5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Kaikoura 🎒 [2023]© Dolphin Lodge
5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Kaikoura 🎒 [2023]

5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Kaikoura 🎒 [2023]

© Dolphin Lodge

Where to Stay in Kaikoura for Backpackers

Kaikoura is the dream destination for many backpackers where all those big activities are waiting: dolphin swimming, seal swimming, whale watching cruises, whale watching flights, scuba diving and more! With that in mind, the best way to cut the costs to save for these epic experiences is to stay in backpacker hostels. Luckily for you, there are plenty of awesome backpacker hostels in Kaikoura.

Because Kaikoura is a popular destination, we have also included some other budget accommodation ideas in this list of Kaikoura hostels so you know all your options for a budget stay in Kaikoura. By the way, don’t miss these 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Kaikoura and our Kaikoura – Guide for Backpackers.

1. Dusky Lodge & Backpackers

The largest hostel in Kaikoura has an incredible amount of space to relax after a day’s swimming with dolphins or whale watching with multiple lounges, decks and even a swimming pool. From super-budget dorm rooms to private ensuite rooms to family rooms, there are plenty of options. Spruce up some meals (with ideas from 10 Easy Meals to Cook in a Hostel in 10 Minutes) in one of several equipped kitchens, while facilities such as laundry, dining and all the other essentials are here. Plus, free unlimited WiFi! For more stays with family rooms, check out the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Kaikoura.

Check Dusky Lodge and Backpackers out:

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2. Dolphin Lodge

A homely hostel offering private double rooms with or without an ensuite, twin rooms and dorms, Dolphin Lodge presents another awesome hotel in Kaikoura. All the home comforts are included, such as a communal kitchen, outdoor spa pool, DVD library, garden furniture and a barbecue. What’s more, the location is ideal; just a couple of minutes’ stroll from the main street in one direction and a walk along the Esplanade to the dolphin swimming office and Kaikoura Beach in the other.

Check Dolphin Lodge out:

5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Kaikoura 🎒 [2023]© Dolphin Lodge

3. Albatross Backpacker Inn

A very welcoming hostel in Kaikoura, Albatross Backpacker Inn is certainly worth considering. Set in a historic building, the hostel has a lot of character which is furthered by the colourful murals and vibrant garden. Stay in the likes of the “Awesome Dorm”, female dorms, twins and doubles, as well as make use of all the expected facilities like laundry, kitchen and lounge. Plus, you’re not likely to get bored with events regularly put on by your hosts from potluck dinners to jam sessions.

Check Albatross Backpacker Inn out:

Albatross Inn© Albatross Inn

4. Alpine-Pacific Holiday Park

For alternative budget accommodation options for backpackers, consider staying in a holiday park in Kaikoura. The Alpine-Pacific Holiday Park has budget cabins, which are ideal for those travelling as a couple or a group of friends. Other accommodations include motel rooms and camping sites. Guests can make use of all the usual facilities that you would find in a hostel, such as a kitchen and laundry facilities. To see what else to expect in New Zealand holiday parks, see our Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand.

Check Alpine-Pacific Holiday Park out:

Alpine-Pacific Holiday Park© Alpine-Pacific Holiday Park

5. Kaikoura TOP 10 Holiday Park

Another holiday park in Kaikoura is the Kaikoura TOP 10 Holiday Park. They also offer standard cabins as their cheapest accommodation, after camping sites. Otherwise, you have a heated swimming pool, private spa pools, free WiFi and basic kitchen, dining and laundry facilities to make use of. For more accommodations alternatives, head to the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Kaikoura.

Check Kaikoura TOP 10 Holiday Park out:

Kaikoura top 10 holiday park© Kaikoura top 10 holiday park

[CLOSED] Skyhi Hostel Lodge

With not a bunk room in sight but a fantastic offering of budget private rooms, Skyhi is well worth considering if you’re travelling as a couple, with friends, or just want your own private space. This cosy hostel in the centre of Kaikoura has great communal facilities like a kitchen, lounge and laundry, with the addition of free unlimited WiFi, free cookies and a cosy garden to lounge in.

More About Kaikoura for Backpackers

That’s it for our list of the best hostels in Kaikoura, but it’s by no means the end of our travel tips! Get more stellar travel advice from the following guides:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in the Kaikoura – Guide for Backpackers and The Travel Guide to Kaikoura 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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