Reviews of hostels in Wellington



Professional hostel critics from hostelcritic.com have visited, reviewed and assessed every hostel in Wellington.

New Zealand’s bustling capital is often seen as a transit point to make connections between the North and South Islands. However there is much more to Wellington, with its pleasant harbour front area that includes the excellent Te Papa museum.

Wellington is built around a hilly landscape; houses cling to steep hills and high rises occupy the precious flat space in the downtown area. Due to the lack of flat space Wellington began building multi-storey office buildings early on, and the town has a real big-city feel even though there are only 420,000 residents. The hilly terrain also prevented a lot of the suburban sprawl that you find in Auckland, making it an easily walkable city.

Click on a hostel to read our reviews (and also to write your own review), or read the overview below for more detailed comparison of all hostels in Wellington.

The Dwellington
8 Halswell Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 550 9373
(1)
Nomads Capital
118 Wakefield Street, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 978 7800
(3)
YHA Wellington City
292 Wakefield Street, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 801 7280
(7)
Trek Global Backpacker
9 O'Reily Avenue, Wellington 6141
Tel (04) 471 3480
(0)
Worldwide Backpackers
291 The Terrace, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 802 5590
(6)
BASE Wellington
21–23 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 801 5666 or 0800 BASE NZ
(4)
The Cambridge Hotel
28 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 385 8829
(6)
The Setup on Dixon
Level 3/15 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 830 0991
(0)
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers
1 Bunny Street, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 473 8482 or 0800 225 725 (0800 BAKPAK)
(5)
Rosemere Backpackers
6 MacDonald Crescent, Wellington 6011
Tel 0508 767 363
(7)
Laneway Backpackers
107 Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Entrance on Opera House Lane
Tel (04) 830 0995
(0)
Wild Zebra Backpackers
58 Tory Street, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 381 3899
(12)
Rowena's City Lodge
115 Brougham Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 385 7872 or 0800 801 414
(7)
Lodge in the City
152 Taranaki Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Tel (04) 385 8560
(3)
Pickled Parrot Lodge
113 Coromandel Street, Newtown, Wellington, 6003
Tel (04) 389 8623
(0)

The following overview of backpackers hostels in Wellington includes Moana Lodge in Plimmerton, as this hostel is accessible by Wellington's public transport network and it is also a popular option for travellers who prefer not to stay in the city centre. However this overview does not include the Pickled Parrot Lodge in Newtown, as the Pickled Parrot is geared exclusively toward long-term guests so it is not an option for the average visitor to Wellington.

The best located hostel in Wellington

The commercial centre of Wellington is Lambton Quay. This is the busiest part of the city centre where you will find most large office buildings as well the city's main shopping area including the main department stores. To be more precise, we define Wellington's most central point as the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (which is the southern terminus of the Wellington Cable Car).

Based on the proximity to the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane, the most central hostels in Wellington are Nomads Capital and Trek Global Backpacker.

Nomads Capital 700m from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a nine-minute walk)
Trek Global Backpacker 700m from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a nine-minute walk)
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers 750m from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 10-minute walk)
Rosemere Backpackers 950m from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 12-minute walk)
Laneway Backpackers 950m from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 12-minute walk)
Worldwide Backpackers 1km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 16-minute walk)
The Setup on Dixon 1.1km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 14-minute walk)
YHA Wellington City 1.3km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 17-minute walk)
Wild Zebra Backpackers 1.4km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (an 18-minute walk)
The Dwellington 1.5km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (an 18-minute walk)
Lodge in the City 1.5km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 19-minute walk)
BASE Wellington 1.5km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 20-minute walk)
The Cambridge Hotel 1.6km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 21-minute walk)
Rowena's City Lodge 2.3km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (a 29-minute walk)
Moana Lodge 28.3km from the corner of Lambton Quay and Cable Car Lane (an 11-minute walk to Wellington Railway Station, then a 30-minute train ride followed by a 20-minute walk)

 

The central area of Wellington covers quite a large area and while Lambton Quay is the commercial heart of the city, many travellers find the areas around Cuba Street and Courtenay Place to be a better area to stay as there is more nightlife as well as more interesting bars, cafes and restaurants in these areas.

Based on proximity to Cuba Street (the corner of Cuba Street and Manners Street), the most central hostels in Wellington are Laneway Backpackers, The Setup on Dixon and Nomads Capital; although there are ten hostels within a ten minute walk of Cuba Street.

