Last Updated: October 4, 2023
In Queenstown, you’ll find plenty of backpackers and hostels. Figuring out which ones offer the best value without compromising on comfort and amenities can be a challenge. Fortunately, most hostels in Queenstown provide top-notch facilities, modern dormitories, and affordable private rooms, ensuring a memorable stay in New Zealand’s adventure capital.
After living in town for over a year, I have the genuine scoop on the best Queenstown backpackers and hostels. I’ve stayed in many myself and have gathered plenty of intel from my friends. Something that makes Queenstown hostels special is many are filled with long-term guests, giving them a genuinely local feel while still accommodating people down for a quick visit. Many of my friends lived in Queenstown hostels for years. It wasn’t just about the price, as will quickly become evident when you see the options available.
Keep reading for our list of the 8 best hostels in Queenstown.
Coming up in this guide:
- Super cool, budget-friendly accommodation
- Five-star amenities that won’t break the bank
- Unmatched locations for Queenstown backpackers
- Local insight, tips, and advice
Quick Answer: What Are the Best Hostels in Queenstown?
|Best Location||Adventure Queenstown Hostel|
|Best Hostel for Solo Travelers||Absoloot Hostel|
|Best Hostel for Couples||Nomads|
Budget-Friendly Hostels in Queenstown
Adventure Queenstown Hostel
|Address:||36 Camp Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 3 409 0862|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$62/night|
|Private room starting price:||$185/night|
Best for: comfortable stay in a fun atmosphere in the middle of town.
When I first arrived in Queenstown, I booked a stay at the Adventure Queenstown Hostel. It was one of the best choices I could have made. In fact, after leaving, I left a review calling it the “Ritz Carlton of hostels.” Over the two weeks I spent there, I had an epic home base for exploring, a comfortable place to relax in the evenings, and even made lifelong friends.
The hostel is a great medium size with luxurious dorms (yes, there are curtains on the bunkbeds) and private rooms for a reasonable price. The kitchen is well equipped for cooking, with a large dining room for eating or playing board games. But best of all are the balconies overlooking one of Queenstown’s main streets. You can soak in the sights of the mountains and the town below while sipping a cold one.
Adventure Queenstown puts on different events each night to get people together. They also have a sister hostel called Adventure Q2, a stone’s throw away. Adventure Queenstown offers mixed dorms and a six-bed female room, while AQ2 provides mixed dorms and a double room with a private bathroom.
Local’s Insider Tip
If you’re traveling with a partner, spring for a private room. It’s only slightly more expensive than two dorm beds.
Also, Adventure Queenstown is located directly in the center of town, giving you easy access to all the area offers. It’s two blocks from the closest grocery store (Four Square), surrounded by the best late-night food spots. After a big evening out, grab a pizza from Fat Badgers, some greasy KFC, or a classic Fergburger.
|Address:||5/11 Church Street, South island, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 3 441 3922|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$66/night|
|Private room starting price:||$250/night|
Best for: unmatched facilities, located in the heart of Queenstown.
Nomads sits on Church Street, a block from the lake, offering one of the best hostels in Queenstown and beyond. A major perk is a free sauna, which comes in especially handy after long days skiing. And if that’s not enough, there’s a pool table, foosball, a fireplace, and balconies to ensure any stay is padded with luxury.
The dorms are pretty basic, with metal bunks and small lockers. That said, there are also hotel-style private rooms with ensuite bathrooms if you’re in for a splurge. If you like cooking, there’s a massive kitchen to enjoy your meal with a view of the sun setting into the lake.
Local’s Insider Tip
Nomads is super well located, especially if you want a Queenstown hostel close to all the nightlife. However, the back of the hostel faces Searle Lane, where most of the town’s bars are located. Easy access to the fun, but also pretty loud until the bars close between one and four in the morning. Pack earplugs, or better yet, join in.
|Address:||50 Beach Street, Queenstown 9348, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 3 442 9522|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$63/night|
|Private room starting price:||$276/night|
Best for: lakefront location with great views, family rooms, and incredible amenities.
Built with care by a local family, Absoloot is one of the best hostels in Queenstown, with no detail overlooked. The dorms accommodate four to six people with upscale furnishings, an ensuite bathroom, and everything you’d expect. There’s a privacy curtain, a large locker, an outlet, and a light for every bunk.
There are also private rooms with sprawling views of the lake and multiple beds, which makes them practical for splitting with friends. You can even score a weekly deal on these private rooms, which is less expensive than booking at the nightly rate.
