Although it is New Zealand’s 27th largest city, Queenstown’s action-packed reputation has made a name for itself as one of the country’s premier travel destinations.

But as popular as Queenstown is, there are only a handful of top-rated hostels, and they can get booked very quickly, leaving other travelers having to book expensive hotels.

Which is exactly why I put together this guide on the best hostels in Queenstown, New Zealand.

With the help of this brutally honest review, you’ll know exactly which hostel in Queenstown you want to stay in, so you can book (before it fills up!)

I’ve organized the best hostels in Queenstown by YOUR needs, so you can easily book, and focus on what matters – enjoying this adrenaline-pumping city!

Let’s jump into the top hostels in Queenstown.

The green-blue waters of the lake and the Remarkables mountain range beyond in Queenstown, New Zealand
Let’s find the BEST hostels in Queenstown
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

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What to Expect from Hostels in Queenstown? 

Hostels are generally known to be one of the cheapest forms of accommodation on the market. That doesn’t just go for Queenstown, but pretty much every place in the world.

However, that’s not the only good reason for staying at a hostel. The unique vibe and social aspect are what make hostels TRULY special. Head down to the common room, make new friends, share travel stories and tips, or just have a great time with like-minded travellers from all over the world – you won’t get that opportunity in any other accommodation. 

Queenstown is known as an adventure city and most hostels cater towards adventure-hungry backpackers. You can expect hostels with great travel desks and sometimes even tour-booking agencies. If you’re lucky, you might even get a special discount on some attractions.

That being said, you can also have a great time if you’re not into crazy adventures. Most hostels in Queenstown offer great communal areas where you can hang out and make some new friends. 

When it comes to sizes and location, you’ll find all sorts of different hostel options in Queenstown. While most of the popular hostels are located right in the heart of the city, there are also smaller (and often cheaper) places a bit further away.

Queenstown’s hostels normally have three options: dorms, pods, and private rooms. Some hostels even offer large private rooms for a group of friends. The general rule here is the more beds in a room, the cheaper the price.

Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single bed private bedroom. To give you a rough overview of the hostel prices in Queenstown, I’ve listed the average range below: 

  • Dorm room (mixed or female-only): $16-18 USD/night
  • Private rooms: $56-60 USD/night

When looking for hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you.

Hostels might not be hitting the mark for you, motels in Queenstown could be your vibe!

If you want to head out and explore Queenstown, you should choose the hostel location accordingly. While you can find plenty of hostels on the outskirts of the city, there are a few cool options closer to the centre as well. If you’re wondering where to stay in Queenstown, check out our favorite neighborhoods: 

  • Downtown Queenstown – Right next to the city centre and close to the lake, this central location is good for travellers who want to get involved in adventure sports.
  • Shotover Street – This area is the centre of the backpacking vibe in Queenstown. As such, you can expect to find many hostels, bars, and other establishments that cater to young travelers and adventure tourism.
  • Queenstown Hill – Known in Maori as Te Tapu-nui – ‘Mountain of Intense Sacredness’ – this relatively small mountain more commonly known as Queenstown Hill.

I won’t make you wait any longer, let’s have a look at the best hostels in Queenstown!

The view from a hill over to the town and mountains beyond near Queenstown, New Zealand
Yep, this place is real!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

The 5 Best Hostels in Queenstown

If you’re backpacking New Zealand on a budget and you want some action on your travels, staying in Queenstown for a bit will be a real treat.

I’ve done a ton of research to bring you the best hostels in Queenstown, making it easier for your awesome Queenstown trip. I’ve only included the highest-reviewed hostels. No poor hostels on this list, only the cream of the crop!

1. The Black Sheep Backpackers – Overall Best Hostel in Queenstown

The Black Sheep Backpackers

For earning the title of the overall best hostel in Queenstown, it has to be a really special place. And this hostel is one of the absolute best, especially if you’re backpacking Queenstown as they offer discounts to backpackers.

Not only do you get incredibly charming rooms with big and comfy beds, but also an outdoor spa pool, amazing workstations with PCs, a fully equipped kitchen and so much more.

