Youth Hostels Information

Youth Hostels are the most popular accommodation choice for backpackers and independent travellers on a budget. Hostel guests have the choice of shared or private accommodation, with optional ensuite in most New Zealand hostels. All hostels have great kitchens with full facilities perfect for preparing meals. Most hostels have communal lounges, outdoor areas and TV rooms - great places for relaxing and meeting fellow travellers.

Forget the old stereotypes - chores, curfews and lights-out are a thing of the past! Many YHA hostels in New Zealand are staffed 24 hours, all are professionally cleaned daily and all offer 24 hour guest access.

Never stayed in a hostel? Watch our video

Is your YHA New Zealand accommodation booked but you've never stayed in a hostel before? No worries! Watch our hostel experience video to get the inside scoop on what to expect when you stay with us. 

Choose your language! Click on the links below to watch our hostel experience video in:

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Still have questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers!)

Other FAQs:

Membership    International Hostels    Booking Terms & Conditions    Hostel Regulations

Can't find the answer you're looking for?  Email us  


 What are the hostels like?

No two hostels are the same which is one of the fun things about YHA! There are converted farmhouses, lodges set in beautiful acres and modern purpose built hostels. The hostels you stay in will often become a unique part of your trip. Despite their differences, we can guarantee that all hostels have private and multishare rooms, shared bathroom facilities, shared kitchen facilities, 24-hour guest access, an abundance of information on local activities and essential items for sale at reception such as milk, cereals, toothbrushes, snack food and drinks.

 Are there curfews at YHA hostels?

No, all New Zealand hostels have 24-hour guest access.

 My plane arrives at 3am - can I check in at that time?

Sure, as long as you let the hostel staff know what time you’ll be arriving when you make your initial booking. They will then organise an arrival procedure for you.

What do I need to check in?

You can speed up your check in process by having your YHA membership, booking confirmation, and photo ID ready to go when you arrive. Some of our hostels may also have check in forms on hand for you to fill out during this process.

Why do I need photo ID?

This helps us fulfill our Health and Safety requirements. In case of emergency it's in everyone's best interests that we can confirm exactly who is staying with us on any given night.

 Will I have chores or duties to do?

The traditional policy that all guests must help with the day-to-day cleaning of hostels is no longer in operation which means you are free from the chores! However, YHAs do request that guests are considerate to others and that you tidy up after yourself - particularly in the kitchen!

 Is there WiFi?

Of course! We like staying connected with our friends and family as much as you do. Lots of our hostels provide this service for free, while some of our more remote locations have a small charge for access. Check out the internet facilities for each hostel you'll be visiting here.

 Do I have to bring a sleeping bag?

Due to our Health & Hygiene policy, guests’ own sleeping bags and sleeping sheets are not allowed to be used in any YHA hostels in New Zealand. Duvets, pillows and all bed linen are provided for every guest and are included in the bed rate.

 Do I need to bring a towel?

Yes. Although hostels provide all bedding and bed linen they do not provide towels or toiletries for guests.

 Can I book ahead?

Sure. If you want to make a booking at a New Zealand hostel you can make your booking here on our website. Alternatively, you can book through our Customer Services Team, contact the hostel directly or make a booking from hostel to hostel as you travel.

 What types of rooms are available?

All YHA New Zealand hostels have both private and multishare rooms. Some hostels even offer private rooms with ensuite facilities! Multishare accommodation is a shared room that generally sleeps between 4 and 8 people and is available in single sex or mixed gender dormitories. This is the cheapest way to stay at our hostels and for this reason hostels tend to have more of these rooms.

 What are the age restrictions and rules for Children

YHA determines a child to be under the age of 18. The rules apply to all children including infants and babies. All children must be booked in as a separate guest.

Children are permitted to stay at YHA properties but must be accompanied by an adult and either stay in a private room or alternatively stay in a privatised dorm. An accompanying adult, staying in the hostel at the same time, can provide consent for a child to stay in a private room alone.

Although our bunks are fitted with safety rails, top bunks are not recommended for children under the age of 9.  

YHA Youth membership is valid for guests under the age of 18. 

 Can families be together in the same room?

