Queenstown Lake on a clear blue bird day with kayakers on the water

Queenstown is one of those bucket list destinations. It ticks off adventure, epic landscapes, social atmosphere and the charisma of a big city. This small resort town is home to over 16 hostels. And this post will showcase the 8 best hostels in Queenstown. 

Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this mountain town has something for everyone. The bus/car ride driving into Queenstown will have you full of excitement. This is one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand. 

I highly recommend checking out my following posts when planning your trip to Queenstown: 

View from the top of Queenstown lake

Living in Queenstown allowed me to hop around hostels and see the different vibes that came with the seasons. In this article I am going to show you why I think these hostels are the best and why I recommend you book one of them from this list. 

Unfortunately, after the pandemic, like many other hostels all over the world, the prices have increased significantly. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, if you decide to press on them and make a valid purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you and for that, thank you!

The walking distances I mention in this post are from the hostel to Fergburger. It is located on Shotover Street in the centre of town. 

If this is your first time staying in a hostel, check out my guide here for all the must know tips and tricks to prepare you for backpacker living. 

Absoloot Hostel 

4.5* Google / 9* Hostelworld / 8.6* Booking.com / 9.1* Agoda 

Price range – $51 – $65 (based on 6 bed dorm)

Vibe Check 10/10

I am starting this post off with my favourite backpackers in Queenstown. Absoloot Hostel is such a fun and vibrant place. This hostel was my first “home” in Queenstown. I stayed for 3 weeks and made some amazing friendships with travellers passing through and travellers staying around for the winter season. 

Absoloot Hostel is one of the best hostels in central Queenstown. Located right on the waterfront, you are treated to epic views looking over Lake Wakatipu from the open-plan kitchen. In the kitchen there is free tea, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit tea. The hot chocolate, for me, is such a nice touch. 

A feature that makes Absoloot so unique is its tiled wall art. Each tile on the wall as you walk up and down the stairs was created by a previous backpacker. Each tile is individual and can be anything from a cartoon drawing to words of affirmation. 

*Sorry about the Blurry image, this was taken as a video capture from a snapchat video I made in 2015.

What makes it one of the best hostels in Queenstown?

The rooms are spacious with personal storage, reading light and charging ports for each bed. Absoloot rooms also offer a proper duvet and a towel. Hostels get extra points from me when they offer real bedding like snuggly duvets. It saddens me when you just get a sheet and a blanket that hasn’t been washed in 3 years.

If you are hiring bikes in the summer or skis in the winter, Absoloot offers a storage space for these. They also offer winter packages that combine your accommodation and your mountain days. 

The mountains that are available on this package are Cardrona and Treble Cone. 

The hostel itself is small, so you have the opportunity to get to know more backpackers. They have a really good “movie room” that has ample seating and beanbags for those people that prefer to lounge. 

The rooms available are: 

  • 4 bed with or without ensuite
  • 6 bed with or without ensuite 
  • Private Queens, Doubles, family rooms

Absoloot also offers a weekly rate for those travellers that wish to stay longer. This rate is discounted as you are booking a full 7 days. When I was there, you were only allowed a maximum of 4 weeks, so double check if you plan on becoming a long termer. 

Autumn Trees next to Queenstown Lake view from Absoloot Hostel Kitchen
PC: Hostelworld

Don’t delay, book your stay at Absoloot Hostel! Check prices and availability here.

Adventure Q2 Hostel

4.8* Google / 9.5* Hostelworld / 8.6* Booking.com / 9.3*Agoda

Price Range: $54 – $64 (based on 6 bed dorm)

Vibe Check 10/10 

Adventure Q2 Hostel is another incredible centrally located hostel in Queenstown. This backpackers also has a sister hostel called Adventure hostel, which can sometimes make bookings a little confusing. 

This hostel has such a fun and social energy which makes it one of the best Queenstown hostels to stay in. Adventure Q2 puts on activities every night, including its famous scavenger hunt. This hunt is a great way to get you out of your comfort zone and bonding with new people. 

