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Cheap backpacker accommodation

Christchurch Backpackers & Hostels

Christchurch is the gateway to New Zealand's South Island and its second largest city. Even after the devastating earthquakes in 2011, the city remains a vibrant, eclectic mix of historic charm and innovative new design. Must do attractions in the area are Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo as well as Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching.

Currently 32 hostels in this area

Filter by Location: View All , Akaroa (6), Christchurch (13), Kaikoura (5), Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook (3), Methven (4)

Qualmark 5* Gold
Centrally located & homely 100 year old building with a friendly, modern atmosphere. Multi-share, female only, double & en-suite rooms all available.
2GB Free WiFi per day, fully equipped kitchen, book exchange, luggage storage, TV, laundry, outdoor area, travel & activity bookings
cosy sanctuary
High quality & cosy backpacker's just outside Christchurch CBD. A perfect hideaway for backpackers looking to escape the city. This is a hostel with a twist!
Free Wi-Fi, private rooms have TV/DVD player & balcony, chill out areas, balcony area, tea & coffee.
Qualmark 5* star
A purpose built complex with your comfort & enjoyment in mind. Boasting over 40 private rooms, plus a large range of dorms there is a room type to meet every demand.
Centrally located, unlimited free WiFi, free shuttle to town, new purpose built complex with great ratings!
pool & hot tub
Dusky Lodge & Backpackers is Kaikoura’s largest hostel offering a clean and homely environment to budget travellers, adventurers and groups.
Free wifi, 3 large fully equipped kitchens, BBQ’s on the decks. Affiliated with The Backpacker Group.
Qualmark 4+ Star
After a busy day enjoying majestic Mt Cook, come and relax in our welcoming hostel. Homely, spacious rooms with wooden decor will ensure a good night's sleep.
2GB free WiFi per day, sauna, videos & games, cosy fire, heaters & central heating, onsite car parking
Charm & character
This character home has been converted into a comfortable hostel. Located opposite the Canterbury Museum, the Botanical Gardens and Hagley Park.
2GB Free WiFi per day, laundry, book exchange, luggage storage, TV room, limited onsite parking ,excellent location, fully equipped kitchen
Free Wifi & car park
Stay in Jail! Welcome to our unique, wonderfully restored heritage building. Stay and be captivated in our colourful, relaxing & fun hostel. Only a short walk to railway station.
FREE WiFi! Listed Heritage building, newly renovated, free off-street parking, close to train station, unique
The Old Countryhouse
The Old Countryhouse
TRAVELLERS PARADISE. We're only a short walk from the city but behind our gates you'll feel a million miles away. Rest, relax & enjoy our multi-award winning hostel.
YHA Lake Tekapo
YHA Lake Tekapo
*Under Construction* This hostel is currently closed while a brand new one is built! Expected opening late 2018. Please check the YHA website for updates.

Seated on the East coast, Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and municipal seat of the Canterbury region. It marks the point at which the landscape of the island shifts from the rolling verdant trails of the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks to the mountainous brutality of the Southern Alps, Aoraki National Park and glacier country. Such visible change is the expected physical manifestation of the seismic fault line upon which Christchurch is built, and due to which it has suffered such awful tragedies over recent years. Despite its scars, it is a city which stands defiant in the face of nature. Its importance, beauty and enduring liveliness occupies a special place in New Zealand’s history, and no trip to the country would be complete without spending some time in this unique part of the world.

Central Christchurch

The heart of central Christchurch is consumed by Hagley Park and the famous Botanic Gardens. The streets and avenues were designed from the park outwards in the colonial grid system, and they criss-cross the Avon River which runs east to west through the city. This is considered the Christchurch CBD, and is very easy to navigate and to explore the various landmarks.

The Botanic Gardens merit a half day all on their own. They cover fifty-one acres, showcasing flowers and plants from all over the world, specialising of course in New Zealand flora, and featuring the Southern Hemisphere’s largest herbaceous border. A homage to the joy of nature in the face of its damaging force, the gardens form the basis for the tasteful development Christchurch has experienced over the last fifty years. Before leaving the gardens, be sure to visit the Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Avenue, renowned for its extensive natural and human history exhibits.

Brits visiting Christchurch will find straight away that the street names have a very familiar air. This is no accident. The two men credited with founding modern Christchurch - Captain Joseph Thomas and his surveyor, Edward Jollie – wanted to evoke a “Britishness” to make émigrés from the old country feel more at home. Accordingly, classic English cities crop up frequently in the town map – Hereford, Worcester, Canterbury, and of course Oxford and Cambridge. There are also nods to other British colonial adventures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with street names such as Madras and Bardadoes (the traditional spelling). In this respect, Christchurch typifies that need shown by early British settlers to stamp their mark on the country. Head Eastward from the Botanic Gardens up Gloucester Street, and you’ll be drawn by the wonderful waving glass facade of Christchurch Art Gallery. The gallery came into its own in 2010 and 2011, not simply for featuring some of the world’s greatest works of art, but providing the city with some respite from the earthquakes, and acting as a temporary coordination centre. Also nearby are two YHA Hostels – Rolleston House on Worcester Boulevard, and Christchurch Backpackers on Hereford Street.