Families are welcome at YHA hostels in New Zealand. Most hostels have family rooms available so that you can all stay in the same room. Families can also sleep together in a multishare room and this must be privatised whereby you purchase any beds that are in excess of your family’s requirements. Children are not permitted to stay in multishare dorms with strangers irrespective of whether a known adult is accompanying them or not.

 I am travelling with both male and female friends, can we stay in the same room or do we have to stay in the single sex dormitories?

All hostels have mixed gender rooms so couples and friends can stay together. If you’re booking online, look for ‘mixed’ shared rooms. If booking direct with a hostel, make sure you mention this at the time of booking.

 Can I buy food at the hostel?

Essential items such as milk, cereals, toothbrushes, snack food and drinks are for sale at reception of all YHA hostels in New Zealand. A couple of the hostels do offer meals during the winter season – please check with the hostel directly.

 Where can I put my luggage if I go out for the day?

All YHA hostels have high levels of security plus luggage storage facilities. For a nominal fee you can hire a locker or put your luggage in a storage area. All rooms are lockable so you can leave your bags in the room.

 Is there off-street parking at the hostels?

The majority of the hostels have off-street parking. The spaces work on a first come first served basis. To find out if a particular hostel has off-street parking look for the ‘P’ in our hostel guide map or under ‘Facilities’ in the hostel profiles.

 Do Kiwi Experience buses pick up and drop off at YHA New Zealand hostels?

They sure do. Most other bus companies also drop off at hostels.

 Do the hostels offer free airport shuttle/bus pick-ups?

None of our hostels offer free airport transfers. However there are numerous options to get from airport to hostel or vice versa, from public transport to shuttles to taxis. The airport's websites will have information on each option or you can book your transfers at hostel's receptions.

 Is there a maximum length of time I can stay at any one hostel?

Most hostels allow a maximum of 6 nights for guests staying at their hostel and this is the maximum number of nights available when booking online. If you would like to stay for a longer period of time it will depend on the time of year, size of the hostel, etc. Email the hostel directly for longer stay questions!

 Can I make bookings for transport and activities at the hostel?

All YHA hostels in New Zealand have close ties with transport and activity operators in their area. Feel free to pick the brains of our staff. They’ll answer your questions and can make most of your bookings for you – all you need to do is ask! Although this facility is available we strongly recommend that you pre-book for peak summertime travel.

 What are hostel kitchen facilities like?

All hostels have the necessary equipment in their self-catering kitchens for whipping up any culinary delight – including pots, pans, plates and cutlery. Some hostels even have their own café or bistro for the culinary challenged!

 Are there power points in the rooms?

Most rooms have power points. Some of our hostels are even upgrading their beds and lockers to ones with power points and USB sockets!

 Do the hostels have alarm clocks or hairdryers I can use?

This varies from hostel to hostel. Check with the hostel staff upon check-in.

Can I stay at YHA if I am not a member?

Yes! Anyone is welcome to stay with us – members and non-members! It pays to be a member, though, as members get a 10% discount off the standard rate at all YHA New Zealand hostels. That's a whole heap of savings! And there's more benefits to boot.

YHA looks like a fun place to work. Do you have any job vacancies?

We're always on the lookout for enthusiastic people to join us in our hostels or at our National Office. To be considered for you must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand.

Learn more

I'm a member of YHA New Zealand. Can I use my membership in other countries?

YHA New Zealand is part of Hostelling International (HI) which is the brand name of more than 90 Youth Hostels Associations in over 80 countries. HI operates under a variety of names depending on the country – StayOkay in Holland, SYHA in Scotland, etc. Your YHA New Zealand membership card can be used at any HI hostel around the world. If you have an international membership card, you can use that here too!

 A friend told me that YHA is a not-for-profit and supports sustainability efforts. Is that true?

Yes! YHA New Zealand is a not-for-profit charity. 100% of the money from your membership goes back into the hostel network and into projects that help further our mission and values. Our mission is to create a greater understanding of our environment and culture through travel for people of all ages and to always have environmental and conservation projects on the go.

I own a hostel in New Zealand. Can I become a YHA?

YHA New Zealand is a network of over 35 hostels. About half of these are independently owned and operated hostels operating under the YHA brand. To be a part of our YHA family read about becoming an Associate Partner or email our Hostels Operations Manager.

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