There are movie nights every week (with free popcorn) and a free bike hire during the day. If you want a bit more action, join the hostel guides on adventures such as Bungy Jumping, Milford Sound Cruises, Skydiving, Paragliding – the list goes on. For a truly incredible value, look no further than this Queenstown hostel!

Why you’ll love this hostel: 

  • Mountain view 
  • Great location
  • Backpacker discounts

If you want to explore the city a bit further, you’ll be happy to hear that you’re in the perfect central location. You’re a short two-minute walk to the downtown area of Queenstown and the stunning Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown Gardens and Queenstown Lakes District Library are just around the corner where you can enjoy a round of Frisbee golf.

Let’s talk more about the rooms though! You can choose between the typical dorm rooms and private rooms. While dorms are made out of little private pods, you’ll get a few more options with the private rooms. There are Twin, Double, King, or Triple rooms that feature fresh towels, a TV lounge with DVD play, an electric kettle, and tea/coffee. Perfect for a group of friends!

2. Nomads Queenstown – Best Cheap Hostel in Queenstown

best hostels in queenstown
Nomads is another one of the best cheap hostels in Queenstown.

Nomads Queenstown is a posh backpackers hostel in Queenstown, perfect for flashpackers who like a bit of style and class. Kept clean and tidy by the housekeeping team, this Queenstown backpackers hostel boasts loads of great comforts and facilities.

Spacious dorms and private rooms, a sociable hangout room with a pool table and foosball, a cosy lounging area with a fireplace, a movie room with bean bags, a sauna, laundry facilities, a large kitchen with plenty of space for all, guest computers, free WiFi, a tour desk … you name it, you’ll find it all here!

Plus, hungry backpackers can tuck into free grub each evening in the hostel’s bar in the town centre.

Why you’ll love this hostel: 

  • Movie Room 
  • Indoor Fireplace 
  • Sauna

You can find Nomads Queenstown on Church Street, surrounded by cafés, restaurants, and bars. If you want a bit more action during your stay, head to Kawarau Gorge for some bungee jumping – it’s only a 45min drive! Ask the staff for directions or other ways to get there if you don’t have your own car. 

If bungee jumping isn’t your thing and you’d rather explore the beauty of Queenstown, head to the travel desk for some really cool insider tips on what to do and see during your stay.

The staff is known to be incredibly friendly and helpful, so you’ll be in good hands! And if you really just want to chill out, head to the communal space with a nice book and chill yourself into one of the comfy sofas.

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Aether Backpack

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Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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3. Adventure Queenstown Hostel – Best Party Hostel in Queenstown

Adventure Queenstown Hostel best hostels in Queenstown
More of a chill pre-party, Adventure Queenstown is the closest thing to a party hostel in Queenstown

Although not truly a party pad as such—you’ll need to hit up Queenstown’s bars for raucous nighttime fun—the in-house events and activities at Adventure Queenstown Hostel make this our choice for the best party hostel in Queenstown.

It’s easy to meet new people and there are plenty of places to relax and socialise, from the TV lounge and beanbag chill area to the terrace and spacious kitchen.

Challenge pals to a playoff on the Wii or PlayStation. Other plus points at this awesome youth hostel in Queenstown include bike hire, a tour desk, a book exchange, laundry facilities, and a secure locker room.

Why you’ll love this hostel: 

  • Very homely atmosphere
  • Incredibly kind staff
  • Great location

It might not be the biggest hostel in Queenstown – in fact, it only accommodates 43 people at a time – but it offers an incredible value. Not only do you get to experience a super friendly and welcoming atmosphere, but you also get a good night of sleep, which is rare for a central Queenstown location. There are no bars directly beside the hostel which will guarantee some quiet hours after dark.

If you’re keen on exploring the city, head to the tour desk where the friendly staff can help you plan your activities. They know about all the hidden gems in Queenstown and can give you some real insider tips for your stay. It’s really not surprising that Adventure Queenstown Hostel has won multiple awards – you’ll be properly looked after.