From the gallery, you have a choice of two monuments along Cambridge Terrace as it follows the Avon river. To the South, the Bridge of Remembrance is dedicated to New Zealanders who perished in the Great War. Surviving the earthquakes, the Bridge was strengthened in 2015 and continues to form a focal point for war memorials, especially on Anzac Day. To the North of Cambridge Terrace you will find the Kate Sheppard Memorial. This impressive bronze memorial celebrates one of the leading campaigners for women’s suffrage, and forms the centrepiece to an attractive landscaped garden on the banks of the Avon.

From here, it is a short walk westward along Worcester Street to the impressive, not to mention indefatigable, Christchurch Cathedral. Constructed between 1864 and 1904, it has withstood countless earthquakes over the decades, and unlike its architectural forebearers in Dresden and Leipzig which ill-sighted Brits preferred to carpet bomb out of existence, Mother Nature finally took its toll on Christchurch Cathedral. The massive 2010 quake caused irreparable damage, and it was deconsecrated in lieu of the rebuilding project. Not quite on the scale of Notre Dame, it is still expected to run to over $100 million.

A short walk North will take you to New Regent Street Precinct. This popular pedestrianised area is quite unique from the surrounding districts, built in a Spanish style and protected as a heritage site. In addition to shops, there are also some wonderful independent restaurants, bars and coffee hangouts. By way of a counterpoint to the elegant surroundings of New Regent Street, head instead to the Re:Start Container Mall on Cashel Street, not far from the Bridge of Remembrance. The Re:Start project was in response to the 2011 earthquake aftermath, where many businesses were forced to closed due to damage. With no prospect of their properties being rebuilt, shipping containers were instead used as temporary premises, and have since grown into an iconic display of defiance, the district itself becoming a monument to human endurance, community and spirit in the face of such destructive natural forces.

Where to Eat The Tramway Restaurant – combining a tour of the central Christchurch with fine dining, the Tramway features prominently on “must do” lists, not only for Christchurch itself but of all New Zealand. The 2.5 hour tour of the city gives you plenty of time to work your way through the menu whilst enjoying the City’s architectural heritage, and to make more than a dent of the delicious all-New Zealand wine menu.

