New Zealand’s top 10 small hostels

The latest BUG New Zealand guidebook reviews of around 500 hostels throughout New Zealand.

New Zealand’s hostels range from small intimate places to large modern multi-storey hostels with hundreds of beds although compared with Australia the emphasis is mostly on smaller hostels.

When I asked the authors working on the travel guide, their favourites were invariably these smaller hostels where the managers remember your name and provide a warmer welcome and a more personal service, all while keeping the hostel clean.

New Zealand’s smaller hostels also have the advantage of catering more to true independent travellers as they are generally too small to cater to backpacker buses like Kiwi Experience, Magic or Stray.

Based on the guidebook author’s recommendations I have compiled a list of New Zealand’s top 10 small hostels.

Most of New Zealand’s top 10 small hostels – all with less than 60 beds – are unique hostels with lots of charm, but some are known for the top-quality fittings and others for the friendly hospitable staff.

New Zealand’s top 10 small hostels are:

All these hostels are reviewed on and also in the third edition of BUG New Zealand, which is now available in bookshops in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

You can also buy the book online from, Waterstones (with free delivery in the UK) or the Book Depository (which has free worldwide shipping).

3 Responses to “New Zealand’s top 10 small hostels”

  1. Hi Tim,
    I’m not sure I can agree with your classification of Bay Adventurer as a “small” hostel. Or YHA Mt Cook for that matter.The rest of your list are much more like small hostels NZ style.

  2. @Eric Foley
    Well Bay Adventurer and Mt Cook YHA aren’t as small as Billy Brown’s or some of the excellent BBH hostels that have under 20 beds, but these hostels certainly aren’t big hostels either (like some of the big VIP and YHA hostels catering to the backpacker bus crowd).

  3. There are also camping grounds throughout the country, as well as in New Zealand’s national parks. Some tourists rent campers and travel from campground to campground taking in the sites as they go. Some campsites are free and are commonly used by bike touring groups who need accommodations for the night.

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