Great Hostels for Great Walkers

Taka walk, a Great Walk, through some of New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.

Keen to strap a few necessities onto your back and hit the tracks through some of New Zealand's native forests, lakes, rivers, mountain peaks, gorges and valleys? Join in the New Zealanders' love affair with the great outdoors and discover one or more of the Department of Conservation's Great Walks. And don't forget to check out our perfectly located Great Hostels for Great Walkers. 

South Island

Five of New Zealand's 'Great Walks' are in the South Island and YHA offers great pre and post walk accommodation ideally suited to Great Walkers. With over 45 hostels nationwide you can relax and settle into comfortable accommodation geared towards your needs. YHA offers dorms rooms, ensuite private rooms, doubles, and twins. It's the perfect choice for people of all ages, small groups and families. Jump to: Abel Tasman Track, Heaphy Track, Routeburn Track, Kepler Track, Milford Track or the North Island Great Walks.


Abel Tasman Track 

Abel Tasman track. Photo cred: DoCLocated in Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island’s northern shores, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is a 3 - 5 day, 54.4 km (33 mile) route lined with kilometres of golden beaches. Pack light walking shoes and start the track from either end. Walk into the park from the carparks, catch a water taxi to one of the many beaches along the track or load up a kayak and kayak along the coast. You'll need to time your walk with the tide. Although all streams have bridges there are some tidal crossings that can only be crossed during the few hours on either side of low tide. Accommodation along the track consists of 5 huts and 21 campsites (fees apply). 

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's videos about the Abel Tasman Track.




YHAs Motueka, Golden Bay & Nelson

YHA Motueka is on the doorstep of the Abel Tasman. This modern hostel has plenty of space to spread out and a spa pool to soak away the aches of the track. Knowledgeable staff can book your walking and kayaking trips. Free pick up available. Please enquire.

YHA Golden Bay is a small comfortable hostel and an ideal launching pad for the walk or relaxing point at the end. Gear storage is available and a supermarket for your last minute foodie supplies is a 1 minute walk away. Transport to the track can be arranged.

YHA Nelson  is a convenient base to explore the Abel Tasman. There's plenty of space to stash your gear and there's a sauna, foosball, table tennis and a DVD collection to help you unwind post tramp. Heaps of outdoor gear shops are within walking distance as well as a supermarket that's open till late.  

From YHA Motueka

20 mins to Marahau

From YHA Golden Bay

30 mins to Wainui Bay

From YHA Nelson

1 hr

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Heaphy Track 

Heaphy Track. Photo cred: DoCLocated in  the Kahurangi National Park at the north-west corner of the South Island, the Heaphy Track is a 4 - 6 day, 78.4 km (48 mile) route, the longest of the Great Walks. The track passes through beech forest, red tussock grasslands, lush forests, alpine herbs fields, nikau palm-lined beaches and roaring seas. The gradient is undemanding and the track is accessible year round. But bring on a coat if you're travelling in winter! Winter snows can make the higher sections quite chilly.

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's videos on the Heaphy Track.






YHAs Golden Bay, Westport & Nelson

YHA Golden Bay is a small comfortable hostel and an ideal launching pad for the walk or relaxing point at the end. Gear storage is available and a supermarket for your last minute foodie supplies is a 1 minute walk away. Transport to the track can be arranged by the hostel. 

YHA Westport is an old homestead with comfortable facilities and a great place to relax pre or post tramp. Two supermarkets and an outdoor gear shop are a quick 2 minute walk away. Free gear storage is available and guests are welcome to leave their car in the hostel's free carpark during their tramp.

YHA Nelson is a convenient base to explore the Abel Tasman. There's plenty of space to stash your gear and there's a sauna, foosball, table tennis and a DVD collection to help you unwind post tramp. Heaps of outdoor gear shops are within walking distance as well as a supermarket that's open till late.

From YHA Golden Bay

1 hr to Brown Hut

From YHA Westport 

1hr 45 mins to Kohaihia

From YHA Nelson 

1 hr to Marahau 

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Routeburn Track 

Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track overlaps two National Parks – the Mount Aspiring and Fiordland Natrional Parks with the Harris Saddle being the border. The 2 - 4 day, 32 km (19 mile) track has some of the most diverse scenery as the track weaves through alpine flora and lakes, waterfalls, rivers and panoramic views from the mountain pass. This Great Walk offers a high standard track and comfortable, serviced huts as well as camping opportunities. 