Curator’s House – enjoy Spanish themed cuisine in the beautiful surroundings of the Botanical Gardens, overlooking the Avon River. Specialising in tapas, this is one of the finest settings in the city to enjoy al fresco dining. The restaurant also features a deli, serving fresh bocata sandwiches and salads to take away, plus an extensive range of Spanish wines to sample. The Astro Lounge – situated on Worcester Boulevard on the way to the Christchurch Gallery, the Astro Lounge is an informal hang out, serving snacks, cheese plates and burgers. The Hoxton hipster cult has been nicely exported too, with a fine selection of craft ales, IPAs, stouts and porters, and somewhere in there you’ll find an actual lager. Zen Sushi and Dumplings – with its focus on quality ingredients lovingly prepared, this small eatery has already made big waves in Christchurch’s culinary landscape. Offering sushi boxes and dumplings to take away, it makes an ideal pit-stop in the centre of Christchurch, based in the Arts Centre on Monreal Street. Mickey Finn’s Irish Pub / The Rockpool – as close as it gets to a pub crawl in Christchurch, these two bar-restaurants are within staggering distance on Hereford Street. Mickey Finn’s is a familiar and cosy hangout, featuring a host of imported beers and stouts (“the best Guinness in Christchurch”, apparently), and the Rockpool has gone all out since the 2011 earthquake to provide an extensive modern menu in a pub setting. The Lotus Heart – taking its cue from Eastern philosophy, the Lotus Heart aims to provide a peaceful, centred space to enjoy its all-vegetarian menu, a sanctuary away from the busy city outside. The focus on fresh, locally-sourced organic ingredients help create a lively fusion of traditional Eastern food with a modern Polynesian influence, and the setting makes a perfect place to unwind for a couple of hours. Dux Central – something of an institution in central Christchurch, the phrase “meet you at the Dux” will be recognised by most workers and commuters in the city. Serving nearly two hundred staple and guest ales, the Dux will satisfy even the most discerning boutique brew head with marques from across the world. The food is superb too, everything from locally sourced mussels and Asian beef stir fry to wood oven pizzas and falafel tacos. A truly great hang out. Where to Stay New City Hotel & Backpackers Proudly boasting its liquor licence is one of the oldest in Christchurch and thus suggesting its accommodation is not strictly for the temperate, New City remains a traditional hotel offering plenty of facilities for backpackers and flashpackers. A quieter location on the edges of the CBD, it features and extensive bar and a well equipped gaming room. It’s as popular with travelling Kiwis as it is backpackers, making it a good place to make new friends and become acquainted with local customs. Vagabond Backpackers Another hostel located on the edges of the CBD, Vagabond is a small, private accommodation with thirty beds. It features all the usual facilities – wifi, laundry service, free off-street parking – but prides itself on a more homely feel. Ideal if you’ve had your fill of the livelier nightlife, and are looking for a relaxing chill-out while you explore the city. Around The World Backpackers Frequently nominated as one of the best hostels in Christchurch, Around the World offer impressive accommodation and facilities to suit the solo traveller and groups. In addition to their single, twin and dorm bed rooms, the facilities extend from wifi, TV room and book exchange to arranging shuttles to and from the airport. There is also a relaxing garden to get to know your fellow travellers, or just to while away some time in their hammocks. Look out for the Beat Street café over the road for their fantastic breakfasts. Kiwi House Down to earth and no nonsense, Kiwi House feature two locations just outside the central CBD, on Gloucester Street and Hereford Street. Offering singles, doubles and dorm spaces, Kiwi House is ideal for longer stays and is popular with seasonal workers and visiting students. You’ll find a very close-knit vibe here, something akin to a commune even, where fellow residents will offer haircuts, help with CV writing and job applications, foreign language translation, and communal barbeques and saunas. The Old Countryhouse Backpackers Situated just outside the CBD, this award winning accommodation comprises separate renovated villas, combining to create a lovely, rustic community run by former guests who loved the place so much they decided to stay. You’ll find all the usual facilities – wi-fi, private parking, a well stocked kitchen and laundry services – as well as a few gems like a hottub and sauna, a herb garden, and a games room. Featuring a range of rooms, from singles and doubles all the way up to 8-bed dorms, the Old Countryhouse also offers female-only rooms and dorms. Avon City Backpackers Wonderfully informal and homely, Avon City is one of the few backpacker lodges which also allow tent pitches for as little $15 per day. The accommodation is pretty basic, with twin rooms and bunks, but the welcome is extended with free shuttles in and out of the city centre, and free bikes for use around Christchurch’s cycle path network. Avon City is a great place to meet fellow backpackers and campers, with a frat house feel and no curfew. Chester Street Backpackers A ten minute walk from the Cathedral and New Regent Street precinct, this small friendly hostel is perfect if you’re looking for a more central location. It offers doubles, twins and a three-person share, as well as a dedicated cottage for families or larger groups looking for a little more privacy. Despite its central location, Chester Street still has a large garden complete with pick-your-own herbs, and on-street parking. Look out for Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn up the road on Kilmore Street for an excellent UK-style watering hole. Haka Lodge Ideal if you’re looking for a quieter location, this high-quality hostel is based in the Woolsten area of Christchurch, a small suburb about a ten minute drive from the city centre. You get hotel quality accommodation at Haka Lodge, with full size bed in the dorm room (no bunks), and spacious private rooms complete with TV, DVD player, and a balcony. Communal features include unlimited wifi, a fully stock kitchen, laundry room and an outside area with a barbeque and television. All Stars On Bealey This hostel situated just outside the Christchurch ring road was custom built especially for backpackers, and boasts an impressive variety of rooms and lodging to suit all travellers. The private rooms, ranging from a double ensuite to a twin, all feature a television, fridge and tea and coffee making facilities, and for larger groups or the more cost-conscious backpacker there are six and eight bed dorms. There are also female-only dorms on offer. The shared facilities are befitting such extensive accommodation, with a kitchen capable of seating up to thirty people, smart TVs in the lounge complete with Netflix and on-demand movies, and an outdoor area bench seating and a barbeque. Two fantastic bar-restaurants adjoin All Stars – Speight’s Ale House and The Bealey, both serving pub food alongside a full range of beers and wines. Jailhouse Accommodation Based in Addington just outside the CBD, this award winning hostel was, until 1999, a functioning prison. In 2006 it was transformed into a backpacker lodge, and in a short space of time has become one of the most talked about location amongst travellers visiting New Zealand. The accommodation choices range from dorm beds to six-person family and group rooms, with all the rooms retaining the classic cell features (minus the bars on the windows). You’ll find a well stocked kitchen, games room with pool and darts, and a cinema projector room. Addingham is a very lively area, with plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained. YHA Christchurch Located in the heart of the city on Hereford Street, a mere two minutes from the Botanic Gardens and the Cathedral, this convenient YHA hostel is perfect for backpackers wishing to stay close to city’s main attractions. Despite its central location, the YHA has a good outdoor area with a barbeque, although it does lack the free parking facilities offered by those hostels slightly further out. There is an abundance of room types – private singles and doubles all the way up to group share dorms – and with the heritage of the YHA behind it you can be confident the facilities will be well presented and professionally maintained. Further afield Only once you start exploring the surrounding areas can you fully appreciate that Christchurch is in fact a coastal city, something not apparent if you’ve flown in to the international airport. Even driving down Highway 1 can be quite deceiving, as the road sweeps inland once you drive past Kaiapoi. And whilst the city’s proximity to the ocean is behind some of geological forces which have plagued it for so many centuries, it does nevertheless mean there are some lovely coastal towns, beaches, bays and harbours to explore. New Brighton Six miles out from Christchurch lies another homage to a British cousin. This lovely beach town is livelier than its official population of just under three thousand would suggest, swelling considerably in the summer as people flock the spotless beaches. With impressive waves forming from the ocean as it meets Pegasus Bay, it’s also a hot spot for surfers, and if you’re a beginner there are numerous schools and rental shops which will help you give it a try. After walking the 300 metre long pier, you can take a stroll along the Avon River as it nears its end towards to ocean, then explore the Travis Wetlands heritage park for a chance of spotting the rare and interesting Shoveler Paradise duck, native to New Zealand. And if you’re visiting on a Saturday, be sure to check out the Saturday market along the Brighton Mall. Lyttleton A short ten mile drive south from Christchurch takes you to the harbour town of Lyttleton. One of the earliest European settlements in the Canterbury region due to its sheltered harbour and fertile, flat surrounding land, it has been decorated with a New Zealand Historic Places designation. The drive into Lyttleton takes you through a 2000 metre long tunnel, an impressive feat of engineering which survived all the recent earthquakes. The town itself is host to an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars, all independently owned and popular with writers and artists. At the harbour you’ll find cruises to take you dolphin spotting around Quail Island. Highway 75 If you want to fully explore the tip of the Canterbury peninsula, take Highway 75 south from Christchurch. The landscape becomes increasingly desolate, passing through small settlements Tai Tapu and Motukarara, until the drive past Lake Forsyth ushers you into the most remote parts of the region. 50 miles from Christchurch, the highway ends at the sheltered bay town of Akaroa. Don’t be fooled by its isolation though. There are plenty of restaurants and activities to enjoy, and it’s well worth the drive just to experience another little rugged tip of New Zealand spilling into the ocean. One of many.

