3 Great Choices For A Hostel In Auckland, New Zealand

City Travel, Dispatches from the Road, Hostels, New Zealand — By on October 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

by Mattie Schuler

Most people don’t travel to New Zealand to spend time in the city, but if you do hit up Auckland, there are plenty of hostels to stay in. Head downtown to Queen Street and you can find cheap accommodation right off the main drag and close to all the action, food and spirits you want. Everyplace loves to meet and help out a backpacker, but watch out for when you book – trying to find a place in Auckland during any holiday or big event;  such as the Rugby World Cup, New Zealand’s most popular sport showcased in the country’s biggest city – is not easy to do. Luckily this charade of painted-faces, binge drinking and cheering on a sport that seems more confusing than NFL football, is almost over. In any case, there are more than enough beds in the city, right on the bus route, that won’t break your wallet.  **All prices quoted are New Zealand $$.

YHA Auckland International

Set on Queens Street, YHA Auckland International is a few blocks away from the tourist shops and bright city lights, but only a ten minute walk to the harbors, Albert Park and the Viaduct for some good food (check out Jack Tar for fish and chips, and some great New Zealand brews). The young staff has plenty of suggestions for how to see the city and is always ready with a handy map for you to take along.  This backpacker hostel has single and double rooms with or without private bathrooms, and dorms, for a total of 168 beds. Set up much like a dorm, rooms line the long hallways, which can diminish the hopes of meeting fellow travelers. However, on the basement floor there is a lounge area with a TV, a pool table, and some couches to relax; on the main floor there is a large kitchen area (five refrigerators, six stove tops, plenty of food storage space), a computer room with six computers, and tables set up against a wall of windows.

The rooms come in bright colors with just enough space to store your gear and complimentary coffee and tea. The showers are clean enough to not feel the need to wear flip-flops while soaping up and each wing has a bathroom and multiple showers, including handicap accessible facilities.

The hostel does have wireless internet, though it is $1 for every 15 minutes. Instead, walk just a few blocks towards the water to find Auckland’s public library. There, you can connect wirelessly with your own computer, or get a username and password to use one of the library’s computers. Or head to one of many Esquires Coffee Houses, which offers free wireless internet with any purchase.

Rates start at $23 for beds and $82 for rooms. 

City Travellers 

City Travellers entry way is easy to miss on Anzac Avenue, but just look for the bright blue sign that leads up to an upscale entryway. Like the entryway, rooms at this hostel are a bit more extravagant, at least as far as hostels go. Just a few blocks off of the main city street, this hostel is within a five-minute walk to a large grocery store, an Esquires, and a few restaurants. Only one person mans the reception area, so the advice of where to go and what to do might be slim.

One bedroom studios have a bathroom and shower, flat screen TV, couch, small dining table with chairs, and a kitchenette with a refrigerator, stovetop and microwave. There were, strangely, few outlets to plug anything into and no oven, except in the lounges on the fourth and fifth floor (the oven was a bit janky and had to be turned on with a fork and some help from other guests). The four lounge areas, connected to dorm-style rooms but open to any guest, have a laid-back feel where travelers might hang out over dinner. The lounges were welcoming, but were not as clean as the studios. The hostel does have wireless internet, but like most places in Auckland, there is a fee.

Rates start at $80 per night for a studio and $26 per person for a dorm. 

Freeman’s Lodge and Apartments

If you are looking for a bed and breakfast feel (albeit without the homemade breakfast) Freeman’s Lodge is the place to stay. The lodge consists of two large houses, with cute rooms and clean facilities in each. In fact, you will find someone cleaning the bathrooms each morning. The rooms file off from a main hallway, so any and all commotion can be heard from the rooms, but guests were quiet, friendly, and always wondering where you are coming from.

The kitchen area has all the plates and utensils necessary for cooking, or walk the few steps to the other kitchen in the second house. Also in the second house is a lounge area with a flat screen TV, where guests will gather with a beer and some food to argue over who should win the current rugby game.

Located almost a twenty-minute walk from the heart of the city, the lodge abuts Western Park (which has a sweet zip line) and is around the corner from a grocery store. And – the best part about this hostel – free wireless in the rooms and computers in the lounge. The owner of the hostel can be seen wandering the halls of Freeman’s Lodge or filling out the booking calendar in the kitchen and is going to make sure you enjoy your stay.

Rates are $27.00 for a bed in a shared room & $55.00 for a single room , $72.00 for a double room ($36.00 a night per person). There is a family room for 4 persons at $32.00 a night per person.


Photo credit: Nick Davidson

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    1 Comment

  • calgary jeep says:

    I’ve bookmarked this post because the information here is very helpful as we are going to Auckland on the 2nd week of November with my hubby and 5 year old daughter. Thanks! Can’t wait to see the Auckland soon.