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5 Best Backpacker Hostels in The Catlins

Slope Point Backpackers

Where to stay in the Catlins?

A Catlins road trip is a must for any backpacker who loves to get off the beaten track! With rare wildlife to see, stunning beaches and hikes to picture-perfect waterfalls, the Catlins has so much to offer. Aside from many free activities, there’s also a whole bunch of fantastic backpacker hostels in The Catlins to make for a super budget-friendly destination in New Zealand.

While staying in The Catlins, be sure to see all of these 18 Amazing Attractions You Can’t Miss in The Catlins and some of the 10 Hikes in the Catlins and Clutha District. For more things to do in The Catlins, get inspired at Catlins – Guide for Backpackers.

So here are, what we consider, some of the best backpacker hostels in the Catlins!

Working Holiday New Zealand

1. Lazy Dolphin Lodge

Situated in Curio Bay, Lazy Dolphin Lodge is in the heart of the wildlife action with common sightings of penguins, seal lions and dolphins in the area. The hostel has its own private beach access, plus all the essential facilities for your stay in The Catlins. Lazy Dolphin Lodge is split on two levels with common kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. Plus, if you fall short on the food situation, they have a few supplies to purchase.

Check Lazy Dolphin Lodge out!
Lazy Dolphin Lodge

2. Slope Point Backpackers

Near the southernmost point of New Zealand, Slope Point Backpackers is usually the first or last port of call on a Catlins road trip. The modern yet homely backpackers is in the middle of the owners’ farm for that true Kiwi experience. There are a range of rooms available and campers are welcome to the backpackers too.

Slope Point Backpackers

3. Surat bay Lodge

Surat bay Lodge is based in New Haven, right by the sea lion mecca of Surat Bay. Relax in the beach-facing garden and borrow the free binoculars for wildlife viewing. There’s also free tea, coffee and hot chocolate, plus, free limited WiFi, which may come in handy considering there is no cell phone reception at the lodge. BBH members will also benefit from a discount. Find out more in BBH, YHA, BASE or NOMADS: What is the Best Hostel Network?

Check Surat Bay Lodge out!
Surat Bay Lodge

4. The Split Level Backpackers

This modern and tastefully decorated backpackers is located in Owaka, which is considered the central hub of The Catlins. There’s a fantastic range of accommodation available from dorms rooms to en-suite double rooms. Enjoy free Wi-Fi and the help of your friendly host who can recommend a wealth of activities in the Catlins.

Check The Split Level Backpackers out!
Split Level Backpackers

5. Thomas’s Catlins Lodge & Camp Ground

For a unique stay in the Catlins, Owaka, try Thomas’s Catlins Lodge in a 100 year old hospital building. Even some of the beds are hospital-style beds. As well as kitchen and lounge facilities, the hostel has a games room, free Wi-Fi and possibly a few ghosts. Campervans are also welcome in the camp ground with power sites.

Check Thomas’s Catlins Lodge out!
Thomas's Catlins Lodge

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