All Other Backpacker Hostels in This Area

Bon Accord Backpackers
57 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa
+64 (0)3 304 7782
Tailor-Made-Tekapo Backpackers
9-11 Aorangi Crescent, Lake Tekapo
+64 (0)3 680 6700
Alpenhorn Chalet
44 Allen Street, Methven
+64 (0)3 302 8779
Tranquil Lodge
440 Manchester Street, Christchurch
+64 (0)3 366 6500
Double Dutch
32 Chorlton Road, Akaroa
+64 (0)3 304 7229
Dolphin Lodge
15 Deal Street, Kaikoura
+64 (0)3 319 5842
Sunrise Lodge
74 Beach Road, Kaikoura
+64 (0)3 319 7444
Mt Hutt Bunkhouse
8 Lampard Street, Methven
+64 (0)3 302 8894
Backpackers Rakaia
10 Elizabeth Ave, Rakaia 7710
0064 3 3035194
Backpacker Heaven
1 Bank St, Methven
+64 (0)3 302 8999
Onuku Farm Hostel
89 Hamiltons Road, Akaroa
+64 (0)3 304 7066
Dorset House
1 Dorset Street, Christchurch
+64 (0)3 366 8268 or 0800 367 738
Chester Street Backpackers
148 Chester Street East, Christchurch
+64 (0)3 377 1897
Albatross Backpacker Inn
1 Torquay Street, Kaikoura
0800 222 247
Little River Campground
Okuti Valley, Banks Peninsula
+64 (0)3 382 6334
Halfmoon Cottage
Barrys Bay, Akaroa
+64 (0)3 304 5050
Vagabond Backpackers
232 Worcester Street, Christchurch
+64 (0)3 379 9677
At The Right Place
85 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch
+64 (0)3 366 1633
The Lazy Shag
37 Beach Road, Kaikoura
+64 (0)3 319 6662
Avon City Backpackers
563 Worcester Street, Christchurch
+64 (0)3 981 5878
Point Break Backpackers
6 Union Street, New Brighton, Christchurch 8061
+64 (0)3 3882050
Redwood Lodge
3 Wayne Place, Methven
+64 (0)3 302 8964
Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel
70 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch
+64 (0)3 377 7931