10 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]© NZPocketGuide.com
10 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]

10 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]

© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Our Recommended in National Park and Whakapapa for Backpackers

If you want to explore the Tongariro National Park, why not stay in the heart of it? National Park Village is a small township in proximity to mountain bike trails, hiking tracks and ski fields, while Whakapapa Village is right at the base of Mt Ruapehu and New Zealand’s largest ski field. What’s more, staying here on a budget is easy with the offering of backpacker hostels in National Park Village and Whakapapa.

National Park and Whakapapa Village are excellent bases for taking on the famous Tongariro Crossing. Transport services are available for a short drive to and from the crossing, as well as the Tongariro Circuit Great Walk. Wise up on the Crossing with our Guide to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

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:

7 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]© Manowhenua Lodge

2. Skotel Alpine Resort (Whakapapa Village)

To get closer to the action of Mt Ruapehu, whether it’s for hitting the slopes or doing the mountain hiking trails, stay in Skotel Alpine Resort. Not only is Skotel a hotel with its own restaurant, but it also has budget backpacker accommodation, including dorms and private rooms, and a small but well-equipped kitchen for guests. Enjoy an evening in the spa pool and watch the sunset from New Zealand’s highest village.

Check Skotel Alpine Resort out:

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3. National Park Backpackers (National Park Village)

Everything you could want for your stay in National Park is right here. Shuttle services with equipment hire for the Tongariro Crossing operate straight from reception. Plus, if the weather is bad, National Park Backpackers also has a climbing wall to challenge yourself. As for the accommodation itself, the hostel has all the essentials needed for a budget backpacker, from kitchen facilities to laundry. Rooms types include private double, twin and triple rooms with or without an ensuite, and shared mixed and female dorm rooms. Campers are also welcome.

Check National Park Backpackers out:

YHA National Park Backpackers© YHA National Park Backpackers

4. Howard’s Mountain Lodge (National Park Village)

With some of the cheapest dorm room prices during the shoulder seasons, Howard’s Mountain Lodge is well worth considering. The budget accommodation in National Park Village has two communal kitchens and lounge facilities, as well as hiking equipment rental and bookings for the nearby activities. You can also keep entertained with the pool table. 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

5. The Crossing Lodge (Erua)

For somewhere a bit more off the beaten track, try The Crossing Backpackers in Erua, five minutes south of National Park Village. 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. What’s more, the lodge offers free bus or train pick-up from National Park Village. There is a wide range of rooms available, including your all-essential dorm rooms and private double, twin, triple and family rooms with some options for ensuite bathrooms. Otherwise, make use of the hostel’s shared facilities.

Check The Crossing Lodge out:

The Crossing Backpackers© The Crossing Backpackers

6. 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:

7 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]© Tongariro Holiday Park

7. 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:

7 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]© Pipers Lodge

8. 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:

Whakapapa Holiday Park© Whakapapa Holiday Park

9. 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:

7 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]© Slalom Lodge

10. 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.

7 Best Hostels in National Park Village & Whakapapa šŸŽ’ [2024]© Discovery Lodge

Frequently Asked Questions About Backpacker Hostels and Holiday Parks in National Park Village and Whakapapa

And for all those nitty-gritty details, here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a stay in one of the backpacker hostels or holiday parks in National Park Village or Whakapapa.

What are the options for backpacker hostels in National Park Village?

National Park Village offers several backpacker hostel options for budget-conscious travelers looking to explore the region:

  • The Crossing Backpackers: Offers a variety of room types, shared facilities, and easy access to Tongariro Alpine Crossing shuttle services.
  • Manowhenua Lodge: Provides dorm beds and private rooms, along with a shuttle service to the national park.
  • Howardā€™s Mountain Lodge: Known for its friendly atmosphere, it offers shared and private accommodation options, including dorm beds and family rooms.

Are there any backpacker hostels in Whakapapa?

Whakapapa itself does not have specific backpacker hostels due to its small size and proximity to the ski fields. However, accommodation can be found in nearby National Park Village or further afield in towns like Taupo or Turangi, which offer additional backpacker options.

What facilities do backpacker hostels typically offer in National Park Village?

Backpacker hostels in National Park Village generally offer:

  • Shared dormitory rooms and private room options.
  • Shared bathroom facilities and communal kitchens.
  • Common areas for socialising.
  • Free WiFi access, although it can be limited.
  • Information and bookings for local activities and shuttle services.

What holiday parks are available in National Park Village and Whakapapa?

National Park Village offers holiday parks that are ideal for families and groups:

  • Whakapapa Holiday Park: Located in Whakapapa Village, this park offers easy access to hiking trails and the Whakapapa Ski Area. It provides powered and non-powered sites, cabins and self-contained units.
  • Tongariro Holiday Park: Features a range of accommodations from tent sites to cabins and self-contained units, with facilities like a shared kitchen, laundry and a lounge.

What amenities can I expect at holiday parks in these areas?

Holiday parks in National Park Village and Whakapapa typically provide:

  • Campsites for tents and motorhomes.
  • Basic cabins to fully equipped units with private facilities.
  • Communal kitchens and dining areas.
  • Laundry facilities.
  • Recreational areas, sometimes including playgrounds and BBQ areas.
  • Access to local activity booking services.

Are these accommodations suitable for families?

Yes, both backpacker hostels and holiday parks in National Park Village offer options suitable for families. Many provide family rooms and additional space for children to play safely. Always check specific facilities and room configurations when booking to ensure they meet your familyā€™s needs.

How far in advance should I book my accommodation?

It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons such as the ski season (June to October) and summer holidays (December to February), when demand is high. Booking several months in advance can secure your preferred dates and potentially better rates.

More Hostels in National Park and Whakapapa Village

That’s it for our list of the best hostels in National Park Village and Whakapapa Village, but it’s by no means the end of our advice! Check out more guides to help you plan the perfect trip to Tongariro:

And if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in the Ruapehu – 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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