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's videos on the Routeburn Track.







YHAs Glenorchy, Te Anau & Queenstown

YHA Kinloch, Glenorchy is the perfect place for tramping enthusiasts to gear up or wind down at the start or end of their tramps. The lakeside wilderness lodge has a fully catered restaurant and an onsite shop selling tramping supplies. Paid transport from the lodge to the start of the track is available. 

YHA Te Anau is a large, comfortable hostel designed for walkers. With knowledgeable staff familiar with all the local walks, this is the perfect place for your pre and post walking stays. A drying room and gear storage is available. Staff can arrange a shuttle to the start of the track.

YHA has two Queenstown hostels located at the start or end of your tramp. Rest up or wind down in one of the private or shared rooms and chill out zones. Grab a hot shower, kick up your feet or have a feed in our well-equipped kitchens. YHA Queenstown Lakefront has a large drying room and lock up for your gear.
From YHA Glenorchy

30 mins

From Te Anau

1 hr

From YHAs Queenstown

3 hrs

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Kepler Track 

Kepler Track. Photo credit: Nyia Strachan

The track begins and ends at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau and is a 3 - 4 day, 60 km (37 mile) loop track. The track begins along the beech-forested shores of lakes Te Anau and Manapouri and traverses from a gentle gradient to the tussock alpine tops and Mt Luxmore. After the challenging climb, enjoy a long section above the bushline with views of the Kepler Mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys. This track is of a high standard and offers comfortable, serviced huts as well as camping opportunities.

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's videos on the Kepler Track.







YHA Te Anau

YHA Te Anau is at the doorstep of the Kepler Track. With knowledgeable staff familiar with all the local walks and a hostel designed for walkers, this is the perfect place for your pre and post walking stays. A drying room and gear storage is available. Staff can arrange a shuttle to the start of the track.

From YHA Te Anau

40 - 60 mins walk, 5 mins shuttle/drive


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Milford Track 

Milford Track. Photo credit: Graham DaintyLocated in New Zealand's largest national park – Fiordland – the Milford Track is the most famous of the Great Walks. It is a 4 day, 53.5 km (33 mile)  track that follows a historic Maori route through forest-covered valleys and ice-carved valleys, a mountain pass, mountain rivers and waterfalls from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Bookings are necessary well in advance for this high demand Great Walk. The track is of high standard track with comfortable serviced huts. 

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's videos on the Milford Track.






YHAs Te Anau & Queenstown

YHA Te Anau is a large, comfortable hostel designed for walkers. Knowledgeable staff familiar with the local walks will help you get on your way. A drying room and gear storage is available. Staff can arrange paid transport to the start of the track.
YHA Queenstown Central is in the rapidly beating heart of this famous resort town. Rest up or wind down after your tramp in one of the private or shared rooms and chill out zones. Grab a hot shower, kick up your feet or have a feed in our well-equipped kitchens. YHA Queenstown Lakefront is a quiet hostel with beautiful views across Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. It's a great spot for a longer stay pre or post Great Walk. There is a large drying room and lock up for your gear.
From YHA Te Anau

30 mins to Te Anau Downs

From YHA Queenstown Central

3 hrs

From YHA Queenstown Lakefront

3 hrs

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North Island 

The three North Island Great Walks offer distinct landscapes from one other and they each offer a variety of challenges for the keen great walker. Click here to jump to: Togariro Northern Circuit, Whanganui Journey and Lake Waikaremoana.

Tongariro Northern Circuit 

TongariroTrack. Photo credit: 90 SecondsThe Tongariro Northern Circuit is a 4 day, 43.1 km (26 mile) loop track that begins and finishes at the foot of Mt Ruapehu. Discover this active volcanic region with its brilliant blue lakes, unique lava formations, tussock grassland, fumaroles and geysers and green mineral lakes. Pack clothing for all conditions as the wind really picks up over Mt Tongariro and around Mt Ngauruhoe. Due to the altitude conditions and climate, this walk is best done from late November to March.

