The Best Backpacker Hostels in Wellington, New Zealand

Enjoy a budget-friendly stay in a welcoming backpackers at the heart of New Zealands capital, Wellington
Enjoy a budget-friendly stay in a welcoming backpackers at the heart of New Zealand's capital, Wellington | Courtesy of The Dwellington - Hostel / Expedia
Philipp Meier

Sitting between the Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range of mountains is the New Zealand capital, Wellington – it’s a great place to base yourself if you’re travelling around the North Island on a budget.

At the North Island’s southernmost tip, Wellington is New Zealand’s cultural hub. More than anywhere else in the country, this is the place to delve into Maori and colonial history, but the abundance of quirky cafes and bars tucked away in the wackiest corners are also part of the city’s appeal. And no matter whether you’re staying at a poshtel with an on-site cinema or a cheap-and-cheerful bolthole with bunk-filled dorms, you’ll be sure to feel a sense of community. Here’s our pick of Wellington’s best backpacker hostels.

1. The Marion Hostel


A bunk bed at Marion Hostel in a room with a bare brick wall
Courtesy of Marion Hostel / Expedia

The epitome of a classy hostel, the Marion boasts brick walls and brick ceilings, polished marble tables, solid wood bunks and hardwood walls – and oddly shaped ceiling lights that add a futuristic touch. Kitted out with curtains and power sockets, the dorms sleep up to 10 guests. Need more privacy? Opt for the spick-and-span double or twin rooms. And when the stomach rumbles, you can socialise in the kitchen or traipse to the nearby Pastaria. A beer brewery, live music and cinema are also within easy reach.

2. The Cambridge Hotel


A bedroom with a double bed, green carpet and city views at The Cambridge Hotel
Courtesy of The Cambridge Hotel / Expedia
Travelling on a shoestring? The Cambridge hotel close to Wellington’s vibrant nightlife – and a 15-minute walk from Oriental Bay – is very budget-friendly. You can’t miss its colonial-style façade and retro bistro, where mates rates and beer jugs are available. Hungover? Sleep in. Single, double and quad ensuite rooms offer privacy, while an 11am check-out is favoured by many. There are also mixed dorms with four, six and eight bunks, plus affable travellers to connect with in the shared kitchen and lounge, equipped with Sky TV.

3. The Dwellington


A large dining room at The Dwellington with black wooden flooring
Courtesy of The Dwellington / Expedia

The Dwellington in the historic Thorndon neighbourhood is a true delight. On-site facilities include a cinema, tennis club and barbecue deck. In the communal kitchen, there’s a polished marble table, carriage-wheel-shaped lamp and brick walls. The shared dining room – with couches, a chandelier and wood slab tables – offer a homely vibe, while the beanbags in the garden are slouch-tastic. The female and mixed four, six, and eight-bunk dorms – and private rooms – are spacious, too. Breakfast, wifi and ferry drop-offs are complimentary extras.

4. Moana Lodge


The exterior of Moana Lodge, overlooking the ocean
Courtesy of Moana Lodge / Expedia

Snuggled into Plimmerton’s bay, Moana Lodge is 20 minutes north of Wellington. With only 14 rooms, the vibe is super laid-back. There’s a fully equipped kitchen, on-site computers, courtyard barbecue and dining room with a flat-screen TV. The communal lounge with sofas offers unbroken South Island views, while the family, double and twin rooms, plus four-bunk dorms, come with radiators, bedside cabinets and comfy single or double beds with electric blankets. Keen on waking to ocean waves lapping ashore? Ask in advance if a seaview room is available.

5. Nomads Capital Backpackers Wellington


A lively dining room and bar at Nomads Capital Backpackers Wellington
Courtesy of Nomads Capital Backpackers Wellington / Expedia

Voted New Zealand’s number three hostel at the Hoscar Awards, Nomads Capital – adjacent to Cuba Street – is a cut above what you’d typically expect from a hostel. It’s made up of private rooms with king and single beds, a flat-screen TV and ensuite toilets. Bunk dorms are roomy and mixed, sleeping four, six, or eight people. The atmosphere is cosy – with an on-site bar, lounge and TV room, a courtyard with a barbecue area, fully equipped communal kitchen and activities lined up, you’re practically guaranteed to make new friends.

6. The Setup on Dixon


The Setup on Dixon – in the heart of Wellington near Cuba Street – is a Qualmark-certified, no-frills hostel. Designed with zebra print, each private room comes with a flat-screen TV, minibar, radiator, desk, and free wifi – some even feature ensuite bathrooms. You can choose from single, double, twin and triple rooms. Even friendlier on the wallet are the mixed or female-only four-bunk dorms – there’s also a dining area, laundry, and shared kitchen on site.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Thalita Alves.

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