4. Adventure Q2 Hostel – Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Queenstown

Adventure Q2 Hostel best hostels in Queenstown
With tons of travelers and a big common room, Adventure Q2 Hostel is one of the best hostels in Queenstown for solo travelers

The award-winning Adventure Q2 Hostel is our choice for the best hostel for solo travellers in Queenstown. The regular evening events make it easy to meet other people and you can arrange a ton of incredible activities for fun and adventures during your days in Queenstown.

Sleeping just 55 people it’s easy to put a name to a face. The hostel has fantastic common areas where you can bond with new mates, including a comfy lounge with sofas, bean bags, PCs, and a book exchange, a spacious kitchen with several cooking stations, a dining area, and a terrace with BBQ.

No need to be stinky—there are laundry facilities too. Have sweet dreams in the custom-made bunk beds in the mixed six-bed dorms.

Why you’ll love this hostel: 

  • Free Go-Pro loan 
  • Snowboard/Ski hire
  • Pod-style beds

On top of that, the hostel also acts as a tour-booking agency, which is perfect if you want to explore the city without having to plan anything yourself. Whether that’s rock climbing, bungee jumping or wine tasting, they’ll offer the right activities for you. And after a long outdoor day, you can fall into your comfy bed and enjoy a bit of privacy thanks to your own curtains. 

If you want to capture your adventures on camera, the hostel offers a free Go-Pro loan. Take some epic videos of your ski and snowboard trip (you can hire those at the reception too) and share them with your friends and family back home. 

If adventure is not quite your thing, you’ll be happy to hear that Adventure Q2 Hostel is located in the heart of the city, so you’ll always be close to the best cafes, restaurants, and cool attractions.

5. YHA Queenstown Lakefront – Best Hostel in Queenstown for Digital Nomads

YHA Queenstown Lakefront best hostels in Queenstown

Stay right at the edges of Lake Wakatipu and wake up to stunning views of the lake and mountains each morning when you choose YHA Queenstown Lakefront. A great youth hostel in Queenstown, it’s just a ten-minute walk from the heart of Queenstown.

Book a range of activities to keep you busy and come back to unwind in the steam room, the movie room, or the lounge before crashing out in your comfy bed. There’s a sunny deck too if you want to chill outdoors. Keep costs down with some DIY meal prep in the huge kitchen.

Why you’ll love this hostel: 

  • Outdoor and indoor working space
  • Beautiful and calm location 
  • Free travel booking service 

Digital Nomads will especially love this hostel thanks to its comfy workspaces and quiet location. Get to work on your laptop in one of the comfy common room sofas or enjoy the sun outside on the deck. The Wifi is fast and reliable so you’ll be able to get everything done in no time. And once you’re finished, you can either socialize and make new friends or head into town for a couple of drinks! 

The friendly staff (who have vast amounts of local knowledge) can provide you with a free travel booking service and let you in on the latest YHA special deals from Queenstown’s diverse menu of adventure – perfect for budget travellers that need to watch their expenses but still want to experience the best of Queenstown.

And if you’d rather explore things on your own, simply ask the staff for recommendations on what to do in the city. They’ll share their insider tips with you!

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Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Epic Hostels in Queenstown

Haven’t spotted the perfect place to stay? No stress—here are even more of the best hostels in Queenstown. Once you’ve found the right place for you, make sure you plan your Queenstown itinerary too. There are so many epic things to explore, you don’t want to miss out on anything!

Absoloot Hostel QT

Absoloot Value Accommodation best hostels in Queenstown
Its great location and low prices make Absoloot Hostel QT another one of the best cheap hostels in Queenstown.

With a good balance between cost and facilities, Absoloot Hostel QT is a fantastic Queenstown backpackers hostel. There are dorms for four and six and you’ll find little luxuries, like free toiletries in the bathrooms and a TV and fridge in most dorms.

The lounge has a Wii, Xbox, TVs, board games, and books, and the big kitchen has lots of space to cook and eat. Other plus points include a tour desk. Laundry facilities, free WiFi, free hot drinks in the morning, a jobs board, 24-hour security, and luggage storage.