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's video on the Tongariro Northern Circuit.






YHAs National Park, Ohakune & Taupo

YHA National Park is well equipped for walkers ready to conquer the Tongaririo Northern Circuit. The hostel provides a drying room and plenty of storage for gear. There's a wood fire in the kitchen and an outdoor shop 700m away. Hostel transport offered for a fee. YHA Ohakune is a comfortable historical villa located in the beautiful alpine town of Ohakune, adjacent to the world-renowned Tongariro National Park and Whanganui National Park. YHA Ohakune has a drying room as well gear storage. 
YHA Taupo is a great place to kick up your boots before or after your walk. Gear storage is available and staff can arrange transport. Pre-tramp, Taupo offers truckloads of outdoor equipment shops and post-tramp free hot springs are a short 15 minute walk away.  
From YHA National Park

30 - 45 mins

From YHA Ohakune

45 mins to Whakapapa Village

From YHA Taupo

1hr 30 mins

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Whanganui Journey 

Whanganui Journey. Photo credit: Herb ChristophersThe Whanganui Journey is a 5 day, 145 km (90 mile)  river journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki. Although deemed a 'Great Walk' the Whanganui Journey, located in the Whanganui National Park, is actually a kayak or canoe journey down the winding Whanganui River. Pack your conoe or kayak and head down river through lush hills and bush clad valleys and discover New Zealand's early history. The Whanganui River was an important route for early Maori and later became important during the early European settlement days as it transformed into a steamboat highway. A shorter journey from Whakahoro to Pipiriki is also possible which takes 3 days.

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's videos on the Whanganui Journey.

 




YHAs National Park, Ohakune & Whanganui

YHA National Park  is well equipped for great walkers ready to conquer the Tongaririo Northern Circuit. The hostel provides a drying room and plenty of storage for gear. There's a wood fire in the kitchen and an outdoor shop 700m away. Transport to the track can be arranged. YHA Ohakune is a comfortable historical villa located in the beautiful alpine town of Ohakune, adjacent to the world-renowned Tongariro National Park and Whanganui National Park. YHA Ohakune has a drying room as well gear storage. 
YHA Whanganui is adjacent to the Whanganui River. Hop on multiple points of this Great Walk by hitching a ride with the Mail Run (picks up from the hostel). If you're sore after your walk, the hostel offers massage and Reiki healing treatments by appointment.

From YHA National Park

30 mins to Taumarunui  and 1 hr to Pipiriki 

From YHA Ohakune

45 mins to Pipiriki

From YHA Whanganui

1 hr 40 mins to Pipiriki

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Lake Waikaremoana 

Lake Waikaremoana. Photo credit: 90 SecondsLocated in one of the North Island's most remote regions, Lake Waikaremoana is a 4-5 day, 46km (28 miles) track  that follows the lakeshore for most of its length. Located east of the central volcanic plateau, this Great Walk traverses a range of terrain with a variety of vegetation. Aside from one day climbing a steep bluff, the walk is a leisurely path through dense rainforest. There is also beech forest of the Panekire Bluffs and podocarp mixed broadleaf forest. Birdlife is abundant with plenty of scenery and opportunities for swimming and fishing.

Want to be inspired even more? Watch DOC's videos on Lake Waikaremoana.





YHAs Gisborne & Napier

YHA Gisborne is a homestead style home and is ideal for pre and post walk. Knowledgable staff who have done the walk can help you on your way. A supermarket is a handy 30m away to stock up or refuel. Leave your extra luggage at the hostel and then catch the InterCity Bus to the Lake.

From YHA Gisborne

2 hrs 30 mins to Onepoto Bay

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YHA Napier is on the beachfront and close to the city centre. Great Walkers often use this cosy hostel to rest up and relax post-tramp where they enjoy a hot shower and the cosy atmosphere. Gear storage and off-street parking is available. Staff can organise transport to the start of the walk.

From YHA Napier

2 hrs 30 mins to Onepoto Bay

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Direct bookings online or ring our Customer Services team at 0800 278 299.