The hunt has some funny, crazy challenges that take you all over Queenstown. At the beginning of the night, you will be given a list of tasks to complete and you have to video/take a photo of every task to prove it was completed. The winners will then receive a prize. 

I had a blast doing this and highly recommend you stay just for that activity alone! 

Adventure QT book corner
PC: Adventure Q2

What makes it one of the best hostels in Queenstown?

Adventure Q2 has lots of lovely personal touches that make the hostel more homely. When I was there, they had whiteboards on every door with a message for new visitors. They also had an honesty box on the island in the kitchen if you wanted a couple of local chicken eggs. 

The dorm beds all have privacy curtains, charging ports, reading lights and storage. Another personal touch that I really appreciate and is often not available at hostels is having 2 pillows provided instead of one. 

As Adventure is in the name, this hostel is the pick-up point for many local excursions and offers free bike and Go Pro Rental (a deposit will be taken and given back when you return the item). They also hire out ski/boards and ski clothes. 

The hostel has a gear room for bikes and skis to be stored in. With CCTV and code access, your items will be safe and sound. 

Adventure Q2 hostel room
PC: Adventure Q2

Don’t delay, book your stay at Adventure Q2 Hostel! Check prices and availability here.

Black Sheep Hostel 

3.7* Google / 7.5* Hostelworld / 7.5 Booking.com / 7.6* Agoda 

Price range – $59 – $69 (based on a 6 bed dorm)

Vibe check 8/10

Located 10 minutes’ walk out of the centre of Queenstown, Black Sheep Hostel offers 360 panoramic views of the local mountain range including the Remarkables (Moodor without the CGI). 

This Queenstown Backpackers accommodation is perfect for solo travellers with its social events like movie nights, free dinners (every Wednesday), BBQ nights, quizzes, bar crawls etc. There is always something going on to get you interacting with your fellow explorers. 

The view of mountains from The Black Sheep Hostel in Queenstown
PC: The Black Sheep Hostel

What makes it one of the best hostels in Queenstown?

Black Sheep Hostel also offers campervan spots which are unique compared to other Queenstown Hostels. This means you can park and use all the communal facilities, including the spa!

If you are lucky enough to get a dorm room with a lot of windows, you will be treated to some of the prettiest mountain views a hostel has to offer. 

Each bed has a private curtain, power sockets, a reading light and plenty of storage space. Bunk beds like these are my favourite because you have the ability to have personal space and some “you” time before heading to a communal area to get social. 

If you still need convincing, Black Sheep Hostel also has a sauna, hot pool, fireplace, sundeck and a movie room with Netflix. 

If you are planning to stick around Queenstown, they offer long-term discounts at roughly $350 a week (seasons may change pricing slightly) and have computers and a printer that you can use to print out CVs for the local businesses. 

There is also free bike and ski storage and Frisbees to rent. If you are visiting Queenstown you must add Frisbee Golf to your list of activities to do. 

The Black Sheep Hostel also has a travel desk that will advise you on the best things to do around the area and New Zealand itself. 

If you love this hostel, they also have one in Rotorua too!

The Blacksheep Hostel in Queenstown rooms with a window view of the mountains
PC: The Black Sheep Hostel

Don’t delay, book your stay at The Black Sheep Hostell! Check prices and availability here.

Haka Lodge

4.3* Google / 8.3* Hostelworld / 7.7 Booking.com / 8.5* Agoda 

Price range – $36.90 – $80 (based on 6 bed dorm) 

Vibe check 7/10 

Haka Lodge is a reputable hostel chain in New Zealand with backpacker accommodation located in Auckland, Paihia, Taupo and Queenstown.

With a 6 minute walk into the centre, it is one of the best hostels in Queenstown. 

I found this chain when I was in Auckland and loved the comfort and coziness of the hostel. This feeling is replicated in each of their locations. 

Haka Lodge Queenstown Hostel building
PC: Hostelworld

What makes it one of the best hostels in Queenstown?

