Posted: 1/5/2023 | January 5th, 2023
Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand. Nestled within an hour’s drive of over a hundred beaches, Auckland makes for a great base for day trips.
While I wouldn’t spend a long time here (a couple of days should suffice), there’s plenty to keep you busy during your visit, from bungee jumping to lounging on the beach to visiting nearby Hobbiton (from the Lord of the Rings films).
And, while Auckland can be pricey, there are plenty of hostels here to help you lower your costs.
To help you save money and plan your trip, here is my list of the best hostels in Auckland.
But, before we dive in, I want to share four things you need to remember before you pick a hostel:
- Location – Auckland is sprawling, so take this into consideration when looking for a hostel. Pick a neighborhood near the things you want to see and do.
- Price – As is true anywhere, you get what you pay for. If you pick a really cheap hostel, you’re probably going to get one that is small and cramped and doesn’t offer great service.
- Amenities – Every hostel in town offers free Wi-Fi, and most have self-catering facilities so you can cook your own meals. Many — but not all — include free breakfast, so be sure to do your research to find the one that best meets your needs.
- Staff – All the hostels listed here have an amazing staff who are super friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t end up staying at one of the places listed below, be sure to look up reviews so you have staff who are helpful and friendly. They can make or break a hostel!
Below is my list of the best hostels in Auckland. If you don’t want to read the longer list below, the following are the best in each category:
Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Fat Cat Travellers’ Community
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: The Attic Backpackers
Best Hostel for Couples: Hekerua Lodge Backpackers
Best Hostel for Partying: Haka Lodge
Best Hostel for Solo Travelers: Fat Cat Travellers’ Community
Best Overall Hostel: Verandahs Parkside Lodge
Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my breakdown of the best hostels in Auckland and why I’m recommending them:
Price legend (per night)
- $ = Under 40 NZD
- $$ = 41-46 NZD
- $$$ = Over 47 NZD
1. Fat Cat Travellers’ Community
Set in an old farmhouse in the suburb of Sunnyvale, Fat Cat is an ideal place if you’re traveling alone. In addition to complimentary breakfast every morning, there are free (vegetarian) dinners every evening as well as pizza night on Sunday. The staff also regularly put on campfire nights.
The hostel also puts an emphasis on sustainability: it’s home to organic gardens and chickens (and cats!). The staff also hosts workshops on baking, crafting, gardening, and more.
The beds are basic but cozy and feel more like you’re staying at a friend’s house than a hostel.
Fat Cat Travellers’ Community at a glance:
- Complimentary breakfast and dinner every day
- A plethora of organized social activities
- Focused on sustainability and community
Beds from 27 NZD per night.
2. Haka Lodge
There are Haka Lodges sprinkled around New Zealand and they’re always a reliable place to plant yourself for a few days. This hostel is located next to K Road, where there is always a party, concert, or festival. If you came to Auckland to have fun, this is the place to do it. Haka has a lively common room with movies frequently on the TV, a fully stocked kitchen, and laundry facilities.
The dorm beds are comfy with individual outlets and curtains so you can get a decent night’s sleep. The showers are a bit small, but overall the bathrooms are kept clean.
Haka Lodge at a glance:
- Ideal location in the heart of party central
- Ultra-friendly and welcoming staff
- Common room has lots of movies and games
Beds from 47 NZD per night, private rooms from 142 NZD.
3. Hekerua Lodge Backpackers
Situated on Waiheke Island, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) from central Auckland, Hekerua Lodge is an ideal escape from the urban bustle of New Zealand’s largest city. The lodge is laid-back and rustic and feels like a home you’re sharing with a bunch of (soon-to-be) friends.
If you’re looking to socialize, the hostel puts on plenty of social activities, including group dinners. There is also a communal BBQ area, roaming chickens, a vegetable garden, and a swimming pool.
The private rooms have shared bathrooms but are also comfortable and get plenty of natural light. There is also a four-bed dorm and a six-bed dorm that have their own private sun deck.
Hekerua Lodge at a glance:
- Nice location on Waiheke Island close to the beach
- Organizes social activities so it’s easy to meet people
- Swimming pool
Beds from 39 NZD per night, private rooms from 60 NZD.
4. Verandahs Parkside Lodge
Set near the always-happening K Road, Verandahs is housed in two 120-year-old villas, with nearly every kind of room imaginable for a hostel. There are various shared rooms that range from three to five beds. The single beds — not bunks — are comfy and come with a nice duvet. The dorms are small so you’re never crammed in with a ton of people.
The bathrooms (and the hostel as a whole) are clean and the showers have really good water pressure. There’s a common room that feels like a living room in a home-away-from-home, and the huge kitchen is ideal for cooking.
Verandahs Parkside Lodge at a glance:
- Excellent location in the center of Auckland
- Family-run business with warm and welcoming service
- Extra-large common room and kitchen
Beds from 49 NZD per night, private rooms from 130 NZD.
5. Waiheke Backpackers Hostel
If you’re seeking a less urban experience while in Auckland, make your way to Waiheke Backpackers Hostel, located 40 minutes from the center of the city on Waiheke Island (ferries run regularly).
The hostel is located on a hilltop that offers amazing views of the surrounding sea, so you can wake up in the morning to the sound of water lapping against the shore and seagulls chirping. Amenities include a large kitchen, an outdoor BBQ and dining area (with lovely views), and an entire island to explore.
The dorm beds not super comfy (they’re cheap metal bunks without thick mattresses or curtains), but the price, amenities, and location more than make up for that.
Waiheke Backpackers Hostel at a glance:
- Tranquil location on a beautiful island
- Outdoor seating and cooking options
- Comfortable common room with board games and a book exchange
Beds from 40 NZD per night, private rooms from 120 NZD.
6. The Attic Backpackers Hostel
Situated on Wellesley Street in the center of town, The Attic is a top-floor property and a top-notch hostel (it was voted the best hostel in Auckland four years in a row). The location is excellent: it’s just around the corner from the iconic Sky Tower, a short walk from the main bus station, and right next door to an affordable food court.
There’s a covered rooftop terrace where you can take in the views and meet people. And, while the dorm beds are basic metal bunks with no curtains, the mattresses are thick, so you’ll still get a good night’s sleep.
The Attic at a glance:
- Great location
- Rooftop terrace for great views and meeting people
Beds from 45 NZD per night, private rooms from 120 NZD.
From rustic hostels on Waiheke to party hostels right in the center of it all, you’ll find a wide variety of hostels in the city. The hostel scene here is pretty robust and, as the place everyone has to land when they enter the country, you’re going to find a lot of travelers here – and potential friends to travel the country with!
Book Your Trip to New Zealand: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
If you’re looking for more places to stay, here is a complete list of my favorite hostels in New Zealand.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on New Zealand?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on New Zealand for even more planning tips!