Up in New Zealand’s beautiful North Island is the geothermal town of Rotorua. Known for its stunning landscapes and geothermal activity (of course), Rotorua is the perfect place to chill out for a few days, soak up the native Maori culture and enjoy nature.
But, with the national park, the bubbling mud pools and the massive Pohuu Geyser as well as the local traditions, where is the best place in town for you to stay?
Don’t you panic. If you like staying in the peace and quiet of nature or are up for a few drinks and late nights, there’s somewhere to suit every travellers in Rotorua.
Here’s our round up of the best hostels in Rotorua, from the best cheap hostel to the best hostel for couples, to make it super easy for you to decide where to stay.
Just make sure you pack your swimsuit – there’s a lot of hot spring activity going on in town!
Quick answer: The best hostels in Rotorua
- Overall Best Hostel in Rotorua – Base Rotorua
- Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Rotorua – Rotorua Central Backpackers
- Best Cheap Hostel in Rotorua – Rotorua Downtown Backpackers
- Best Hostel in Rotorua for Couples – Spa Lodge
- Best Party Hostel in Rotorua – Crash Palace
- Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Rotorua – YHA Rotorua
- Best Hostel with a Private Room in Rotorua – Funky Green Voyager
10 Best Hostels in Rotorua
Looking for some chill days during your New Zealand backpacking adventure? Rotorua is the right pace for you. Explore the unique Kiwi culture, relax in one of the best hostels and, most importantly, keep the accommodation costs low.
If you still want to explore the area, make sure you know where to stay in Rotorua. There are great neighborhoods, filled with amazing things to see and do. Pick your accommodation accordingly!
Overall Best Hostel in Rotorua – Base Rotorua
- Heated Outdoor Pool
- Really Good Location
- Hostel Bar
This hostel has to be one of the best hostels in Rotorua – if a hostel has a pool then you know you’re on to a winner. Not only that, but it’s the best hostel with a private room in Rotorua: think crisp white sheets and a clean and comfortable feeling.
The hostel itself is smack bang in the middle of the town and has a really welcoming vibe. The staff will make sure you have the BEST time during your stay and will more than happy to give you local tips. That’s if you can tear yourself away from lounging around the heated pool with a drink or two.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Rotorua – Rotorua Central Backpackers
- Tours/travel Desk
- Beds (not bunkbeds)
Well, this is just the cutest hostel! The kinda place that you’re always going to remember for the fun times and nice people you meet here. The whole hostel, including the communal kitchen, is clean and the dorms are uncrowded. They even have single beds (sooooo comfy!) which means no sharing a bunk with someone tosses and turns all night.
This is the best hostel for solo travellers in Rotorua, the kinda place you’re happily surprised at when you rock up here after a long journey. The owners are really nice and thoughtful and will help you out with all sorts of local tips and insider knowledge.
Best Cheap Hostel in Rotorua – Rotorua Downtown Backpackers
- Free Food
- Laundry Facilities
Head Downtown to this place that’s geared itself up just for budget backpackers. They have free tea and coffee on offer, but not just that: actual free meals!! The best cheap hostel in Rotorua, they have all the basics for free in the communal kitchen and big warming roast dinners in the winter on a Sunday and BBQs in the summer.
It’s not the most modern hostel in town, and it’s not going to be winning any awards for luxury, but if you want somewhere safe and cheap, this budget hostel in Rotorua is a winner.
Best Hostel in Rotarua for Couples – Spa Lodge
- Looks Cool
- Free Breakfast
For a little bit of a romantic stay, this hostel is the one. Ok, it might not be a boutique hotel in Paris, but it’s called Spa Lodge so you know it’s gonna be a lil’ bit luxurious. The best hostel in Rotorua for Couples, this is the kind of hostel that you will genuinely love.
Great rooms, big comfy beds and a kitchen to make your other half breakfast in the morning. AND, true to its name, it’s got an actual real life geothermal spa. What more could a couple want? How about some decent outdoor space and helpful staff who are more than happy to book your trips and excursions? One of the coolest hostels in Rotorua, for sure.
Best Party Hostel in Rotorua – Crash Palace
- Free Parking
- BBQ Area
- Jobs Board
So… Crash Palace obviously hints towards the fact that this place isn’t gonna be the most high-end of hostels. But if you’re in town to have a good time, then this is the best party hostel in Rotarua. Things are a bit creative and mad around the hostel, walls decorated in zany colours, and there’s a resident cat, but that’s nothing to complain about.
Located close to the city’s bars and clubs, it’s the ideal base to have a few cheap drinks in the hostel bar before heading for a night out. And here is a hostel so it’s totally one of the coolest hostels in Rotarua.
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Rotarua – YHA Rotorua
- Late Check In
- Steam Room
- Common Room(s)
Housed in a brand new, re-purposed building right beside Kuirau Park, this hostel is pretty cool. It’s big, light and bright common space feels more like a cafe than a dingy hostel hangout. With loads of room to spread out and great internet, it’s totally the best hostel for digital nomads in Rotarua.
It’s also proper easy to walk to the shops, cafes, restaurants in the town so you can grab a bite to eat once you’ve finished your work. The showers are big and powerful too, which is always a bonus.