Laneway Backpackers 73m from Cuba Street (a one-minute walk)
The Setup on Dixon 210m from Cuba Street (a two-minute walk)
Nomads Capital 220m from Cuba Street (a three-minute walk)
Trek Global Backpacker 400m from Cuba Street (a five-minute walk)
Rosemere Backpackers 450m from Cuba Street (a six-minute walk)
Wild Zebra Backpackers 550m from Cuba Street (a seven-minute walk)
Lodge in the City 650m from Cuba Street (an eight-minute walk)
Worldwide Backpackers 650m from Cuba Street (an eight-minute walk)
BASE Wellington 750m from Cuba Street (a nine-minute walk)
The Cambridge Hotel 800m from Cuba Street (a ten-minute walk)
YHA Wellington City 800m from Cuba Street (a ten-minute walk)
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers 1.4km from Cuba Street (an 18-minute walk)
Rowena's City Lodge 1.5km from Cuba Street (an 18-minute walk)
The Dwellington 2.3km from Cuba Street (a 28-minute walk)
Moana Lodge 29.3km from Cuba Street (a 19-minute walk to Wellington Railway Station, then a 30-minute train ride followed by a 20-minute walk)

 

Based on proximity of Courtenay Place (the corner of Courtenay Place and Tory Street, which is around the centre of Courtenay Place), the most central hostels in Wellington are Wild Zebra Backpackers, The Setup on Dixon, BASE Wellington, The Cambridge Hotel and YHA Wellington City and Laneway Backpackers, all within a five-minute walk of Courtenay Place.

Wild Zebra Backpackers 80m from Courtenay Place (a one-minute walk)
The Setup on Dixon 270m from Courtenay Place (a four-minute walk)
BASE Wellington 300m from Courtenay Place (a four-minute walk)
The Cambridge Hotel 350m from Courtenay Place (a four-minute walk)
YHA Wellington City 350m from Courtenay Place (a five-minute walk)
Laneway Backpackers 400m from Courtenay Place (a five-minute walk)
Lodge in the City 600m from Courtenay Place (a seven-minute walk)
Nomads Capital 650m from Courtenay Place (a nine-minute walk)
Trek Global Backpacker 850m from Courtenay Place (an 11-minute walk)
Rosemere Backpackers 850m from Courtenay Place (an 11-minute walk)
Rowena's City Lodge 1km from Courtenay Place (a 12-minute walk)
Worldwide Backpackers 1km from Courtenay Place (a 13-minute walk)
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers 1.7km from Courtenay Place (a 22-minute walk)
The Dwellington 2.6km from Courtenay Place (a 32-minute walk)
Moana Lodge 29.6km from Courtenay Place (a 23-minute walk to Wellington Railway Station, then a 30-minute train ride followed by a 20-minute walk)

What amenities do the hostels in Wellington have?

Hostels in city centres generally have fewer facilities than hostels located out of town. It simply isn’t feasible to modify older buildings to add resort-like features, particularly for low-budget accommodation like a hostel. However, the hostels in Wellington have all the basic amenities that you need.

The Dwellington    
Moana Lodge        
Nomads Capital        
YHA Wellington City      
Trek Global Backpacker        
Worldwide Backpackers        
BASE Wellington      
The Cambridge Hotel        
The Setup on Dixon        
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers      
Rosemere Backpackers        
Laneway Backpackers        
Wild Zebra Backpackers        
Rowena's City Lodge      
Lodge in the City        

Which Wellington hostel has the fastest Wi-Fi wireless internet?

Most – but not all – hostels in Wellington offer at least some free Wi-Fi wireless internet access, although the extent of free Wi-Fi varies from one hostel to another.

For basic web browsing and Skype/Facetime calls you don't actually need that fast a connection. In fact 100 kbps is fine for most web browsing and fast enough for a voice-only Skype call and a video Skype call should work fine if you have 512 kbps or higher. 10 Mbps is around the same as most people would expect from an ADSL2+ home connection. This speed or higher is more than enough for most people and ideal for web browsing and good enough multiple people to streaming video from services like YouTube and Netflix.

For most people it is the download speed that really matters. A fast download speed means that you can browse websites without waiting for pages to load and watch video without buffering. The upload speed is important for two-way communication, such as video Facetime or Skype calls, as well as for uploading photos (if your phone is set to upload all your photos to the cloud) and file syncing services like Dropbox.

When we visited each hostel to review them for this site, we tested the internet speed using the Ookla Speedtest app. On our last visit we were not able to test the Wi-Fi speed at Laneway Backpackers so they don't appear on the table below, however Laneway Backpackers are run by the same people who run The Setup on Dixon and it is safe to assume that both hostels would use the same internet service provider.

The fastest Wi-Fi wireless internet of Wellington's hostels is at Rosemere Backpackers. This comes as a surprise considering that Rosemere is one of the lower rated hostels in all other aspects, but Rosemere's internet speed blows all the others out of the water. Smaller hostels tend to perform better for Wi-Fi speed, primarily because there are fewer people sharing an internet connection. This is why small hostels like Rosemere, The Dwellington, Moana Lodge and Rowena's City Lodge perform so well, while larger hostels like the YHA, Wild Zebra and BASE Wellington perform so poorly.