As Haka Lodge is darted all over the country, they have a loyalty card programme which you will receive when you first arrive. This card will allow you to get 10% off bookings in each location and has discounts for bars and restaurants in Queenstown. 

Another thing I love about these hostels is their Eco-friendliness. They have recycling stations that help travellers be more conscious of what they are chucking away. They also only use eco-friendly cleaning products and offer filtered water stations, so you can fill your reusable bottles up if you don’t like tap water. 

You can also rent hairdryers, straighteners and frisbees for free and padlocks and towels for $2. Along with free ski storage. 

The beds are made from wooden frames (meaning they do not creek, yay!) and have privacy curtains, power sockets, reading lamps and lockable storage space. 

They have a sundeck, bbq and movie room, making it easy to socialise with other travellers. 

With all these benefits, you can see why they won the travellers’ choice award in 2020 and Tripadvisors certificate of excellence in 2019. 

Wall of framed pictures with mugs at Haka Lodge Queenstown
PC: Hostelworld

Don’t delay, book your stay at Haka Lodge Hostell! Check prices and availability here.

Flaming Kiwi 

Google 4.4* / 8.7* Hostelworld / 8.2* Booking.com / 8.3* Agoda

Price Range – $54 – $58 (based on a 6 bed dorm and always a minimum stay of 2 nights)

Vibe check 7/10 

Flaming Kiwi is a 55 bed hostel that has a homely feel. With a 9 minute walk to town and a 2 minute walk to the Raeward Fresh supermarket, you are in the perfect location. 

What makes it one of the best hostels in Queenstown?

One thing I love about the Flaming Kiwi hostel is that it has 3 kitchens all with ovens! Ovens are pretty rare in hostels, so having the option to cook a pizza or bake some cookies is literally the dream. 

They also offer free tea and coffee, which is a great start to a day of adventuring.

Depending on which dorm room you are in, you could also be treated to a mountain or garden view. The beds are pod style, meaning a privacy curtain, USB outlets, light, personal locker with a charging port inside. Having the locker charger option means you can charge your devices whilst you are out with the peace of mind that they are safe and out of sight. 

Flaming Kiwi also offers its guests free offstreet parking. 

The reception team are also clued up on all the best things to do around Queenstown and the surrounding areas in New Zealand. 

Flaming Kiwi is also part of The Backpacker Group. This is a membership with an annual fee of $20 for 1 person and $35 for a couple. The benefits of joining this programme are 30% off New Zealand activities, 10% off hostels within the group and a variety of deals on transport.

View from Flaming Kiwi Queenstown balcony
PC: Hostelworld

Don’t delay, book your stay at The Flaming Kiwi Hostell! Check prices and availability here.

Lylo Queenstown (formerly known as the Jucy Snooze)

4* Google / 6.5* Hostelworld / 7.5* Booking.com / 8.9* Agoda 

Price range – $53.60 – $73.80 (based on a 12 bed dorm)

Vibecheck 6/10 

Lylo Queenstown has a unique way of staying in a dorm room. With pod style, self-contained beds you feel you have a private room to yourself. When you put the blinds down, the pod is spacious, noise-proof (to an extent) and a good little hang out spot to charge your gear and sit and read. 

The pods come with mirrors, charging ports, a light, a storage net and a fan. There is also storage underneath your pod for bigger items. 

What makes it one of the best hostels in Queenstown?

Lylo is also a hostel for the digital nomad community. With a space for coworking at its rooftop bar and pizzeria, Miss Lucys. The hangout area at Miss Lucys is available to chill all day whilst the chefs prep for the evening. This space has comfy corners with plenty of power outlets and strong wifi. 

Miss Lucys also has offers on food and beverages for locals and travellers at the hostel. Offers include 2 for 1 pizzas, $1 wings and daily happy hours. 

Lylo is also doing its part to be eco-friendly. They pride themselves on making all their locations built from recycled materials and they have recycling programs within the hostel. 

Before it was rebranded, it also offered discounts on the Jucy Snooze vans. It might still have this perk, but I couldn’t see it on their website. 

