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Your guide to staying at hostels in New Zealand

Travelling around New Zealand can be made even better by staying at the various hostels and backpackers that Aotearoa has on offer!

Hostels are the most common budget accommodation in New Zealand. If you’re looking for great stories, new friends and unforgettable experiences, then staying at hostels along your journey is a great idea. Just because hostels are cheaper than hotels and motels, and there’s less of a focus on fancy furnishings, that doesn’t mean you get less value for money! 

If you’re staying in dorms or private rooms at a hostel, you will have shared common areas with other locals as well as guests from all over the world! This gives you an opportunity to meet new people, listen to other people’s stories and anecdotes and make new friends.

Words of wisdom: Etiquette

Staying in a hostel is usually very relaxed, but you must remember that this is a shared space and to make sure everyone is comfortable, it is important to observe a few rules.

  • Hostel-specific rules: Each hostel will have their own rules that will be displayed in common areas – make sure you read and understand these rules and ask questions if you are unsure about anything.
  • Noise: Don’t play your own music too loud to annoy your fellow dorm-mates or other guests and try not to talk too loudly if you are having a phone conversation in a shared space.
  • Quiet hours: Hostels will often have designated quiet hours. Typically these run from about 10-11pm until 7-8am in the morning. The enforcement of such rules can be anything from very relaxed to very strict. 

The Spaces You Will be Sharing

If you opt for shared spaces, you will get to meet other people in all of these communal areas:

  • Your bedroom (if you choose a dorm room)
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Common rooms or lounges
  • Laundry rooms
  • Other common spaces may be available depending on the hostel you choose:: This could include TV rooms, outdoor areas, spas, saunas, swimming pools or even bars, cafes and restaurants. 

Dorm Rooms

The most common room-type in a hostel is bunk rooms or dorm rooms. Dorm rooms usually range from 4 to 10 beds, either as bunk beds or single beds in one room. While most hostels have mixed rooms, meaning dorm rooms for males and females, some hostels offer the female-only dorms. Dorm rooms can range from anything between NZ$20-$37 per person per night.

Private Rooms

When you book a private room, you get the whole room to yourself. Most private rooms have a double bed, however, hostels also may offer single rooms and twin rooms. Private rooms in hostels will have the bedding and linen provided, luggage storage, an ensuite shower and toilet, plus tea and coffee-making facilities. The cost of a double or twin room is usually between NZ$60 and NZ$85. A single room, when available, is more likely to be around NZ$50-$85.

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