Backpacker hostel network in New Zealand

River Valley, North Island

While we prefer hostels that are privately owned and operated, some hostels are part of one of the four biggest hostel networks in the country. Some of them have a yearly membership to pay that offers you discounted price on accommodation. We recommend that you only buy your membership if you know that the amount of nights you intend to stay in that type of hostel would cover the cost of the membership. Otherwise, you may feel restricted in your choice of hostels.

Hostel membership in New Zealand BBH YHA Nomads Base
  BBH Logo YHA Logo Nomads Logo Base Logo
Website Website Website Website Website
Annual Fee NZ$45 NZ$42 FREE FREE
Accommodation Discount NZ$3 or more / night 10% off hostel night 5% off hostel nights None
Number of hostel 275 47 8 8
Other FREE NZ$20 phone card FREE Kathmandu Summit Club Membership (valued at NZ$10) For NZ$22 get a travel discount book Buy nights in bulk (starting at 10) and save

BBH VS YHA, Nomads VS Base, our opinion


BBH has a great website with lots of online reviews. It is a great way to choose the best fit for you. All BBH hostels are independently owned, therefore some hostels are very unique and has more character. On average, BBH hostels have the highest ratings amongst the other hostel networks.


The YHA hostel locations cover almost all of the major attractions and must-visit places in New Zealand. All YHA hostels have satisfying standards. However, while some are excellent, service is sometimes uneven, even between two YHA hostels in the same city. A good point about YHA is its international membership card, which is recognised worldwide – great for globetrotters!


The Australian company offers much larger than privately owned hostels. That said, a free membership is great but expect little value to it. The best Nomads hostel is definitely Queenstown – a must-try hostel! Of course, we can't deny that relaxing on the rooftop in Nomads Auckland is an awesome way to end a day exploring the city.


Base only has strategic locations. It is known to be the "party hostel" where a younger and less sober crowed meets. It should only be considered when other options are full, with the exception of the Paihia Base hostel, right on the beach.

The best hostels in New Zealand, the hostels we like


Ponsonby hostel
Ponsonby Backpackers
Nomads hostel
Nomads hostel
Verandah hostel
Verandah Backpackers


Downtown hostel
Downtown Backpackers
The Dwellington hostel
The Dwellington Backpackers


Haka Lodge hostel
Haka Lodge
Dorset House hostel
Dorset House Backpackers


Nomads hostel
Nomads Queenstown
Flaming Kiwi hostel
Flaming Kiwi Backpackers


Pepertree Lodge hostel
Paihia: Peppertree Lodge
Seagulls Guesthouse hostel
Taurangua: Seagulls Guesthouse
Blackcurrant hostel
Taupo: Blackcurrant Backpackers
The Bug hostel
Nelson: The Bug Backpackers
On Top hostel
Dunedin: On Top Backpackers
Albatross hostel
Kaikoura: Albatross Backpacker Inn
Bazil hostel and surf school
Westport: Bazil hostel and surf school
Pacific Coast Lodge
Taurangua: Pacific Coast Lodge
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