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Rotorua – Funky Green Voyager
- Free Parking
- Luggage Storage
This amazing hostel in Rotorua has so much going for it that you’re going to want to book it quickly. A poppin’ atmosphere and arranged events like BBQs and meals mean you can get to know the other travellers that are staying. All of the rooms, including private and shared, look out on to the sun trap of a garden, which makes a difference from the usual dingy budget hostel bedrooms with no window.
The staff are really decent at this Rotorua backpackers hostel and make sure everyone has a good time – they even make a wicked log fire in the winter months which is really cosy.
Psst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!
More Best Hostels in Rotorua
- Games Room
- Steam Room
For people who love rock climbing, this is the hostel for you. These guys are SO into climbing up rocks that they’ve even got an actual rock climbing wall for god’s sake! Not just for adventurous people, they do cater for travellers who like to laze around and watch TV ’cause they’ve got a cinema room in the basement.
As you can imagine, the atmosphere of this place is preeeetty cool. Meet your new bessie mate over a game of pool or a spot of X-Box and head out to the bars nearby for a few beers. You can choose from a bunk or a single as well, which we reckon makes it one of the best hostels in Rotorua.
Best Budget Hotels in Rotorua
Don’t really fancy staying in a hostel? Not really into sleeping in a dorm? Not to worry – we’ve got you sorted with our round-up of the best budget hotels in Rotorua so you can find the ideal hotel for you.
- Swimming Pool
- BBQ Area
This budget hotel in Rotorua is more like a holiday park… but it’s actually really nice. The park has got all of the fun things that come with staying in a holiday park like a swimming pool, tennis courts and a bike track, so if you like to spend lots of time outdoors, this is probably the best place for you.
The price is really reasonable for the dorms, and even though it’s out in the countryside this place has a good vibe. There’s a good kitchen for making yourself meals, which really helps you keep to a budget – just like a hostel… sorta.
- 24 Hour Reception
- Tours/travel Desk
- Free Breakfast
If you’re on holiday in New Zealand you probs already love the country, so why not stay in a guesthouse that claims to be very Kiwi? This is one of the best budget guesthouses in Rotorua, not just for its name, but for its chilled location and clean rooms.
The staff will be very Kiwi and friendly and will make sure everything goes smoothly during your stay. There’s also a big choice when it comes to room types, so you can figure out the best one for you and your budget. Plus if you wanna get to the airport for an early flight, this budget hotel in Rotorua is one of the best choices.
What to Pack for your Rotorua Hostel
Here’s some gear our editors take hostelling. Packing for New Zealand is just as important as planning your trip!
1. Active Roots Microfiber Towel: Having your own towel on your travels is a game changer. The Active Roots Microfiber Towel is perfect for travellers who are looking for a lightweight, quick-drying and extremely soft option. The antibacterial material is super water-absorbent and resists odor buildup because of its antimicrobial material. Ain’t technology cool?
2. Power Bank: Everyone knows the mini heart attack when your phone is about to run out of power. Surviving long bus rides without charging stations can be agonizing, which is why every backpacker should have this Anker Power Bank. You can charge your phone up to 5 times, or plug in two devices simultaneously. With high-speed charging and enough power to keep you going for days, you can conquer even the biggest adventures without a problem.
3. Padlock: Keep your stuff safe, guys. Unfortunately not all dorm lockers share the same security standard. You’ll want a lightweight lock that can fit all the various dorm lockers you’ll clip it to. Having a padlock that is flexible and can fit a variety of locker styles is the best way to make sure none of your belongings wander away while you are out.
4. Headphone Splitter: Don’t be those awkward people sharing one earbud on the bus, as you show off your in-depth music knowledge to your new friend. A headphone splitter is a great item to bring traveling, it works fantastic on those long bus rides or easy dorm Netflix nights when you want to relax and connect with someone.
5. Active Roots Toiletry Bag: Keep your bath-and-beauty items organized and in the right place with this water-resistant bag. With large compartments, mesh and enclosed clear sections, you can fit everything you might need inside. Hang it up or let it stand on its own – this bag is a must-have for dorm-lifers.
6. Playing Cards: These waterproof cards are essential kit for every backpacker. Play by the pool, beach or at your hostel after a long day with travel buds, without your cards breaking or getting soaked. And once you pull out those cards, the chance that you’ll be the hero of the night is pretty high (no promises though).
Why you should travel to Rotorua
So there you have it. All of the best hostels in Rotorua to suit all of your travel needs.
Did you find the perfect place for your trip? We chucked in a few of the best budget hotels in Rotorua in town as well so that you can choose the ideal place for you to stay.
And, if after all of those choices you’re still having a hard time deciding, then why not choose our best overall hostel in Rotorua – Base Rotorua? It’s a great shout for almost anybody. Have the best time ever!
Travel Safety Tips for Rotorua
And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
More Epic Hostels in New Zealand and Oceania
Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Rotorua.
Planning an epic trip all across New Zealand or even Oceania itself?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
For more cool hostel guides around Oceania, check out:
Over to you
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in New Zealand has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
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