© Manor House
© Manor House

5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Dunedin šŸŽ’ [2024]

© Manor House

Where to Find Accommodation in Dunedin for Backpackers

With gothic architectural marvels around every corner, you can bet that the backpacker accommodation is going to be different to elsewhere in New Zealand. There are historic homes converted into hostels, hostels with views of grand cathedrals, and even a hostel on a sheep farm. You’ll find some of the best around in this list of backpacker hostels in Dunedin.

For more information on long-term accommodation in Dunedin, take a look at our Cheap Weekly Accommodation Guide to Dunedin City and the Dunedin Suburbs. The budget-conscious backpacker can also look at ways to save money in Dunedin by doing some of the 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Dunedin.

So, here are the backpacker hostels we love the most in beautiful Dunedin!

1. Chalet Backpackers

Stay the night in an old hospital! Honestly, one of the rooms still has the sinks and the glass panelling when it was once used as a surgery. Today, the Chalet Backpackers is just a short walk from the city centre and is newly refurbished with a lot of charm – we’re talking wall murals, paintings, plants and fairy lights! Make use of the pool table, free WiFi and spacious kitchen and enjoy jamming sessions in the lounge with a piano, guitar and electric drumkit. For more stays with decent kitchens, head to the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Dunedin.

Check Chalet Backpackers out:

6 Best Backpacker Hostels in Dunedin šŸŽ’ [2023]© Chalet Backpackers

2. On Top Backpackers

This purpose-built hostel is close to Dunedin’s nightlife and city centre antics. The On Top Backpackers is “on top” of a pool bar, so you don’t need to travel far for evening entertainment. During the day, the pool bar does coffee, has cosy seats, and is where the free WiFi works best. Meanwhile upstairs, there’s a selection of simple mixed and female dorm rooms, as well as private single, double and twin rooms with or without an ensuite. Many rooms open up onto a sundeck, which you can follow to get to the hostel’s communal kitchen and lounge area.

Check On Top Backpackers out:

6 Best Backpacker Hostels in Dunedin šŸŽ’ [2023]© On Top Backpackers

3. Manor House Backpackers

Two adjacent 1920s houses have been combined to make this homely backpacker hostel. Manor House Backpackers has rooms to suit most situations, whether it’s travellers, families or large groups. There is also a BBQ for use, a garden and an eco-boutique where you can pick up some free second-hand clothes (or fix your old ones using the sewing kit on hand). Other freebies include WiFi, computers to use, teas, coffees, spices, DVDs, earplugs, storage and off-street parking. For more family-friendly options, also check out the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Dunedin.

Check Manor House Backpackers out:

Manor House© Manor House

4. Globe House

A short walk from the city centre, you can’t miss the mural facade of this funky downtown hostel. Getting to Globe House is easy with free off-street parking, free pick-up from the bus station and bikes available for anyone who wants to get around with ease (just read our City Cycling Rules in New Zealand first). Some rooms and communal areas are recently renovated, while others are very rough around the edges. Nevertheless, you can’t deny the homely vibe of this hostel.

Check Globe House out:

6 Best Backpacker Hostels in Dunedin šŸŽ’ [2023]© Globe House

5. Leviathan Hotel

Step back in time to the Leviathan Hotel, set in a heritage building beside Queens Garden and mere steps away from The Octagon. Not only does the budget hotel in Dunedin offer private single, double, twin and triple rooms for an affordable price, but there are backpacker dorms available too. Hotel guests have access to a well-equipped communal kitchen, as well as a lounge kitted out with old-timey furniture and decor. For more cheap hotels and alternative accommodations, check out the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Dunedin.

Check the Leviathan Hotel out:

6 Best Backpacker Hostels in Dunedin šŸŽ’ [2023]© Leviathan Hotel

[CLOSED] Hogwartz Hostel

Hogwartz is New Zealand’s school for witchcraft and wizardry… It is also a backpacker hostel! The location is the main draw-card for this hostel looking out to St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The small, clean and sociable hostel is also located close to the city centre. Convenient!

[CLOSED] McFarmers Backpackers

If you have a car and are looking to get a bit off the beaten track, McFarmers is a cool and quirky hostel on the Otago Peninsula. This small accommodation on a sheep farm a true New Zealand experience!

[CLOSED] Central Backpackers

Exactly what it says on the tin: Central Backpackers is the most central hostel in Dunedin. It is recently renovated accommodation with free breakfast and WiFi.

More About Hostels in Dunedin

That’s it for our list of the best hostels in Dunedin. For more handy guides to plan your trip to the architectural and wildlife capital, check out these:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in our Dunedin – Guide for Backpackers or The Travel Guide to Dunedin on a Budget.


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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