I really enjoyed my time staying at this hostel, but looking at recent reviews, the cleanliness might have gone downhill since the rebranding into Lylo. This is a real shame because the Pod-style beds were quirky, private and really nice to stay in. 

Miss Lucy's restaurant space
PC: Hostelworld

Don’t delay, book your stay at Lylo Hostell! Check prices and availability here.

YHA Lakefront 

4.8* Google / 8.7* Hostelworld / 7.9* Booking.com  /8.4* Agoda

Price range – $54 – $61 (The hostel is undergoing renovations as of October 2023, therefore no prices are shown after these dates).

Vibe check 7/10

YHA is a reputable and trusted international company with hostels in 59 countries. With 24 locations in New Zealand, it is worth signing up for their membership programme (It’s free). This membership will get you 10% off on each hostel stay, travel and activity discounts, international discounts and can be used worldwide. 

Queenstown YHA lakefront is a 12 minute walk to town alongside the beautiful Lake Wakatipu. This picturesque walk is one of the reasons it is on the best hostels in Queenstown list. 

What makes it one of the best hostels in Queenstown?

The bunk beds each have individual power sockets, reading lights and lockable storage with charging ports inside. 

One really good feature about this hostel is its wheelchair access, allowing travellers of all abilities to stay.

YHA Lakefront also has a herb garden where you can pick your own garnishes and has recycling stations to do its part for the planet. 

There is a communal lounge area, an outdoor area and a BBQ, making it easy to get to know your fellow backpackers. 

The only downside to this hostel is its wifi. While most hostels have now adopted free unlimited wifi, YHA still limits your usage. They allow 5GB of free wifi a day and while that is a lot, sometimes streaming and working nomadically can drain this amount quickly. 

YHA Lakefront hostel building
PC: YHA Lakefront

Don’t delay, book your stay at YHA Lakefront Hostell! Check prices and availability here.

Pinewood Lodge

4.6* Google / No Rating Hostelworld / 7.4* Booking.com / 7.6* Agoda

Price Range – $47 – $63 (Based on the dorm room which is 3 – 6 people)

Vibe Check: 6/10

Pinewood Lodge is the budget travellers go to option. With just a 10 minute walk to town, this hostel ticks the affordable box and the good location box. 

Pinewood Lodge has a variety of different accommodation styles to choose from; with apartments, cabins and dorm rooms. I stayed there twice and the first time I was in an apartment that had bunk beds and the second time I was in a long-term room, which was a 4 bed dorm in the backpacker area. 

The lounge and kitchen were in a separate building to the rooms which required you to walk outside. The hostel rooms had great central heating but the kitchen did not, so it got very cold there during the winter, which wasn’t ideal. 

The rooms are simple but comfortable with wooden-style bunk beds. 

This cheap backpackers in Queenstown offer storage for bikes/skis/boards and bags. They offered discounts for local excursions at the front desk and had friendly, helpful staff. They also had 2 laundry rooms that were open 24/7. 

The hostel has free parking and plenty of spaces. 

Pinewood lodge hostel with mountains in the background
PC: Hostelworld

Don’t delay, book your stay at YHA Lakefront Hostell! Check prices and availability here.

Queenstown Hostel Jobs 

If you are deciding to stick around Queenstown for longer than a couple of weeks, it might be worth asking the hostel if they do work for accommodation. You can either ask the hostel directly or sign up for membership programmes like Worldpackers and WOOFING, which have volunteer programs all over the world. 

Working for the hostels will allow you free accommodation for 15 or so hours of work, usually in the morning. If you then couple this with a hospitality job in the evening, you will be cutting out the most expensive portion of travelling.

Final Thoughts 

Queenstown is one of my all-time favourite places. I could honestly talk about it for hours. I have so many recommendations for restaurants, bars, activities, so if you ever want more information please feel free to reach out! These are by far the best hostels in Queenstown with lots of unique selling points. There is a place for every kind of traveller. 

As Always, Happy Exploring! 

3 girls jumping in front of Queenstown Lake on a grey winter day

Explore with Holly

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