15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© NZPocketGuide.com
15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]

© NZPocketGuide.com
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Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Our Recommended 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!

Where to Stay in Tongariro National Park

National Park Village, Whakapapa Village, Erua and Raurimu all have backpacker hostel accommodations 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 Manowhenua Lodge out:

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© 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 10 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 10 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. For alternative stays in Ohakune, check out the 20 BestBest Hotels & Places to Stay in Ohakune.

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

10. Pipers Lodge (National Park)

Pipers Lodge offers a cosy stay in National Park Village with a lounge, in-house bar, games room and ski shop. Guests can unwind in one of three spa pools or explore the local sights with daily transport services to Tongariro Crossing and Whakapapa ski fields. With a variety of private but affordable room options, from ensuites to shared facilities, and the personalised touch of a family-owned business, we recommend Pipers Lodge for those seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Check Pipers Lodge out:

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© Pipers Lodge

11. Slalom Lodge (Raurimu)

Slalom Lodge, situated near National Park Village in Raurimu, offers a lively accommodation experience, especially on weekends with its active bar and restaurant. The lodge features 40 rooms with various styles and sizes to suit different needs, including mixed dorms and private rooms. The option to choose whether bedding and towels are included allows you to tailor your stay to your budget. Every room benefits from free WiFi, access to a communal kitchen, and a drying roomā€”ideal for after skiing or perhaps soggier days on the Crossing.

Check Slalom Lodge out:

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© Slalom Lodge

12. Tongariro Holiday Park (Otukou)

Tongariro Holiday Park offers versatile lodging for both backpackers and budget travellers, superbly located between the start and finish points of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This holiday park has options ranging from fully self-contained units and ensuite cabins to standard cabins that utilise communal facilities. For those who prefer the outdoors, there are both powered and non-powered sites available for campervans and tents. A summer shuttle service to the Alpine Crossing ensures a hassle-free adventure, while the park’s location is ideal for stargazing! We recommend Tongariro Holiday Park for travellers seeking convenient access to one of New Zealandā€™s most famous outdoor activities, with accommodation options to suit all needs.

Check Tongariro Holiday Park out:

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© Tongariro Holiday Park

13. Discovery Lodge (National Park Village – Whakapapa)

Discovery Lodge offers an affordable holiday park experience ideally located between Whakapapa and National Park Village. It caters to a range of preferences, from powered sites to fully self-contained motels and chalets, ensuring there’s something for every type of traveller on a budget. An early transport service to the Tongariro Crossing allows guests to enjoy the mountains in peace, making it perfect for early risers looking to beat the crowds. The lodge boasts unrestricted panoramic views of the area’s three stunning volcanoes, set against a 10-acre park-like property.

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© Discovery Lodge

14. Whakapapa Holiday Park (Whakapapa Village)

Stay in the heart of Whakapapa Village in the Whakapapa Holiday Park. This Department of Conservation-run holiday park has all the basic facilities for a budget stay in the Tongariro National Park. Although the holiday park no longer offers backpacker dorms, they still have powered sites and tent sites, basic cabins sleeping two to six people, and self-contained units. Note that you will need to hire bedding for a small fee if you don’t have your own.

Check Whakapapa Holiday Park out:

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© Whakapapa Holiday Park

15. Snowman Lodge and Spa (Ohakune)

Finally, for affordable backpacker-style accommodation without the dorm rooms, Snowman Lodge and Spa is definitely worth mentioning. The lodge in the centre of town offers campervan sites and a range of affordable private rooms such as double, twin, triple, quadruple rooms and even rooms for up to six people. Some but not all rooms have an ensuite. While there aren’t self-catering facilities, guests can enjoy hot drinks at the on-site cafe or make use of the barbecue.

Check Snowman Lodge and Spa out:

15 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tongariro National Park šŸŽ’ [2024]© Snowman Lodge and Spa

Frequently Asked Questions About Hostels in Tongariro National Park

For all those nitty-gritty details, here are some FAQs for those considering staying in a hostel while exploring the Tongariro National Park.

What hostels are available in Tongariro National Park?

While there are limited hostels directly within Tongariro National Park itself, several are located in nearby areas such as National Park Village, Whakapapa Village and Ohakune, which serve as convenient bases for exploring the park. Popular options include:

  • The Crossing Backpackers: Located in National Park Village, this hostel offers dormitory rooms, private rooms, and family units, along with shuttle services to major hiking tracks.
  • Manowhenua Lodge: Situated in National Park Village, Manowhenua Lodge provides budget-friendly dormitory and private room options, ideal for hikers and skiers.
  • National Park Backpackers: This hostel offers a range of accommodations including shared dorms, private rooms, and family rooms. It’s well-equipped for outdoor enthusiasts with drying rooms and a climbing wall.
  • Station Lodge: Located in Ohakune, this hostel offers easy access to the park with the added benefit of proximity to shops and restaurants.

What facilities do hostels typically offer in the Tongariro area?

Hostels near Tongariro National Park typically provide:

  • Shared and private rooms, with options ranging from basic dorms to more private ensuite rooms.
  • Communal kitchens and dining areas where guests can prepare and enjoy meals.
  • Lounge areas with fireplaces or heaters, providing a cosy place to relax after a day of hiking.
  • Laundry facilities, essential for those engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Secure storage for hiking gear and, in winter, ski equipment.
  • Information and booking services for local tours and shuttle transport.

Are hostels in Tongariro National Park suitable for solo travellers?

Yes, hostels in and around Tongariro National Park are excellent for solo travellers. They offer a social environment where it’s easy to meet fellow hikers and adventurers. Some hostels organise group activities or communal dinners which provide opportunities to connect with other guests.

How much does it cost to stay in a hostel in Tongariro National Park?

The cost of staying in a hostel near Tongariro National Park can vary, but generally, dormitory beds range from NZ$20 to $40 per night, while private rooms can cost anywhere from NZ$80 to $120 per night, depending on the season and the facilities provided. For more expected costs while in New Zealand, check out How Much Does a Trip to New Zealand Cost?

Can I book guided tours through the hostels?

Many hostels in the Tongariro area offer assistance with booking guided tours, including shuttles to the popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

What should I bring for a hostel stay in Tongariro National Park?

When staying in a hostel near Tongariro National Park, pack:

  • Warm clothing and rain gear, as the weather can change rapidly.
  • Hiking boots/shoes and outdoor gear.
  • Food supplies, especially if you plan to cook your meals, as shops are sparse.

Are there any safety considerations for staying in hostels in this area?

Staying in hostels is generally safe, but always follow standard safety practices such as securing your valuables. Additionally, when exploring Tongariro National Park, be prepared for mountainous weather conditions and ensure you have the necessary gear and knowledge to hike safely.

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.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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