New Zealand can be pricey, but there’s no need to sleep in the car to save costs check yourself into these cheap NZ accommodation options for under S$55/night instead!

Castle Hill New Zealand

With endless mountain ranges, deep flowing fjords and lush rolling valleys, it’s no secret that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. But it’s also no secret that the land of Middle Earth ain’t cheap. A meal out can easily burn a S$25 hole in your pocket — two meals, and that’s one blue Yusof Ishak note gone. 💸

But after spending two solid weeks in this wondrous country, I can confidently say you don’t need to “sell your butt” for a grand NZ adventure. In fact, we covered both islands on a reasonable S$2.5k budget. Not once did we sacrifice epic experiences or comfort.

Road trip in New Zealand

Not one night did we sleep in our car either. Bet.

During our time there, we dug up a list of cosy New Zealand accommodation options that cost under S$55/night. Most are hostels, and some have perks like free breakfasts or thermal pools.

But let’s say you’re thinking of living the luxe life — we’ve also added a bonus section of accommodation with experiences so priceless, they’re worth the hefty prices!

Click to jump to the relevant section: South Island | North Island | Luxe Accommodation

South Island

Queenstown Accommodation 

YHA Queenstown Lakefront 

YHA Queenstown Lakefront - New Zealand Accommodation

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This one’s for nature lovers! YHA Queenstown Lakefront sits beside the stunning Lake Wakatipu, offering an unparalleled view of the Remarkables mountain ranges behind. Inside, its spacious dorm rooms are perfect for chilling out.

Cost: From ~S$51/pax
Address: 88-90 Lake Esplanade, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand

Adventure Q2 Hostel

Adventure Q2 Hostel - New Zealand Accommodation

Located in the heart of Queenstown, the Adventure Q2 Hostel was (hands down!) one of our favourites. It’s the ideal place to stay if you’re looking to make friends. The hostel buzzes with exciting social events like movie nights or pub crawls.

AQ2 also goes the extra mile by providing basic cooking ingredients, free bike rentals, and even free GoPro rentals to capture all your adrenaline-pumping activities!

Cost: From ~S$53/pax
Address: 5 Athol Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand

Christchurch Accommodation 

Jailhouse Accommodation

Photo credit: Klook

Newsflash: This is no gimmick! The Jailhouse Accommodation served as an actual prison from 1874 to 1999. It was converted into a stylish backpackers’ hostel in 2006.

Today, the Jailhouse is one of NZ’s top-rated hostels. Travellers are treated to an unusual place to stay with free WiFi, comfy beds, and loads of fascinating history. Who knew going to jail could be so… exciting?

Cost: From ~S$35/pax
Address: 338 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch 8024, New Zealand

Around the World Backpackers

Around the World Backpackers - New Zealand Accommodation

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A sanctuary from large and loud hostels, Around the World Backpackers only carries four-bed dorm rooms. It’s perfect if you’re travelling in a group of that size, but don’t worry if you aren’t. The snugness of the hostel makes it easy to meet other travellers!


Cost: From ~S$33/pax
Address: 314 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Milford Sound Accommodation

Milford Sound Lodge

Milford Sound Campervan Park - New Zealand Accommodation

Photo credit: Milford Sound Lodge

Milford Sound is a mystical natural wonder. Its remote location protects its beauty but aren’t many places to stay here. In fact, Milford Sound Lodge is the only accommodation in the area and it doesn’t have a backpackers’ dorm.

However, you’re in luck if you’re planning to travel in a campervan! Milford Sound Lodge has a campervan park, the most budget option. Anyone staying there can make use of its fully-equipped kitchen, lounge, and bathrooms.

Cost: NZ$70/pax
Address: State Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand

Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers

Te Anau Backpackers - New Zealand Accommodation

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For those without a campervan, the next best alternative is to stay at Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers. The accommodation is a 2-hour drive from Milford Sound.

The hostel offers typical dorm rooms to stay in. However, die-hard adventurers can opt to glamp in giant teepee tents instead. No sleeping bags required — mattresses and duvets are provided so you won’t freeze overnight!

Cost: From ~S$30/pax
Address: 48/50 Lakefront Drive, Te Anau 9600, New Zealand

Read also: New Zealand Budget Guide — 2 Weeks Under S$2.5k in North And South Island

Mt Cook Accommodation 

YHA Aoraki Mt Cook

Aoraki YHA Mount Cook - New Zealand Accommodation

I can’t recommend this place enough! YHA Mt Cook is a homely alpine lodge that’s smack in the heart of Mount Cook National Park. Its location ensures phenomenal views all year round, enough to make anyone want to live there.

Besides comfy beds and huge lockers, the rustic accommodation also provides thoughtful facilities. These include a drying room for wet coats and boots, a sauna room, and a glorious fireplace. 🔥

YHA Mt Cook - New Zealand Accommodation

Cost: From ~S$33/pax
Address: 4 Bowen Drive, Mount Cook Village 7999, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo Accommodation 

YHA Lake Tekapo

YHA Lake Tekapo Interior Lounge - New Zealand Accommodation

Photo credit: YHA New Zealand

Modern and elegant, YHA Lake Tekapo can rival a high-end hotel with good reasons. The hostel’s facilities are spanking new. The rooms are cosy with warm and inviting beds. And the hostel is conveniently located between Tekapo town and the lake, so your grocery runs are now complete with incredible views!

