Best Hostels New Zealand North Island
When searching online for good hostels in the North Island of New Zealand you will be presented with zillions of offers and tips. This can be quite overwhelming. To help you make a decision we have put a list together with what we think are the best hostels in the North Island for backpackers when it comes to price and quality. There is a big difference in location, comfort and price per person/per night that you have to consider. We know backpackers are often on a budget and sometimes there seems to be no other option than a cheap campsite. There is, however, a lot of hostel companies around New Zealand – we recommend those belonging to the YHA or BBH network as being the most trustworthy. Only those who offer a certain standard will be added to the network.
Here’s a list of hostels sorted from north (Cape Reinga) to south (Wellington):
The most northern point of New Zealand is famous for its sand dunes and 90 Mile Beach. It also is of high significance to the indigenous Maori population who believe that Cape Reinga is the place where the spirits of the dead leave for their final journey to Hawaiki, the afterlife.
Situated at the southern end of 90 Mile Beach this little township is popular among surfers. At low tide you can also see various shipwrecks at nearby Shipwreck Bay.
Probably the best base for day trips to 90 Mile Beach and Cape Reinga.
One of the largest towns in Northland is known for its orchards and fruit plantations. It’s the perfect spot for people looking for a seasonal job in fruitpicking or as a Wwoofer.
Close to the historic settlement of Waitangi where New Zealand as we know it today was founded in 1840, Paihia has transformed from a small fishing village to the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands. Numerous cafes and restaurants offer jobs in hospitality during the busy summer season. Paihia is also starting point for several boat trips, kayaking, scenic helicopter flights and more.
Opposite Paihia on the other side of the harbour. You can take the ferry across to New Zealand’s oldest settlement which used to be the country’s first ever capital from 1840 to 1841.
Scenic dual settlement in the Hokianga Harbour along the west coast. Neraby is Lake Omapere, one of the biggest lakes in Northland. The region became famous in 1955/6 when a friendly dolphin swam daily with the locals until it died under mysterious circumstances.
It’s the largest city north of Auckland. It’s rather industrial but has a nice city centre especially around the Town Basin with hundreds of yachts as well as cafes and restaurants.
Only 30mins north of Auckland situated right on the east coast as part of the Hibiscus Coast Highway.
It’s New Zealand’s largest city and often referred to as the ‘City of Sails’. You will find more information on Auckland here.
In the summer months the Coromandel Peninsula southeast of Auckland is a popular spot for tourists and Kiwis alike. The township of Coromandel is located on the west coast of the peninsula.
One of 5 townships on the Coromandel Peninsula Whitianga is located on the east coast.
The city centre was once made of Maori settlements like Kirikiriroa which gave the city its Maori name. It’s the most populated city in the Waikato region and the third fastest growing urban area in New Zealand.
This small beachside town just west of Hamilton is another popular spot for surfers. Along the coastline close to Raglan you will find bays with exceptionally long waves.
Tauranga ist New Zealand’s 9th biggest city and also the fastest growing one. Mount Maunganui is one of the outskirts of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. A good time for backpackers to arrive who are looking for seasonal work is during the apple harvest from March to October.
The city in the Bay of Plenty is famous for its geothermal activity offering numerous hot springs and the resulting smell of sulphur lingering in the air. Rotorua is Maori and consists of the words roto (lake) and rua (two) and means “The second great lake”. Other nicknames for the city are Sulphur City or Roto-Vegas.
Just south of Rotorua is another popular tourist spot. Located on the shores of Lake Taupo this city offers anything outdoor enthusiasts can think of. Besides sailing, fishing or skydiving the Huka Falls are worth a visit as well. Fancy some jetboating?
Turangi is a small town on the west bank of Tongariro River. The surrounding countryside offers various outdoor activities from hunting, fishing and mountain biking to hiking, white water rafting, and kayaking. Turangi also calls itself the Trout Fishing Capital of the World.
Located on the north end of Poverty Bay on New Zealand’s east coast Gisborne boasts being the first city in the world to see the sun rise every day. Nearby Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in New Zealand in 1769. Poverty Bay is known for water sports.
Being one of New Zealand’s major wine regions Napier is the perfect spot to be during fruitpicking season for anyone looking for a job. The city in the Hawke’s Bay is also popular due to its unique architecture and moderate climate.
Hastings and Napier are often referred to as “The Bay Cities” being only 18km apart. Hastings welcomes its visitors with a mild and sunny climate: more than 2200 hours of sun each year and only 800mm of rain.
Close to Mt Taranaki and a good base for hiking trips around Egmont National Park. The coastline around New Plymouth has excellent conditions for surfers.
Located on the mouth of the Whanganui River, New Zealand’s longest navigable waterway, the city is famous for its architectural highlights like the Royal Opera House built in 1900.
Being an important base for tertiary institutions Palmerston North or “Palmy”, as it is known to locals, buzzes with life thanks to hundreds of students.
The city was founded on 19th May 1854 by Joseph Masters who also gave Masterton its name. It now hosts a famous annual sheep shearing competition.
Despite the fact that it’s smaller than Auckland it’s New Zealand’s capital and second-largest urban area. It also is the country’s political and cultural centre housing numerous museums (the most famous one being Te Papa), theatres, galleries and some European Flair. It’s also the centre of the New Zealand Film and Theratre Industry.
Thank you to the team of Neuseeland für Deutsche and Work Travel NZ for assisting me in compiling this list.
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