What makes Absoloot special are the family rooms designed for parents with kids under seventeen traveling on a budget. These rooms sleep five to six people. They include an ensuite and a Family Pack loaded with games, art supplies, and other goodies to keep kiddos entertained during the stay.
Complete with a 24-hour lounge, laundry machines, gaming consoles, and a big kitchen, this is the best hostel in Queenstown for a five-star stay without breaking the bank.
Local’s Insider Tip
This is one of the best-located Queenstown hostels. It’s right on Beach Street, seconds from the lakefront. Head to the water on Saturday morning to check out the weekly local market. You’ll find artisans, yummy food, and great shopping.
The Black Sheep Backpackers
|Address:||13 Frankton Road, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 3 442 7289|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$/79night|
|Private room starting price:||$249/night|
Best for: homey feel with luxurious amenities.
Something I love about Queenstown hostels is that many of them are built in old homes. The Black Sheep Backpackers is set in a huge, charming house with various accommodation options for all budgets.
The dorms are pod style, with beds in little wooden nooks with a curtain, private light and plug, and an under-bed locker. They’re some of the most private dorm beds in Queenstown. If you’re looking for even more privacy, split a triple room with a couple of friends (it even has a private mini fridge). You can also splurge for a double, twin, or deluxe king private room.
The Black Sheep provides a discounted weekly rate for pod beds for long-term guests. The hostel consistently hosts enjoyable social nights, with a free dinner every Tuesday. Additionally, the hostel has a hot tub, barrel sauna, free bike rental, and ski storage, ensuring a pleasant and well-equipped stay.
Local’s Insider Tip
Located on Frankton Road just outside of Queenstown, this hostel is nestled beside the beautiful Queenstown Gardens (get in a game of disc golf; it’s one of the best free things to do in Queenstown). The setting provides a much more tranquil atmosphere than staying in the heart of town. Moreover, it’s only a five-minute walk to the center of the action and conveniently located if you’ll be spending time in Frankton or up the Remarks.
The Flaming Kiwi
|Address:||39 Robins Road, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 2 170 3998|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$56/night|
|Private room starting price:||$145/night|
Best for: central location with free parking.
The Flaming Kiwi is an iconic institution and has been one of the best hostels in Queenstown for more than twenty years. It sits on Robins Road, a five-minute walk to town and three minutes to Fresh Choice to load up on groceries.
Dorms are pod style with everything you need for a cushy stay – privacy curtain, USB port, personal light, and a locker big enough for all your belongings. There’s even an outlet inside the locker if you need to charge your laptop securely while out for the day.
There are five private rooms, one with a balcony, and three shared kitchens with all you’ll need to cook a meal. But one of the biggest draws to the Flaming Kiwi is the free off-road parking, which is ideal for travelers with cars or van lifers looking for a place to park while in Queenstown.
Local’s Insider Tip
While it’s certainly pricier than Fresh Choice, there’s a great specialty grocery store called Raeward Fresh, one minute from the Flaming Kiwi. They have awesome breakfast and good coffee.
Additionally, this hostel is located right next to Gorge Road, making it convenient if you’ll be skiing at Coronet Peak during your stay.
|Address:||48 Hamilton Road, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 3 442 8273|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$58/night|
|Private room starting price:||$138/night|
Best for: a quieter stay with great private, long-term, and pet-friendly options.
This is one of the best hostels in Queenstown if you’re looking for the largest range of budget-friendly accommodation options. Pinewood is a small complex five minutes from town offering dorms, cheap(ish) private rooms, studios, and apartments. It’s one of the most practical options for traveling with other people thanks to rooms like the “Standard Double,” which includes two bunks and a double bed with enough space for four guests.
Pinewood is a top choice if you’re looking for a quieter stay while still being right in town. Fresh Choice, a local grocery store, is only five minutes away, and Pinewood guests can access a shared kitchen to make meals.
Local’s Insider Tip
I used to live in the house directly in front of Pinewood and can personally vouch for the location and facilities. The apartments are particularly nice and are an awesome way to score long-term accommodation without breaking the bank.
The only downside to Pinewood is, from what I saw, the guests tend to be older than traditional budget travelers around town. This is mainly because it’s a quieter spot than the party hostels in town.
|Address:||6 Henry Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 21 225 6939|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$48/night|
|Private room starting price:||$149/night|
Best for: private dorms and a quieter, central location.
I haven’t personally stayed at the Haka Lodge in Queenstown, but I did stay at the one in Taupo and love the concept. There are five Haka Lodges throughout New Zealand, and they’re probably the most popular hostel chain in the country – with good reason.
