelson for two days to enjoy the Abel National Park at its best. Then we turned south to Greymouth and to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, right before arriving in Wanaka. After this, we spent a couple of days in Queenstown, where you find tourists at any time of the year as it offers any kind of entertainment, from exciting activities like the first Bungee Jumping or the Swing, to relaxing boat cruises and mountain walks. Winter is of course the best moment to go skiing or snowboarding, and there were hips of backpackers around, ready to get the best from the good snow. After leaving Queenstown we went down to Te Anau and cruised along Milford Sound, then we reached the most Southern Point of the entire Island (Slope Point) and went chasing penguins and albatross around Dunedin. On the way back to Christchurch we couldn’t miss the night sky over Lake Tekapo and the snowy land of Mount Cook, we also drove through the astonishing Arthur’s Pass and ended our trip at Hanmer Springs and at the Banks Peninsula, close to the airport. Words can’t describe our entire experience. We’ve been staying in different hostels every night, crossing path with many other travellers on their way. Heard interesting stories from other people livings and shared rooms with men and women of any possible nationality. No other experience will ever equal the power of this trip and I will never forget all the challenges we also went through (the snow storm being one of those).

Vale

One Year in Queenstown New Zealand

After taking the plunge and moving overseas for a year, here’s a short guide on how I set myself up in my new second home – Queenstown, New Zealand. Wye Creek Hike, Queenstown, NZ 1. Applying for the Working Holiday Visa My love for travel started in 2014 when I decided enough was enough for now with the 9-5, packed my bags and went on a 5 month trip around the world. One of the places that had always been on my list was New Zealand – so far away, so beautiful and where LOTR was filmed! How could I not?! (I’m not ashamed to say the LOTR thing was a big factor!) I spent two weeks travelling down the country with a friend. In my second week, I discovered Queenstown…wow. I couldn’t get over it. From the landscapes – the snow-capped mountains, the beautiful lake and super clean and tidy town, to the weather – a place where you had beautiful, sunny skies in the summer, and three huge ski fields right on your doorstep in the winter – I knew 100% this wouldn’t be my last time here.

Katie Cleary

Kaikoura. Travelling by bus.

There are many tours to beautiful Queenstown starting from Christchurch but just few of them runs through Southern Alps with the lunch at the foot of Mount Cook. As the time you are going to spend in the bus is quite long, you should be prepared to eat something on the way but the food should not exude the smell, as some drivers are very strict and better to ask even before buying a cup of coffee in another petrol station’s supermarket. The other thing is that the prices are cheaper in small towns and the bread from the local cafés smells like a real escape from the modern routine into the farming daily life and I highly recommend trying local food during your trip to taste the unforgettable soft fish and chips and drink natural milk from the alpine cows.

Anna Dreamer

6 things to do in Queenstown - without breaking your budget

One of the coolest little towns I have ever come across is found in the South Island of New Zealand. Although this whole country is amazing, there is something special about Queenstown. The town is built around Lake Wakatipu and with its beautiful scenery, endless amount of activities and adventures and good nightlife this is definitely the perfect getaway for anyone from families to backpackers.

Ellen Skoog

Fiordland National Park

I had on two jackets, a sweater, and a long sleeve top, and I was still shaking from the cold breeze of the wind. When I arrived at my bus stop, the bus had not arrived yet. About what felt like half an hour later, I met our bus driver named Paul. He was an energetic and passionate man about Queenstown and the Fiordland National Park. The first 30 minutes he introduced the group to Queenstown and its surroundings, pointing out that the Remarkable Mountains were a filming site for the movie “The Lord of The Rings”. Around Lake Wakatipu, the fields were full of farmlands and valleys with animals mainly sheep and cows. It took almost two hours to get to the town of Te Anau, the start of Fiordland National Park. The town was lined with a few shops, mainly tourists booking shops as well as a gas station for those who were on the road. At the end of the main road laid Lake Te Anau with the entrance to many day hikes and tramping locations. A small seaplane that could fit maybe two or three people rumbled against the water turning around and swiftly taking off towards the mountains.

Kayla Brock

A love affair with Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown My massive love affair with Queenstown began a couple of years back and it shows no signs of breaking up anytime soon. This beautiful gem in New Zealand’s crown, aptly named “fit for the Queen,” is a favorite among tourists and locals alike.

Hina

Nelson to Queenstown – that’s the tour

How do you plan your route around the famous West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand? What are the must-sees? Must-stops? Must-dos? If these are the questions on your mind, you’re in the best place! Nelson to Queenstown – that’s the tour You will do well to start from the northernmost city of the beautiful South island. That’s Nelson… which in fact lies in the geographic center of the country of NZ. The exact central point is marked by a little hill that is fun to climb for an averagely adventurous person. And locals say that hill has a very special energy!

Sandeep Nath

Cromwell - Must Do

With the ever increasing popularity of Central Otago, New Zealand, as a tourist destination, it can be difficult to get off the tourist trail. Whilst old favourites like Queenstown and Wanaka have a lot bto offer, it’s important not to overlook gems hidden in the paths less travelled. One of those gems is Cromwell, a small town with a big heart.

Carys Jones

First timer snow trip tips- Queenstown , New Zealand

Less than 2 weeks before leaving,  my best friend and I decided to spontaneously book a trip to Queenstown in New Zealand.

Rosemarie Annabel Marino

Queenstown, New Zealand Travel Guides

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