Cost: From ~S$33/pax
Address: 5 Motuariki Lane, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand

Lakes Edge Lodge

Lake Tekapo Backpackers - New Zealand Accommodation

Photo credit: Lakes Edge Holiday Park

Simple and stylish, Lakes Edge Lodge caters to guests on a variety of budgets. Broke travellers can either stay in a comfortable dorm room or live it up and glamp in the hostel’s fancy tents.

Unfortunately, there’s no free WiFi here. But you can take this as an opportunity to disconnect and enjoy nature fully. If you’d like a little more entertainment, look out for feline residents Velveteen and Hannibal!

Cost: From ~S$33/pax
Address: 2 Lakeside Drive, Lake Tekapo 7990, New Zealand

Franz Josef Accommodation 

Glow Worm Accommodation

Glow Worm Accommodation - New Zealand Accommodation

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Glow Worm Accommodation may not be the swankiest hostel around, but it certainly is great value for money.

For less than S$35 a night, you get a bunch of free things that’ll make any broke traveller cheer. This includes free unlimited WiFi, free use of their spa pool, free breakfasts, free vegetable soup, and free popcorn too!

Cost: From ~S$32.50/pax
Address: 27 Cron Street, Franz Josef 7886, New Zealand

YHA Franz Josef

YHA Franz Josef - New Zealand Accommodation

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YHA Franz Josef is like most hostels. It’s got facilities like a wide lounge area, a pool table, and a fully-equipped kitchen. But what makes travellers gun for this place is its sauna room. Trust me — after a long and hard day of hiking across ice, that’s the first place you want to go to simmer down!

Cost: From ~S$43/pax
Address: 2-4 Cron Street, Franz Josef 7886, New Zealand

(Almost) Free Accommodation 

Freedom Camping 

Campervan Under Stars at Taupo Freedom Camping Site - New Zealand Accommodation

We freedom camped by Lake Taupo in the North Island, and slept under a sky full of stars.

Believe us, travelling in a campervan has plenty of perks! On top of experiencing the nomadic #VanLife, you can save on New Zealand accommodation by freedom camping.

There are several freedom camping sites in NZ. Some spots have facilities like drop toilets or showers, while others are plain, barren lots. We recommend downloading apps like Campermate or Rankers to find them.

Keen to find out more? Check out our North Island campervan experience!

DoC Campsites

DOC campsite - New Zealand Accommodation

Photo credit: Department Of Conservation (Te Papa Atawhai)

Want to keep your creature comforts? Stay at DoC campsites instead (i.e. campsites managed by NZ’s Department of Conservation).

There are three campsites to choose from: Serviced, and standard. Serviced campsites have a wide range of facilities like running tap water, hot showers, and powered/unpowered campervan sites. Fees start from NZ$20/pax.

Standard campsites have basic facilities like toilets and water supply. Campsite fees generally cost between NZ$10–NZ$15/pax.

North Island

Auckland Accommodation 

Queen Street Backpackers

Queen Street Backpackers - New Zealand Accommodation

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Queens Street Backpackers offers a good bang for your buck. The hostel is conveniently located in Auckland‘s CBD, and is only a few minutes’ walk to major attractions. It also provides free breakfasts, so that’s one meal saved!

Cost: From ~S$22/pax
Address: 4 Fort Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Fat Cat Travellers Community

Fat Cat Eco Backpackers - New Zealand Accommodation

Photo credit: Fat Cat Eco Backpackers via Facebook

Fat Cat Travellers Community prides itself on being an eco-friendly New Zealand accommodation. They’re big on sustainability, so you can look forward to green experiences like organic gardening workshops or meals with homegrown vegetables.

A downside is that Fat Cat is located outside of Auckland. But if you’re looking to get off the beaten track and vibe with fellow environmentally-conscious folk, this is it!

*Note: This accommodation is permanently closed.

Waitomo Accommodation 

Junohall YHA Hostel Waitomo

Junohall YHA Waitomo - New Zealand Accommodation

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Like a home away from home, Junohall YHA Hostel is a charming countryside stay. Sure, it’s got a tennis court and an outdoor swimming pool. But the main highlight is that you can feed and cuddle the adorable farm animals that live onsite!