This Queenstown backpackers is relatively new, with dorms, privates, and stellar facilities. The dorms are admittedly a bit cramped, but each bunk is really private, with a curtain, light, and locker for all belongings. The common areas are super spacious, but if you need that extra bit of privacy, opt for a budget-friendly private room or one-bedroom apartment that accommodates up to four people with a lounge area, private balcony, bathroom, and its own laundry.
Local’s Insider Tip
Queenstown’s Haka Lodge is right on the fringe of the town center, a one-minute walk to Four Square, making it quieter without sacrificing a convenient location. Local watering hole 1876 is next door (cheapest mixed drinks in town), as is Rata, Queenstown’s premiere fine dining destination. Tell Chef Mikey I say what’s up!
LyLo (Formerly Juicy Snooze)
|Address:||47 Camp Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand|
|Phone:||+64 80 042 7736|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$77/night|
|Private room starting price:||$212/night|
Best for: modern pod-style accommodation with on-site dining.
When most people think of Juicy in New Zealand, they think of the infamous green and purple campervans cruising around the country – if you haven’t seen them yet, you haven’t been in New Zealand for long enough. However, the company has branched out and opened a range of pod hostels throughout New Zealand. While they were once known as ‘Juicy Snooze,’ they’ve rebranded to LyLo – my guess is because they don’t want people to think the property is as garish as their vehicles.
And honestly, they’ve done a great job with it. The hostel offers simple individual pods with supremely comfortable mattresses, a storage net, a privacy blind, an outlet, and a fan. There’s a large locker under each pod for personal belongings, and if you’re traveling with a group, you can book a private room of pods for up to twelve people.
LyLo also offers a range of private rooms with ensuites, balconies, and family options. It’s located right across from Red Rock, one of the oldest bars in Queenstown. Stop in for a pint and a chicken parm, or walk one minute down Duke Street to catch the NZ Ski Bus to Coronet Peak and the Remarkables.
Local’s Insider Tip
While I haven’t spent the night at this Queenstown hostel, I have eaten at Miss Lucy’s, the rooftop bar. Aside from the delicious wood-fired pizzas and tasty drinks, the views are lush, and there are great deals like a daily happy hour, two-for-one pizzas, and $1 wings. If you stay at LyLo, you can use Miss Lucy’s as an all-day workspace with WiFi and power outlets.
Things to Do in Queenstown
Renowned as the adventure capital of the world, there is no shortage of things to do in Queenstown.
Nestled amidst the stunning Southern Alps and the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown offers a breathtaking backdrop for a wide range of adrenaline-pumping activities, from bungee jumping and skydiving to world-class skiing and hiking trails.
Yet, Queenstown is not only for thrill-seekers. Its charming downtown area, lined with cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops, exudes a welcoming atmosphere that caters to all types of travelers. The region’s renowned vineyards and wineries also make for a delightful indulgence in local flavors.
To make the most of your visit to Queenstown and ensure you experience all it offers, consider opting for guided tours from local experts. Platforms like GetYourGuide can be a valuable resource in planning your adventure-packed itinerary.
Explore their selection of Queenstown experiences below:
FAQs about Hostels in Queenstown
What is the average price for a hostel in Queenstown?
Queenstown is definitely one of the pricier places to score a hostel in New Zealand.
- Shared dorms are the best bet for budget travelers, and beds go for between $40 and $70 per night.
- If you’re traveling as a couple or need more space, private rooms are often between $100 and $220 per night. Sometimes, it can be the same price to book a private room for two people instead of two dorm beds, which is worth keeping in mind.
Since Queenstown is a ski destination, prices skyrocket for the winter season, and places book out super early. If you want to stay in a hostel during the winter, you’ll definitely need to reserve a bed in advance or be prepared to pay a hefty premium.
Many hostels in Queenstown also offer long-term rates, which is a great way to save money while living in a fun environment with other people. These rates are typically on a weekly basis and can range from $250 – $400 per week. You may not be able to get a weekly rate during winter, but it’s worth trying for during the rest of the year.
Where can I book Queenstown Hostels?
Final Thoughts & Further Reading
There are a lot of Queenstown backpackers to choose from, but one thing’s certain: you’ll have a wonderful time anywhere you end up. Combining a fun atmosphere with top-notch facilities and budget-friendly rooms, Queenstown hostels don’t leave you wanting for much. Just remember to book ahead of time, especially during the winter season!
Looking for more accommodations in New Zealand? Read our articles below:
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