Rosemere Backpackers 72.66 Mbps download 38.97 Mbps upload Free unlimited Wi-Fi
The Dwellington 25.02 Mbps download 19.13 Mbps upload Free unlimited Wi-Fi
Moana Lodge 24.09 Mbps download 17.37 Mbps upload Free unlimited Wi-Fi
Rowena's City Lodge 16.24 Mbps download 11.15 Mbps upload 1GB free Wi-Fi, then $5 per GB
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers 12.77 Mbps download 6.4 Mbps upload 1GB free Wi-Fi per day
The Setup on Dixon 9.64 Mbps download 2.3 Mbps upload 500 MB free Wi-Fi per day
Worldwide Backpackers 8.23 Mbps download .34 Mbps upload Free unlimited Wi-Fi
Lodge in the City 6.22 Mbps download 1.85 Mbps upload Half an hour of Wi-Fi is free in every 12-hour period, otherwise Wi-Fi costs $5 for 24 hours or $25 for one week.
The Cambridge Hotel 4.71 Mbps download 23.60 Mbps upload First 60 minutes Wi-Fi per day free, then $2.50 for one hour, $4 for two hours, $6 for 12 hours, $8 for 24 hours or $20 for one week.
Nomads Capital 4.50 Mbps download 4.12 Mbps upload $4 for 24 hours or $12 per week
Trek Global Backpacker 2.42 Mbps download 2.97 Mbps upload Free unlimited Wi-Fi
YHA Wellington City .72 Mbps download .54 Mbps upload 2GB Free Wi-Fi per day
Wild Zebra Backpackers .59 Mbps download .55 Mbps upload The amount of free Wi-Fi per day varies depending on the length of your stay, but it generally works out at least 500 MB free per day.
BASE Wellington The internet at BASE is so slow that the Ookla Speedtest timed out. Unlimited free Wi-Fi 7am–7pm in the lobby area, otherwise $4 for 24 hours or $12 for seven days.

The cleanest and best maintained hostels in Wellington

When hostelcritic.com's hostel critics visit a hostel, they work out a score out of five for the hostel’s cleanliness and maintenance. Cleanliness and maintenance are not the same thing, but they go hand-in-hand and a hostel with a high score is usually a nice place to stay, even if hostels that score well in this category may be light on facilities or feel a little sterile. It is usually a pretty safe bet if you choose a hostel with a cleanliness and maintenance score of three or higher.

The cleanest and best maintained hostels in Wellington are The Dwellington, followed by Moana Lodge, Nomads Capital, YHA Wellington City, Trek Global Backpacker and The Setup on Dixon.

The Dwellington
Moana Lodge
Nomads Capital
YHA Wellington City
Trek Global Backpacker
The Setup on Dixon
BASE Wellington
The Cambridge Hotel
Worldwide Backpackers
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers
Laneway Backpackers
Rosemere Backpackers
Wild Zebra Backpackers
Rowena's City Lodge
Lodge in the City

Hostels in Wellington with the best atmosphere

Essentially, a hostel with a great atmosphere is a fun place to stay. It is somewhere where you are most likely to meet other travellers and have great memories. These are often party hostels, but that is not always the case as there are some quiet hostels that have loads of charm.

The Dwellington and Moana Lodge have the best atmosphere of all the hostels in Wellington, followed by Worldwide Backpackers.

The Dwellington
Moana Lodge
Worldwide Backpackers
YHA Wellington City
The Cambridge Hotel
Rosemere Backpackers
Rowena's City Lodge
Nomads Capital
Trek Global Backpacker
BASE Wellington
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers
Wild Zebra Backpackers
Lodge in the City
The Setup on Dixon
Laneway Backpackers

The best hostels in Wellington for parking

Only two hostels in Wellington offer parking: The Dwellington, which has five parking spots and Rowena's City Lodge, which has many more parking spaces.

Another option is Moana Lodge near the seaside in Plimmerton, 30-minutes by train from the city centre. Although Moana Lodge doesn't have its own off-street parking, the suburban location ensures that there is plenty of parking on the street. Moana Lodge more than makes up for the commute with its stunning sea views.

If you're like most travellers, Wellington is either your first or your last stop in the North Island. This means that you will most likely be picking up or dropping off your rental car here. Your best option is to drop off your rental car as soon as you arrive in Wellington (if Wellington is your last stop on the North Island) or wait until you are ready to leave Wellington before picking up your rental car (if Wellington is your first stop on the North Island). This way you don't need to worry about car parking while you're in the city.

The following hostels in Wellington offer parking for their guests:

The best hostel in Wellington

The best hostel in Wellington is The Dwellington. It is a clean and well maintained hostel in a beautiful old building with a great atmosphere. It is well worth booking ahead to ensure a bed at this hostel. If you like to stay by the seaside (and don't mind staying half an hour outside the city centre) then Moana Lodge is your next best option.