Cost: From ~S$29/pax
Address: 600 Waitomo Caves Road RD 5, Waitomo Caves 3977, New Zealand

Kiwipaka Waitomo

Kiwipaka Waitomo - New Zealand Accommodation

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Kiwipaka Waitomo is a great choice for travellers who prefer a quieter place to stay. The famous glowworm caves are just 5 minutes away on foot. There’s also an onsite pizzeria/cafe — for when you feel like treating yourself to a hearty meal. 😉

Cost: From ~S$32/pax
Address: Hotel Access Road Hotel Access Road Waitomo 3943, Waitomo Caves 3977, New Zealand

Rotorua Accommodation 

Downtown Backpackers

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Rotorua Downtown Backpackers is perfect for non-fussy travellers. The modern and comfortable hostel is centrally located in town, and provides what every broke (Asian) traveller loves: Free rice (or pasta)! 🍚🍝

Cost: From ~S$26/pax
Address: 1193 Fenton Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park

Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park Mineral Pools - New Zealand Accommodation

When in NZ, soaking in the country’s natural hot springs is a must-do. But if you don’t have the luxury of time, go for a place that has them! We stayed at the Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park and got to enjoy its lovely thermal mineral pools at no extra cost.

Cost: From ~S$28/pax
Address: 463 Old Taupo Road, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand

Wellington Accommodation 

Nomads Capital Backpackers

Nomads Capital Wellington - New Zealand Accommodation

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If you’re all for free pancake breakfasts and free dinners, put Nomads Capital Backpackers on your list! The vibrant hostel is a 5-minute walk from most of Wellington‘s tourist attractions. But if you prefer to stay in, kick back and unwind with a drink (or two) at the bustling in-house bar.

Cost: From ~S$23/pax
Address: 118 Wakefield Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers

Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers

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Staying at Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers is a surefire way to make friends during your travels. If it’s not through socialising in the 20-bed dorm, it’ll probably be through nightly bar games! The hostel’s ultra-convenient location is also the main perk for travellers — it’s close to the railway station and ferry terminal.

Cost: From ~S$32/pax
Address: 1 Bunny Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

BONUS: Unique Accommodation Worth Splurging for a Night (or Two!) 

Greystone PurePod

PurePod under Starry Sky

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If you’re not the outdoorsy kind, Greystone PurePod will change (and blow!) your mind. These glass eco-cabins are designed to be the ultimate getaway, offering isolation in spectacular natural landscapes. You’re in for a real treat, with 360° views of the grass beneath and the infinite stars above.

A night here may be pricey, but you gotta admit it’s hard to find another New Zealand accommodation that can ever top this!

Cost: From ~S$243.50/pax
Address: 376 Omihi Road, Waipara 7483, New Zealand

Milford Sound Lodge

Milford Sound Mountain Chalet

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If you’re on a budget in Milford Sound, you’d probably stay at the lodge’s campervan park.

But if you’re out to ball hard at Milford Sound Lodge, go for its lavish mountain chalets. Modern and sleek, these chalets have it all: Exclusive privacy, optimal comfort, and sensational mountain views. Who knew an accommodation like this can make a beautiful place even better?

Cost: From ~NZ$192/pax
Address: State Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand



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Just under an hour from Christchurch, SiloStay offers the extraordinary experience of (you guessed it!) staying in a silo. But instead of being cramped like corn, each of the silos is spacious, high-tech, and eco-friendly. It doesn’t hurt that the industrial decor is also highly Insta-worthy!

Cost: From ~NZ$100/pax
Address: 4243 Christchurch Akaroa Road, Little River 7591, New Zealand

Read also: Ultimate New Zealand Bucket List — 26 Best Things to Do in NZ’s North and South Islands

The Boot

The Boot

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Straight out of a fairytale, The Boot is a quirky little home with a lot of heart and sole! Far from being tight-fitting, the interior is furnished with a lovely queen-sized bed, a toasty fireplace, and a two-man shower to boot. Outside, you get your very own courtyard and garden to frolic about.

Cost: From ~S$120/pax
Address: 320 Aporo Road, Tasman, Nelson 7152, New Zealand

Lanarch Lodge & Stable Stay

Lanarch Castle

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New Zealand accommodation isn’t just limited to hostels, farm stays or shoes. There’s also an actual castle! Guests can enjoy the royal treatment at the Lanarch Lodge, which features 12 boutique rooms, breakfasts in the historic stables, and access to the castle’s fine gardens.

The catch, however, is that the castle is said to be haunted. Travellers claimed they experienced strange sightings and sounds throughout their stay, with one even saying he was pushed by a ghost. It’s hard to tell if these stories are true, but you’ll only know if you stay there for yourself!

Cost: From ~S$75/pax
Address: 145 Camp Road, Otago Peninsula, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

Budget Accommodation in New Zealand 

Bedtime in Campervan

Contrary to popular belief, our campervan was pretty comfy too!

I have a friend who demands to stay in hotels wherever she travels. To her, budget accommodation = poor quality (a.k.a. no privacy, dirty bathrooms, subpar beds). But the budget accommodation we stayed at was nothing like the wreckage she imagines!

On the flip side, every place was warm, welcoming, and comfortable. They gave us the safe rest we needed to explore the North and South Islands. So ignore the naysayers. If you’re willing to do your research and rough it out a little, we’re sure you’ll find accommodation in New Zealand that’ll grant you both huge savings and peaceful nights!

Do you have any budget New Zealand accommodation to recommend? Tell us what we missed out on below in the comments!

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