5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Oamaru


Where to Stay in Oamaru on a Budget

Where should your base be for seeing the little blue penguins, checking out the historic Victorian precinct, going to Steampunk HQ and more? There are plenty of backpacker hostels in Oamaru to save you money on the more important things like awesome activities in Oamaru. Find out exactly what you could be getting up to in Oamaru & Waitaki – Guide for Backpackers. Nevertheless, you’ll want to pick and Oamaru hostel that will suit the experience you want to have in Oamaru.

Whether you are exploring the Waitaki Valley, spotting wildlife on the shores of Oamaru or even taking part in one of the many events happening in town, you’ll want a fun and affordable stay in Oamaru. With that in mind here are, what we consider, some of the best backpacker hostels in Oamaru!

1. Oamaru Backpackers

This small yet characterful hostel in Oamaru is tastefully decorated to make you feel like a flashpacker. Each dorm bed has a curtain, like the pod hostel concept, and the cosy lounge areas have large windows overlooking the views of the Victorian Precinct and out to the ocean. Relax in the garden where you can help yourself to some fresh herbs and veggies to spruce up something awesome in the kitchen.

Check Oamaru Backpackers out:

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2. Empire Hotel Backpackers

In the heart of Oamaru’s vibrant township, the Empire Hotel Backpackers is a piece of history renovated for budget travellers. Play a game of pool in the cool and quirky basement or relax in the multiple lounge areas with that Oamaru historic vibe it’s famous for. Wi-Fi is available and the hostel is just a stone’s throw away from all your essential shops and services.

Check Empire Hotel Backpackers out:©

3. Swaggers Backpackers

Not only is this hostel the closest to the Oamaru little blue penguin colonies, but it’s also your home away from home. This cosy backpackers is hosted by Agra who will familiarise you with all the awesome things to do in Oamaru. There’s a warm and friendly vibe at the Swaggers Backpackers that makes it well worth considering for your stay in Oamaru.

Check Swaggers Backpackers out:

© Swaggers Backpackers

4. YHA Oamaru (Red Kettle)

Located just by the Busy Beach Reserve, YHA Oamaru is just a short walk from town. This hostel has all the essentials needed for an enjoyable budget stay in Oamaru. Relax in the garden and grab a few fresh herbs to use with your dinner, or curl up next to the fireplace and watch a movie. YHA members also get the benefit of a discount. Find out more in BBH, YHA, BASE or NOMADS: What is the Best Hostel Network?

Check YHA Oamaru Backpackers out:

YHA Oamaru© YHA Oamaru

5. Kurow Holiday Park

Ok, so this isn’t exactly in Oamaru, but if you are looking for somewhere to stay outside of the township or while exploring the Waitaki Valley, Kurow Holiday Park is a great option for backpackers. Beyond campervan sites and tent sites, Kurow Holiday Park also offers backpacker dorm rooms in their lodge. Find out more about New Zealand holiday parks in Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand.

Kurow Holiday Park© Kurow Holiday Park


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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