Southern Laughter Backpackers

Southern Laughter Backpackers best hostels in Queenstown
Southern Laughter is the best cheap hostel in Queenstown, New Zealand..

Southern Laughter Backpackers is the best cheap hostel in Queenstown. Boasting awesome views of The Remarkables from the BBQ decks, this Queenstown backpackers hostel also has TV lounges and kitchens for comfy homey vibes and convenience.

There may be no free breakfast here but you can fall asleep content after a hearty and filling bowl of free veggie soup each evening. Bliss out in the spa pool and get a discount in local bars for a cheaper night out with your fellow backpacking pals.

The Flaming Kiwi Backpackers

The Flaming Kiwi Backpackers
Great for any traveler willing to dish out the cash, Digital Nomads, in particular, will appreciate the wifi and workspace

The Flaming Kiwi Backpackers Hostel is a friendly youth hostel in Queenstown that offers great value for money with excellent facilities. As a top place to work, rest, and play, it’s the best hostel for digital nomads in Queenstown.

There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel and various indoor and outdoor common areas where you can find a secluded nook to work away in peace. The beds offer a great night’s sleep—no need to wake up bleary-eyed and stressing about deadlines!

Each bed has a power outlet, reading light and a secure locker for your belongings. The town centre is just a five minute walk away, but if you want to get around with ease, there are free bike hire available at The Flaming Kiwi Backpackers Hostel. Need to top up your travel funds? Check out the jobs board. Other features include laundry, parking, a tour desk, luggage storage, a kitchen, and BBQ.

The Black Sheep Backpackers

The Black Sheep Backpackers best hostels in Queenstown
Black Sheep Backpackers is the best hostel with a private room in Queenstown. Killer views!

No need to feel shy at The Black Sheep Backpacker; all beds have privacy curtains along with a personal reading light, power outlet, and under-bed lockers. There are private rooms for two and three two. The coolest hostel in Queenstown, it offers panoramic views of the mountains and is just a short saunter from the lake.

There are heaps of opportunities to bask in the sunshine, with three gardens, a spa pool, and a deck with a BBQ. Indoors, you’ll find a large common room and a well-equipped kitchen with multiple spaces to cook up a delicious feed.

Haka Lodge Queenstown

Haka Lodge Queenstown best hostels in Queenstown

Haka Lodge is a charming gem with a sociable atmosphere and plenty of homey feels. A small but top hostel in Queenstown, sleeping up to 50 people, there are enough people to make new pals but not so many that you forget who everyone is.

The hostel is located in a central location in downtown Queenstown, on a quiet residential street yet close to all of Queenstown’s action.

Modern and clean with a TV room, free WiFi, laundry facilities, a tour desk, a kitchen, and a BBQ deck, you’re sure to love staying here.

What to Pack for your Queenstown Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

FAQ about Hostels in Queenstown

Here are some questions backpackers ask about the best hostels in Queenstown.

How much does a hostel cost in Queenstown?

Queenstown hostel price ranges from $16 – $18 per night for dorm (mixed or female-only), while private room price ranges from $56 – $60 per night.

What are the best hostels in Queenstown for couples?

Nomads Queenstown is a highly-rated hostel for couples in Queenstown. It’s on Church Street, surrounded by cafés, restaurants, and bars.

What is the best hostel in Queenstown near the airport?

The Black Sheep Backpackers, our overall best hostel in Queenstown, is an 11-minute drive by car from the Queenstown Airport. It has charming rooms with comfy beds and an outdoor spa pool.

Travel Safety Tips for Queenstown

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

More Epic Hostels in New Zealand and Oceania

Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Queenstown.

Planning an epic trip all across New Zealand or even Oceania itself?

Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Oceania, check out:

Final Thoughts on Hostels in Queenstown

That concludes my epic guide to the best hostels in Queenstown. I hope it has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

If you’re still not sure which Queenstown hostel is for you, take a look at my overall favourite again:Sheep Backpackers. This hostel offers an affordable price, a central location close to all the action, a friendly and social vibe – what more could you want?

If you think I’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit me up in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Queenstown and New Zealand?

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