9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2023]© Manowhenua Lodge
9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2023]

9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2023]

© Manowhenua Lodge

Where to Find Hostels in Tongariro National Park for Backpackers

We get it. You’d rather save your money for hiking the Tongariro Crossing, ripping the slopes of Mt Ruapehu or tearing the mountain bike trails than spend it on luxurious nights in hotels. With that in mind, here are some of the best backpacker hostels in Tongariro National Park!

National Park Village, Whakapapa Village and Erua all have backpacker hostel accommodation with proximity to the western side of the Tongariro National Park. These are the closest settlements with hostels to the Tongariro Crossing, Tongariro Circuit Great Walk, Fishers Track mountain biking trail, Whakapapa Ski Field and more. Meanwhile, Ohakune makes a great base for exploring the southern end of the Tongariro National Park, such as the Old Coach Road mountain bike trail, the Around the Mountain hiking track and Turoa Ski Field.

1. Manowhenua Lodge (National Park Village)

In the heart of National Park Village, Manowhenua Lodge is a newly renovated backpacker hostel with large communal areas and a wide variety of room layouts for singles, couples, groups and “Whanau Hui”. All the essentials are there for a comfortable budget-friendly stay in National Park Village, including a spacious communal kitchen (and yes, there is enough space in the fridge)! Enjoy a game of pool or table tennis, exchange stories around the fireplace or crank up the barbecue on the attractive outdoor deck. What’s more, you can easily combine your stay with the Tongariro Crossing thanks to your local hosts also running National Park Shuttles. Check out their generous shuttle and accommodation packages over at manowhenualodge.co.nz.

9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2023]© Manowhenua Lodge

2. Skotel Alpine Resort (Whakapapa Village)

An alternative base in the Tongariro National Park is Whakapapa Village. This tiny settlement at the base of Mt Ruapehu is close to the Whakapapa Ski Field with a whole range of walks and a quick shuttle away from the Tongariro Crossing. Skotel Alpine Resort is the only accommodation offering backpacker dorms in Whakapapa Village but is still a fantastic option with a ski chalet decor to get you in the mood for alpine exploration. Watching the sunset from Skotel’s hillside position is also a must. See more hostels in the Whakapapa/National Park area in the 7 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa.

Check Skotel Alpine Resort out:

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3. Station Lodge (Ohakune)

At “The Junction” end of Ohakune, Station Lodge can be found at the Ohakune Railway Station. It is within walking distance of hiking tracks and bike trails. As for the hostel itself, Station Lodge is spacious yet has a homely vibe. Relax in the free spa pool or make use of the barbecue in summer (get inspiration from 5 Effortless Barbecue Meals to Cook in 15 Minutes). It might be a 15-minute walk from the town centre, but the riverside walkway into town makes it a treat; borrow one of their free town bikes to get there quicker! Discover what to do in the Ohakune area using our 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Ohakune.

Check Station Lodge out:

Station Lodge© Station Lodge

4. National Park Backpackers (National Park Village)

Hiking equipment hire, shuttle services to the Tongariro Crossing, an indoor climbing wall… The National Park Backpackers has you all set for your time in Tongariro National Park. The backpackers, of course, also has all the essentials expected in a hostel – private rooms, dorms, communal kitchens and bathrooms, etc. – as well as welcoming campervans to park up onsite. It is also easy to find just off the main highway into National Park Village. For experiences while you’re staying in National Park, check out the 10 Best Things to Do in National Park Village.

Check National Park Backpackers out:

YHA National Park Backpackers© YHA National Park Backpackers

5. LKNZ Lodge (Ohakune)

In the town centre of Ohakune, LKNZ Lodge offers an ideal location for exploring Tongariro National Park’s mountain biking trails, hiking on Mt Ruapehu or skiing at Turoa. There are several modern lounge areas and kitchens, however, when you don’t feel like cooking there is an on-site cafe. Plus, pool tables, limited free WiFi and a bunch of hire options, such as mountain bikes, spa pool and sauna make up the remainder of the abundant facilities. For more options in Ohakune, take a look at the 6 Best Backpacker Hostels in Ohakune.

Check LKNZ Lodge out:

LKNZ Lodge© LKNZ Lodge

6. Howard’s Mountain Lodge (National Park Village)

Two large kitchens, lounge area, pool table and equipment hire: Howard’s Mountain Lodge has the ideal facilities and more. This budget accommodation in National Park Village has some of the best prices in town during the New Zealand shoulder seasons. As for rooms, choose from private double, twin, triple and family rooms (with or without an ensuite), as well as dorm rooms and even a holiday home for up to 10 guests.

Check Howard’s Mountain Lodge out:

Howard's Mountain Lodge© Howard's Mountain Lodge

7. The Crossing Lodge (Erua)

One more location for your Tongariro National Park stay is in Erua, a five-minute drive from National Park Village. The Crossing Lodge might be off the beaten track, but they offer pick-ups from the National Park train station and bus stop, so even without a car, you can go and enjoy the peaceful location of Erua. The quirky hostel with interesting tree trunk decor has plenty to keep you entertained from the pool table to the spa pool to the hostel pets.

Check The Crossing Lodge out:

The Crossing Backpackers© The Crossing Backpackers

8. The Hobbit Motorlodge (Ohakune)

If you are in Tongariro National Park to see the famous Lord of the Rings locations then why not complete the experience by staying in The Hobbit Motorlodge? The Hobbit Motorlodge is located on the road between Ohakune town and The Junction, neither here nor there. However, there are plenty of room options in terms of budget accommodation, including backpacker dorms, as well as mountain shuttle services, a spa pool surrounded by native vegetation and Sky TV.

Check The Hobbit Motorlodge out:

The Hobbit Motorlodge© The Hobbit Motorlodge

9. Ohakune Central Backpackers & Cabins (Ohakune)

Despite having “backpackers” in the name, Ohakune Central Backpackers & Cabins has moved away from dorm accommodation and now just offers cheap private cabins. Each cabin has a bathroom and kitchenette, but the bed layout is different throughout, so be sure to browse around. Furthermore, the accommodation in the centre of Ohakune is a great place to hang out in the spa pool after a day on the slopes or fire up the barbecue in summer (here are some recipes for inspiration).

Check Ohakune Central Backpackers out:

Ohakune Central Backpackers© Ohakune Central Backpackers

More Hostels in the Tongariro National Park

That’s it for our list of the best hostels in the Tongariro National Park, but it’s by no means the end of our advice! Check out more guides to help you plan the perfect trip to Tongariro:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in the Tongariro National Park – Guide for Backpackers.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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