5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Punakaiki šŸŽ’ [2024]


Where to Accommodation in Punakaiki for Backpackers

Most tourists see Punakaiki as a place to stop to see the Pancake Rocks and continue on their merry way. But did you know there is so much to do in Punakaiki?! Punakaiki is on the edge of the Paparoa National Park, featuring the Paparoa Track Great Walk, horse riding tours, kayaking on the river, hiking, bone carving, knife making… and so much more – just see the 10 Best Things to Do in Punakaiki! With that in mind, you’ll want to stay awhile but save on the cents for all of those amazing experiences. So here we have, what we consider, the best backpacker hostels in Punakaiki!

Ok, so Punakaiki doesn’t exactly have five hostels, it only has two. Nevertheless, we have listed hostels a short drive from Punakaiki to show you more options. We also include a couple of holiday parks which have cabin accommodation and camping sites for budget travellers. Easy!

1. Punakaiki Beach Hostel

With a location like this, you’d expect to be at a luxury resort! Punakaiki Beach Hostel has great views of the ocean all over the property with some relaxing lounge areas both inside and out. Stay in a hostel dorm, private room or even a cottage or house truck, the latter two providing ultimate privacy! With a stellar beachfront location, heaps of games, an outdoor seating area and colourful decor, there’s plenty to make you want to stay longer.

Check Punakaiki Beach Hostel out:

5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Punakaiki©

2. Te Nikau Retreat

Nestled in a nikau palm rainforest, Te Nikau Retreat is another Punakaiki hostel boasting an amazing location. A number of walking tracks can be accessed from the hostel including the Truman Track. Also scattered throughout the rainforest property are a number of lodges with hostel dorms and private rooms with shared facilities, private cabins, campsites and self-contained cottages. With everything being split up across the grounds, you never get the sense that this retreat feels overcrowded.

Check Te Nikau Retreat out:

5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Punakaiki© Te Nikau Retreat

3. Punakaiki Beach Camp

If you’re backpacking around New Zealand by campervan or staying in a tent, check out the Punakaiki Beach Camp. Listen to the waves rolling in on this coastal holiday park. Accommodation includes powered sites, tent sites and cabins. Make use of the communal kitchen to spruce up your own meals (ask at reception for cooking utensils if you need them – they’re free to hire, but are not out in the kitchen).

Check Punakaiki Beach Camp out:

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5. Global Village Backpackers (Greymouth)

40 minutes south of Punakaiki, the Global Village Backpackers is just one of the backpacker offerings in the town of Greymouth. Make use of free kayak hire for exploring the neighbouring Lake Karoro and bike hire to explore the local area. At the end of the end, relax in the spa pool or the Finnish sauna before retreating to your chosen room, whether it’s one of the private rooms like a double, twin, triple, family or even six-person dorm, or one of the shared dorms with mixed and female-only options available. For more options in Greymouth, head to the 7 Best Backpacker Hostels in Greymouth.

Check Global Village Backpackers out:

5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Punakaiki© Global Village Travellers Lodge

5. Charleston Holiday Park

Another backpacker-budget accommodation nearby Punakaiki is the Charleston Motor Camp & Holiday Park. Choose from a variety of cabins, from single rooms to bunk rooms (linen needs to be hired). Plus, there are powered sites and tent sites for camping. Charleston is 30 minutes’ drive from Punakaiki. Nearby, you will also find the town of Westport with the 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Westport.

Check Charleston Holiday Park out:

5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Punakaiki© Charleston Holiday Park

[UPDATE] Beaconstone Eco Lodge

[Update: Beaconstone Eco Lodge no longer provides backpacker accommodation, but it is now “Beaconstone Eco Stay” providing cheap private cabins instead. Check out the links below for more details].

Just 35 minutes out of Punakaiki, Beaconstone Eco Lodge is another backpacker hostel well worth considering along the West Coast. This hostel helps you reduce your environmental impact while travelling by solely using solar power and rainwater. What’s more, it’s a small hostel sleeping only 10, so when you want to escape the crowds you know where to go.

Check Beaconstone Eco Stay out:

Beaconstone Eco Lodge© Beaconstone Eco Lodge

More About Punakaiki for Backpackers

That’s it for our list of the best hostels in Punakaiki. For more West Coast travel advice, check out the following guides:

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


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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